Saturday Blueprint on Starting Now

Saturday Blueprint on Starting Now
Photo by Dayne Topkin / Unsplash

Good day! 👋. Here is this week's Saturday Blueprint.

🤔 Quote I’m thinking about:

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. — Eleanor Roosevelt

I love this quote. It flips the perspective from being a victim to being the master of your own mind and destiny. You have more control than you think because your mind is entirely yours.

🏅 Start now

You don’t need an epiphany, mid-life crisis or a near-death experience to change your life.

Just start. And just start now. What are you waiting for? Maybe it’s not that simple. Or maybe you are just overthinking it. Either way, it’s worth exploring that question: “What are you waiting for?”

Derek Sivers dedicated one of his 40 principles in his book Anything You Want to this. Here’s a quote that resonated particularly with me:

Starting small puts 100 percent of your energy into actually solving real problems for real people. It gives you a stronger foundation to grow from. It eliminates the friction of big infrastructure and gets right to the point.

The point above talks to just starting with whatever business ideas you may have. This is something I’ve been taking literally by starting this newsletter and by developing some other ideas I’ve got (systems thinking flash cards, a couple of ebooks, etc.).

But what about life? Well, you hear stories of near-death experiences that cause people to change their lives (quitting work and buying that camper van...!), cancer survivors, car crash survivors, and these stories certainly are inspirational.

But you don’t need to wait for a near-death experience to realise you hate your job, or you’ve lost the fitness or strength you once had. You can, if you choose, make a small, positive change now. And I’m talking small changes - not selling up and driving off into the sunset - but small changes to how you think, sleep, eat, exercise, whatever.

It can also be surprising to know that you can outperform just by starting when everyone dithers. I learnt this during a recent running race: Surprising lessons I learnt from running a 20 mile race in sandals. By being on start line, I out-performed all those that stayed in bed, that didn’t bother, that made excuses, that deferred for the future.

I’m choosing to write this newsletter because I have reflected that I need more creativity and meaning. I need a space to think by writing. I need to find my tribe. And action is the way to do that.

The directive then is so simple:

  • Start now!

But it does require some time and space to reflect. Are you content? Are you on the path you want to be on? Are you happy? Is your life filled with meaning? These deeper questions take some pondering. But ultimately it is action that will free you.

🙋‍♂️ Childhood challenges

Last weekend on Dartmoor was the Ten Tors challenge. This is a huge event organised especially for young people, who are challenged to walk for two days over Dartmoor, visiting 10 tors, carrying everything they need and navigating themselves. There are three routes, 35, 45 and 55 miles.

I recall doing this event back in the year 2000 as a teenager myself with a group of school friends. I didn’t live near Dartmoor at that time so it had a mystical and ancient quality about it. A land of legends and great trials and tribulations. The event for me certainly was a trial - it was extremely hot, and despite the training, our packs were enormous and so heavy. But at that finish line, with helicopters flying by and drums and music and my parents waving it was an infinite flash of pride and gratitude.

It’s interesting to explore why this was a formative experience for me. I think it is the unique combination of wilderness, physical (and mental) challenge, and team work. There is something about the camaraderie of shared hardship - it’s so pure and so vital. It’s a feeling worth chasing.

So tell me about a challenge or event that was formative for you? Why do you think it was formative?

It’s a pleasure writing to you. Have a great week. 😊


About the Saturday Blueprint

The Saturday Blueprint is a weekly newsletter every Saturday on health, vitality and philosophy by Nick Stevens.