Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

Be That Somebody Part 3: Take the next step

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This is the third in a series of articles titled Be That Somebody. Read Part I: Hear the Stories and Part II: See the Need. Many of us wait for somebody else in this world to show up to fix the problems that we see. But wouldn’t it be better if we chose to be that somebody? All we need to do is decide and then begin. I hope this series help you make that choice.

Too many of us sit and wait for something to happen. We stare at screens. TV’s. iPhones. iPads. Computers. Mirrors. And we wait. Sedated by the monotony of our lives.

But a critical element in becoming that somebody is to begin.

photo by Sanctu (Creative Commons)

Why You Need to Begin

There have been moments in your life when you felt something inside of you. That little something that begged for more. That little something when you saw a picture or video of a kid in need. That little something when you heard the stories of those less fortunate.

That little something was your call to be that somebody.

But you waited. You didn’t act immediately. You decided to do something tomorrow.

Then the little something went away. A feeling lost to distraction. A calling not heard through the noise of life.

And by default, by accident, you left an important work for somebody else to do.

You did not become that somebody for one simple reason. You waited.

This is why it is so important to get started, especially when that little something shows up inside of you.

When you lay in bed sleepless at night, listen. When you can’t get the image of the little orphaned boy out of your head, see him. When sadness hits you because of the atrocities in the world, feel them.

This little voice is your guide to becoming what you want to be.

Why You Don’t Begin

1. We wait. The best time to start is always right now. Not tomorrow. Not later. Not when you feel good enough. Now. When we put it off for another day, the desire we feel for the need will lose its power. Once you see a need, don’t wait to do something about it. Start now.

2. We are afraid. Anxiety and fears surface once we consider doing something new. Fears of the unknown. Fear of failing. Fears of not knowing what to do next. Have you ever overcome a fear? How did you do it? It wasn’t by avoiding it. The only way to overcome the fear is to engage it. Most of the time, we find out that our fear was generated by overactive imaginations.

3. We are apathetic. This is the worst reason of all. Even if you don’t care, you need to start as well. By starting, you can learn to care. Once you hear the stories of others and see their needs, your heart will be broken. And I hope you can’t help but begin.

4. We don’t know where to start. Many of us feel this way. What is amazing about starting is that you don’t really have to know what to do before you begin. In fact, the best way to learn is to actively do the work. And then you will learn. Others have already learned what needs to be done. By tagging along with them, you won’t have to wonder any longer.

Be That Somebody Step 3

Get started. Do something today. Now. Don’t wait another minute.

If you did Part 2’s practice of seeing the need, then guess what? You have already begun. But now take the next step. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep going.

The somebodies of this world, those that make a difference, are the ones who got started and didn’t quit.

What keeps you from starting? Have you ever taken that first step? What motivated you to do it?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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12 Replies

  1. what keeps me from starting? plain ol’ fear and anxiety. they flare up big time when i think about starting anything, really. “oh don’t do that,” they say. “you suck. you won’t be any good. you’ll fail.”

    as far as taking the first step in something, though, it usually came down to a matter of ignoring the negative voices in my head and just pushing through and just acting. i think sometimes we want the times that we overcome our fears to be more epic or ta-da! but, in my experience, most of the time it’s just a matter of shutting up and doing the work. not too glamorous, i know, but it’s worked for me.

    the thing is that the battle never ends. each time there’s a new need, a new project, a new adventure, fear and anxiety are there to greet you and turn you back. pretty much like how steve pressfield describes resistance in the war of art. you fight the fight anew each and every day.

  2. Ugh. My turn to squirm today.
    Thanks, Jeremy.

    Katie

  3. Every day is a new adventure, isn’t it?  And yet, most days don’t contain much ‘epic’ or ‘ta-da!’ for me.  And that’s perfectly okay.

    I agree with you (and those Nike marketing people).  If you want to do something, or have a break through (not a break down) you must adopt the “JUST DO IT” mentality.

    To hell with ‘mundane’, ‘average’, ‘normal’, and Pressfield’s ‘resistance’ — it’s time to move forward.

  4. Most of the time it’s being afraid that stops me from moving forward and doing something great. I’m getting better as I learn more about fear and the underlying causes of it but I still fall back into the old habits. 

  5. it’s a continual process. if the fears that affect us is of interest to you, you might like Jean Varnier’s Becoming Human.

  6. Every day is a chance to move forward.

  7. I’ll have to check that out. Thanks for the recommendation Jeremy.

  8. I love this, Jeremy. I am learning to take steps, even if they are small. I can no longer sit back and wait for change to happen. I have to be that change. Thank you for being such a great example of this for us.

  9. The first step can be rough, but it will be worth it. Eventually.

  10. Spot on Jeremy! I’ve written about “inaction” being the creative person’s greatest enemy and I’ve experienced it far too many times.

  11. I really like the idea of just focusing on doing what is next. It helps me to keep going.

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