Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny. -- Lao Tse
A couple of years ago, I went with a work colleague to a meeting at a museum about an hour's drive away, situated on the edge of a beautiful valley. We arrived at the site in the morning, and since the meeting was scheduled for the afternoon, we had the opportunity to explore both the building and the outdoor paths. After we wandered a while inside, we went out for a walk on one of the paths, thinking it would wind its way back to the building.
About an hour into the walk, we discovered that the path eventually disappeared in the scrub of the surrounding woods. Fearing we would be late for our meeting, we turned back and walked the long path back toward the building. My insides were a little knotted because I knew the last part was going to be a really steep hill... a really, long, steep climb for me.
When we finally arrived back at the building, I was severely winded, sweaty, wheezy... just not the picture of composure I hoped I would be. It was embarrassing. I hate appearing weak. After that day, I pushed the experience out of my mind, and hoped it would never come back again.
Two months ago, I ran my first 10k.
It started with a thought. Maybe I could do it. Then I opened my mouth and told someone. That was the start of a commitment. I registered. I started running for a few seconds at a time, then a few minutes, then I could run for an hour, and I could even run up steep hills. I know now that if I returned to the same hill, I could run up it, at least part of the way. It would not defeat me again.
I have several tough tasks ahead of me. All I can do is start thinking about it, start talking about it, start doing it, then keep doing it, until I can't imagine doing anything else. And I hope that other around me know that they can do the same. Knit it, write it, play it, draw it, sing it, do it, whatever it is.
If not now, then when?