In honor of Kinetic Enterprise’s 5th birthday, I thought it’d be fun to post the first ezine I ever wrote – published on August 15, 2006, to a distribution list of 13 (10 of whom were related to me). Makes me smile to see that in five years, not much has changed. I still am a sing-to-the-rafters-evangelist for the Big Ideas that reside in every one of us, and I am still an ardent believer that living an undivided life rich in physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual peak performance practices is what allows us to witness our own potential…. and makes it possible to turn Big Ideas into Inspired Action.
And, I have deep gratitude to each one of you who has joined my tribe and believe that, too.
The Courage to Step Up to the Starting Line
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
I’m an athlete. I’ve competed in at least a hundred races in my life, and at the starting line of any given race my internal dialogue might sound something like this:
“I didn’t train enough. I have to go to the bathroom. Where’s the bathroom? The line’s too long!!! I can’t remember the course map—how long is the first hill? My shoes are too tight. I don’t have time to re-tie them… what if my foot goes numb? My goggles might come off. This field looks tough. I don’t belong here!! I got up early for this. Other people are still in bed. I could be in bed!”
Sound familiar? Whether you’re stepping up to the starting line of a race or building the courage to take the next leap in your business, your internal dialog may sound like a fretting little gremlin, throwing doubts on your intentions. That’s normal. The difference between those who go home (or never got out of bed in the first place), and those who step across the starting line is the willingness to embrace the discomfort of The Stretch.
The Power of The Stretch
The inspiration to sign up for a race or to step up to a new business challenge is where the magic starts. The inception of a goal is powerful because it is generative. It challenges the limits you’re willing to place upon yourself, and in doing so, it not only sharpens your personal edge of growth, it beckons you to lean into discomfort … the place that’s one step past what you previously thought was possible.
And yet, the spark of inspiration and musing over the possibility isn’t good enough. Thinking about the opportunity before you – fretting if you prepared well enough, wondering how you stack up against everyone else, anxious to know if you’ll knock it out of the park or fall flat on your face – is not an act of internal power. It fractures attention away from your goal and dissipates the energy you would otherwise channel towards achieving it.
The act of actually taking action is The Stretch—it is the fingers-letting-go-of-the-ledge-scary-as-heck place where your intention meets your action. And you know what? Even on a bad day it’s good, because you are ALIVE with that synergy. In the words of Seth Godin, “… finally you begin to realize that the safest thing you can do feels risky, and the riskiest thing you can do is play it safe.”
The journey of a thousand miles does not begin by thinking of the first step. It begins by taking the first step.
What Big Idea of yours is waiting to be claimed?
The race only begins when you step across the starting line.