There are about a million different ways to begin a journey. You can dream, plan, plot, map. This is integral to the process.
And just like you, my head is filled with dreams, plans, plots and maps. Places I want to go, meals I want to prepare, books I want to write, canvasses I want to adorn, audiences I want to thrill, lives I want to touch and bellies I want to fill.
But there is no step is more crucial to the journey than taking the actual first step. You know: old-school. Foot on the ground. The next one in front of the other. Rinse and repeat.
Earlier this month, I had the good fortune to be in Portland, Oregon attending the World Domination Summit. A heavenly place for a sublime conference. It's the brainchild of Chris Guillebeau who is a well-loved and admired author, explorer and a kind and generous soul.
The purpose of the event is to gather folks with shared values of adventure, community, and service. The "world domination" language speaks to world service: contribution, engagement and influence. The theme centers around this delicious question:
"How do you live a remarkable life in an unconventional world?"
This question was the springboard for the speakers: authors, TED Talk-ers, activists and other Super Stars all doing truly remarkable things. It was also, of course, the genesis of conversation amongst attendees, and before any of us allowed ourselves to compare ourselves to each other and judge ourselves harshly with whether we were doing "enough", Brené Brown offered this in her keynote:
"The opposite of scarcity is not abundance, it is enough."
So, we all self-managed, didn't keep score of what we were (or weren't doing), enjoyed sum-zero judgment, good conversation and tons of inspiration.
Context: 2011 was the WDS's first year with 500 in attendance. In 2012, 1000 attended (5000 were on the waiting list). Incredible, really.
How in the world can I possibly be talking about Chris's massive feat in the context of "small steps" here at The Jungle of Life?
Because the World Domination Summit, like every book, masterpiece, song, project and journey began with an idea first, and then a step.
So here I am, back in my home, time zones and worlds away from the WDS experience, inspired and awed by the stories of feats and successes that I was treated to in Portland and a whisper of a quote haunts me:
"Inspiration without action is called entertainment."
I know I for one didn't travel 2000+ miles away from my family just to be entertained.
It's time for action. It's time to get those dreams, plans, plots and maps out of my head and into my life. And here's what I know:
1) Any step is a step: declare the goal and claim it. The honey lies in between commitment and activation.
2) It won't be perfect. WDS wasn't perfect and moreso, Chris KNEW it wouldn't be perfect. In the very first moments of the conference, he offered this: "for best results, just add flexibility." Perfectionism is really and truly just another way to procrastinate.
3) We don't need to go it alone. Ask for the help. WDS came together with the love, support and hard work of a dedicated team of ambassadors and volunteers.
4) Do not judge the length of your step. It is enough. I am enough. You are enough.
5) Your step will inspire the same in others. Action amplifies inspiration…just like magic.
6) Be generous. Look around you, and notice where you can support others with YOUR help as they take their own baby steps.
The love story starts with a wave.
The epic tome starts with a "There".
The masterpiece starts with a dipped brush.
The journey starts with a step.
Just start. From here.