Beginning is not the hard part

The world is full of aphorisms.

Pretty much all of them are false.

Not just because they boil down wisdom to a soundbite, but because they’re designed to run on faith. They’re designed to keep you alive when the rockslide buries you. Articles of faith are always lies. And that’s fine, as far as it goes, because they can help. But it’s not fine because it builds false hope. And when you hit the reality, you suffer because nobody told you.

So allow me to disabuse this notion about beginnings.

They say that the journey of a million miles begins with a single step. This is true, technically. But it is then followed by a journey of a million miles, minus one step.

They say beginnings are hard, and they are. Getting from zero to one may be one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. But what they don’t tell you is that every single step after that is just as hard. Comparatively, beginnings aren’t hard. Beginnings are, at most, just as hard as everything else. But usually, they’re easier.

They’re easier than the point ten steps in when the joy of starting wears off. When every new step only confirms the pointlessness of the endeavour. When every line of creation only makes the work more inept and disgraceful. When the exhaustion sets in and every inch burns. Oh, and my personal favourite, when you’re close to the end and thus failure is a million times worse because it will waste everything you’ve done. And when you’re inches from the finish line and the terror of crossing it is slightly more agonizing than crawling on the broken glass in front of it.

Beginnings? Beginnings are hard, yes. Beginnings are all the fear and none of the knowledge, all the pressure and none of the distance. Beginnings are hard.

And then it gets much, much worse.



4 thoughts on “Beginning is not the hard part

  1. Steve, to make things worse, I seem to recall you already wrote that earlier. >:)

    And the aphorism is right in a way: the first step is the hardest, because this is where you hesitate in taking it to begin with. If you donโ€™t take it, youโ€™ll spare yourself the pain of the next million steps.

    But then, nothing would ever be done, right? ๐Ÿ™‚

    By the way, weโ€™ll translate a 33rd article of yours this quarter.

    Thank you for taking the million signs! ๐Ÿ˜€

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