Starting anything is easy, as we’ve pointed out before, because the social approval around starting is enormously powerful, positive and affirming.


It doesn’t matter whether it’s an education, a fitness plan or even a battle, starting is easy.

Continuing though, persisting through the slog of the middle, and coming out the other side in completion (whether in victory or defeat) is the hard part.

We were streaming a conversation with a blogger the other day and she mentioned how she had started a book, and then put it away for about a year, while she struggled with the decision of whether to publish, or not.

Starting is easy, the slog of the middle is hard.

She mentioned that, in the intervening time between deciding to write (to start) and deciding to publish (the middle) she had shown her manuscript (a fictional one) to a number of friends of hers to gauge their reactions.

Starting is easy, the slog of the middle is hard.

She mentioned that one of their reactions was to say, “You have gone through a lot.” But this person (assumedly) did not help her write the book, nor is she helping her critique the book.

Starting is easy, the slog of the middle is hard.

Persistence and commitment are the hallmarks of a successful person. But sometimes, human beings get caught in the idea that starting, going through the middle, and ending should follow in logical order, like lines on a map. We perceive the stops in time—and gaps between events—as places of failure, defeat and eventually, the place where everything stops.

Other people and their reactions, judgments and decisions affect us before, during and after the starting gun fires, the buzzer goes off, and the start begins.

But let’s not believe that the people who have the power to applaud, jeer, support, or be neutral have anything to do with us starting. Or getting through the slog of the middle.

That part is always in our power and up to us.

H/T to Jaimee Doriss

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
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