The Most Important Space in Your Life
There is a space in our lives that haunts every single one of us.
It seems wider than the Grand Canyon. It feels deeper than the ocean’s greatest abyss. It contains obstacles more daunting than the climb up Mt Everest.
It is the most important space in our lives.
And cross it we must.
It is the chasm between where we are now and where we want to be. It is the difference between the work that we do now and the real work, the art, that we desire to do. It is the difference between being mediocre and becoming someone remarkable.
This space exists between the beginning and the end. The space between now and someday. Between birth and death.
This space exists between the story that we are telling with our lives now and the story that we desire to tell.
It is the space of personal transformation.
When we sit back and dream, the process of becoming something better seems simple. Our goal does not appear to be that far out of reach.
- We imagine that if we write, people will start reading.
- If we take photographs others will buy the prints.
- If we open a new store, customers will walk in, cash in hand.
- If we ask the girl out to the prom and then we will live happily ever after.
In many ways it is that simple. All you have to do is get started.
But most of us don’t. We fail before because we never begin. We never take the first step.
We are afraid that people won’t read the book, that our photographs will be judged as worthless, that nobody will enter the store.
We are afraid the girl will say no.
So we never begin our work, opting instead to dream about the other side of this space.
Some do get started. They have more ambition, but their resolve falters once the transformation process begins.
Like the formation of a callus, they give cup once the friction starts and the process becomes painful.
The space is like a large body of water that we need to get across.
We wish it was as easy as hopping in a luxury sedan, putting the car on cruise control, and enjoying the ride as we cross the bridge.
But there isn’t a bridge. It doesn’t exist because we haven’t built it.
We are more like pioneers crossing rivers and canyons in a wooden wagon and an ox, armed only with stubborn resolve and a love for the work.
It might even feel like this space is trying to kill you, because in many ways it is.
It is the process of putting your old self to death.
This space will tell you that tomorrow is a better day to get started than today. It tells you that you need to first develop the perfect plan before you begin. It tells you that you have plenty of time to make a difference.
It is lying.
If you listen to the lies, then before you know it, this space has devoured the one thing you need most. Time.
On the other hand, time can be your ally. If you keep doing the work day after day, if you show up in this space, prepared to take another step across the gorge, then eventually you will cross it.
It is a process that takes time.
The sooner you begin, the sooner you will find yourself on the other side.
Have you taken the first step? Tell us what is was like in the comments.
This post was inspired by the Luminous Project. Luminous is an event in Nashville for creatives on May 9-11, 2012. To find out more, check out luminousproject.com. You can use the promo code ‘luminousLOVE’ to get 30% off the ticket price.