There are many situations in life where everything is pleasant and rewarding, but getting started can still be next to impossible.
I went walking in the rec center the other day. I didn’t mean to go walking—I meant to play racquetball. At 7:52am, I sent this to my wife:
I got up this morning and thought I would come play racquetball. For some reason, I thought I would miss most of the people by coming early. Ha ha ha ha. How wrong I was. I guess I will be walking today.
As I went around and around the tiny track, I was struck by how great it felt to be walking. There was a little discomfort if I’m being totally honest, because it was my first day going counterclockwise. But overall, it was an immensely enjoyable experience.
While I was walking, the thought came to me, “This is so nice! What is it that stops me from coming?” I realized that I enjoyed every part of walking except getting started. There is so much inertia to overcome, but once I do, practically everything about the experience is pleasant.
So much of our lives follows this same pattern. Whether it’s connecting with a good friend, any form of exercise or meditation, or creating something meaningful, the struggle is in starting. When we realize and accept that, we are able to take steps to decrease our resistance. It can be as easy as laying out exercise clothes before going to bed. Or perhaps writing the first line of a blog post before stopping for the day. Or scheduling a message to go to a friend at a more opportune time. (Shameless plug—I made an iOS app to help you schedule text messages called Carrier).
Identify the things in your life that you enjoy doing and want to do more. Then consider how you can decrease your resistance to starting. Your future self will thank you.