The art of the start – 5 little mind hacks to get your dream projects started

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

All of us are master planners. We have our grand plans and visions. The new company, the dream job, a healthier body, a fulfilling relationship, and so on and on.

So, what happens?

Some, we accomplish, but unfortunately, most die an undisturbed peaceful death. They pass into oblivion and all we are left with are sweet memories of the time we spent thinking about them.

So, is there a way to save them? Is there a way to see them grow up and survive?

It seems there is. You just have to do something really simple.

START.

Start

Just start. Starting something automatically increases the chances of completion by a 100%. It builds momentum.

However, it’s not the easiest of the things to do. On the contrary, starting is one of the most difficult parts of any project. Because, the-want-to-start mind is so full of self-doubts, and fears. The act of starting something new pushes your mind into the zone of extreme discomfort, and your mind will do anything in its power to escape that.

In that case, how do you make the process of starting easier. How do we become pro starters?

The secret lies in tricking your mind. Tricking it into believing that it’s no big deal. Here’s how

  1. Start with something so small that you cannot not do it. For eg; if you want to start a company, start with finding a name and a website. It’s pretty easy to do and these things can be changed later. But having these two will push you into the next level. You want to build an exercise routine, start with just 5 push ups a day. Or a two minute walk. You want to start a relationship, start with a hello.
  2. Couple it with something that you love doing: A while ago, when I was in the university, I once decided to wake up every day by 7. The problem was it was way too early from the ten or eleven my body was used to. My solution was simple enough. I would put a movie on download the night before (This was pre-superfast internet days. A movie used to take 6-8 hours to download), and get up and watch it. Some people might argue that it isn’t the most productive thing to do. But I did this for days together, and could replace the movie with other activities once my body got used to the seven o clock schedule.
  3. Start first, and think later: One of the popular dating advises that goes around the internet is that if you see a girl/boy and want to go talk to him/her, do it in the first three seconds. Don’t wait to think about what you will say or how you will approach. Just go approach him/her. This applies almost to everything. The fear of starting almost always comes from the anticipation of starting. Cut out the anticipation, and you cut out the fear.
  4. Choose good over perfect: Perfect is the enemy of good. The best of the ideas have died waiting for that perfect moment. So, don’t wait for that perfect plan to come along, nor for the perfect moment, nor for the perfect tools. You will discover them en route. Just start with what you have, and the tools that you can use now. But start. All perfect things happened because you took a step to start them.
  5. Put your fear of judgement to good use: All of us are afraid of judgement, even the most asocial of us, (Me, for example) who claim that we don’t care about the big world out there, are afraid of judgement. Put it to good use.Make yourself accountable. Tell someone whose opinion you care about. You will not want them to think of you as a quitter. For a good push, tell your partner, your friend, or your parent that you are starting something new, and tell them the exact date by which you will start. If you want a slightly stronger push, tell a bunch of friends. If you want to be strong armed into starting, post it on your Facebook wall :). Here’s a sample post.

I will start ________ by tomorrow.

Go ahead, fill it up. Post it. Stick your neck out, and you will do anything to save it.

So, what are you waiting for? Take that first step. Start that project that you have been thinking about forever. Even a gigantic snowball starts with a fist full of snow. Remember, you might be doing yourself and the world a great disservice by keeping that great idea under wraps. Open the wraps, and let it out.

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.”

– Buddha