The First Thing

There is a large gap between “engaging with something” and “sealing the final version in amber.”

Allowing an idea to be considered isn’t the same as restructuring your whole ideology. Researching a different career path isn’t the same thing as quitting your job and taking an offer in a new role. Attending an open house isn’t the same thing as buying a house.

And yet, people hesitate so much about the initial engagement process. They spend far too much time trying to decide what to even engage with, as if that decision had meaning or weight.

Largely, it does not. But it does take time! Time is a precious resource when you’re searching for information. Save your deliberation for the time when you have information, and you need to make an actual committed decision. That’s the time. When you’re in the info stage, just engage with the first thing that you see or think of and go from there.

When I write blog posts, sometimes I get into this trap where I’ll deliberate too much about what to write, or what topic to consider. That’s foolhardy! I can write whatever I want, change it, edit it, scrap it, etc. – all before I hit “publish.” So there’s no reason to dwell when the page is blank. I can just type as I like, and then decide if I’ve hit the mark. Only very, very rarely do I decide that I haven’t and write something different. After all, this is a daily blog, so the stone tablets I’m committing to crumble in a day. I will have more opportunities. There will be many “first things” to write about, just as – for all of us – there will be many first things to do.

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