“A beginning is a cause, and as such it must be followed by an effect, or a train of effects, and the effect will always be of the same nature as the cause. The nature of an initial impulse will always determine the body of its results. A beginning also presupposes an ending, a consummation, achievement, or goal.” – Byways of Blessedness
Just like me, you’ve probably heard it a million times — the first key to all success is getting started…taking the first step. James Allen gives us even more reason in the verse above when he explains that getting started on a goal or objective unlocks what Brian Tracy calls the “Ultimate Law” — The Law of Cause and Effect.
In my own experience I have always found that even the tiniest of first steps is likely to cause an effect that leads me to take another step. I know intellectually that one of the big “secrets” to achieving just about anything I want is simply to take the first step. It’s been successful too many times in my life.
So what keeps me from taking the first step EVERY time? That’s a question I’ve pondered for a long time.
I think I’ve found the answer from both Allen and Napoleon Hill, author of the classic Think and Grow Rich. Hill said that desire is the beginning of all achievement. What he described as a “white-hot” desire. Allen wrote that “belief always precedes action.”
So when I can’t seem to get started on something I want to do, I take a look at my desire and my belief. It’s likely that one or both of those two is holding me back. I then go to work on intensifying my desire and strengthening my belief until I can take the first step toward my goal.
And then again, sometimes I’ve found the best thing to do is to use another enduring principle — the “sink or swim” principle. It’s amazing how strong my desire and belief can get when I just throw myself into the water.
The most important advice is also something you’ve already heard a million times — stop thinking about it and just do it! As Georges Bernanos wrote, “A thought which does not result in an action is nothing much, and an action which does not proceed from a thought is nothing at all.”
And that’s worth thinking about.