The First Step Carries You the Furthest

When the "want to" changes into intentional action we move from the life we live to the life we long to live.
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Updated on August 26, 2014
By Matt Dierdorff

The First Step Carries You the Furthest

We can all point to that place. It is either still where we are, or it marks a turn in the road behind us. It is that place where we know we desire change, and we know what is required to embrace that change. To borrow from the title of Malcom Gladwell's book, it is the place of our tipping point. It is a determinator for us. We can either remain there, paralyzed by the possibility of consequences from our foreseen risk, or we can allow it to be a diving board into a new reality.

Living there is slow torment. It is Regretville. We find ourselves photocopying the same New Year's Resolutions each year when we remain tethered to that place. And to make things worse, our frustration over never having moved anchors us stronger. The fact that "here we remain" though we know we would prefer to find ourselves walking down the new road, that inability to progress makes us feel less willing to start today. But the thing is, today is begging us to divert. Though we feel entrenched in this immoveable state, we know we belong to something more full, something more authentic and true. Change occurs, momentum begins when we can no longer tolerate our current place, and this intolerance trumps the fear we have of what might come from venturing ahead.

When we take that step, whether it is making a mantra of our goals, stepping into an accountable relationship, or setting an honest drop-dead-date for dream fulfillment, we are performing the most crucial act. But I am talking about that "there's no going back" moment, not some of our petty, toe-in-the-water, "I can always back out" attempts at momentum. We know those aren't catalytic. They are impotent in the end. Our life is shaped by small, but incredibly brave acts of risk. We are defined by what hinders that step toward an unexplored fork in the road. We either curse it as the groundhog day which lingers with us, or we revere it as the first moment of the life we choose.

In the end, it is simple: much of life is what we choose to make of it. We have more options than we would believe, and we are capable of a great deal more than we would expect. Choosing to live life boldly is to call out the myths which nail our feet down. When we believe that our life can truly be shaped differently, and we allow this belief to become a catalyst moving us to "don't look back" action, we become immune to the paralysis of the unknown and we inherit hope.

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