The most paralyzing word in our language is “Later.”
Later means “not now.”
Unfortunately, later means, possibly never at all.
Start small. But more importantly, start now. Even if it’s the smallest, tiniest effort – you’ve started.
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When I started doing “lessons from less,” I didn’t start with a big idea in my mind. I was just so tired come Christmas Eve that I decided not to drink any wine with my family that evening. And I got annoyed at being online when I was with my family – so I said to myself (“self”) – why don’t you take a break from facebook and gmail and twitter for a while?
And then I decided to go to bed early. I woke up 10 hours later with a more even breath and decided that morning that I would consciously do a little bit less that day. I couldn’t take another list, chore, or idea.
I talked to my sister for a long time about taking some time off – from my car, from my job, from my life, from the digital world, from writing, from exercise. And then we cultivated a plan. I decided to take a short break from a few things (my car, my online life, and my vices – like TV, alcohol, and candy) in order to make more space for other things that I shouldn’t or can’t necessarily take a break from (my job, my writing, my exercise).
And the plan was put into action. It was a small step, but I gave myself space to take a break.
The next day I sat in a chair on the couch and read nearly the whole day. I took a nap, cooked a roast, spinach and potatoes with my family, and retreated to my non-online computer to write more about “yes and no”.
Lessons and ideas started pouring out.
I began to formalize my committment to yes and no, and to more + less.
I thought about starting on January first – the symbolic nature of a calendar month appealed to me. But I realized I was too tired to wait. And that the philosophy behind the ideas that I was coming across – start small, start simple, give yourself a break, and whatever you do, don’t put it off until later – would be completely at odds with the practice if I delayed my practice another 8 days. And to some extent it was too late – because I had already begun.
More ideas started flowing. I brought my notebook into my bed to capture my ideas and brought it with me on a walk around the neighborhood with my mom.
The more I write, the more I want to write.—