Why we never start from scratch

A tiny green plant growing up between paving stones

We often have to scrap what we’re doing and start again.

Maybe we messed up a step, or misunderstood; maybe we just got pulled away and the opportunity spoiled.

Whatever the cause, when we have to start again, it’s can feel discouraging, because we can feel like we’re starting from scratch, zero, nothing.

But we’re never starting from scratch.

We’re always bringing our full experience, history and skill to what we do, and these are always growing.

Even if we have to got back to the first step, we’re not starting with nothing.

There’s a richness of experience we have now which will guide the process and shape our next attempt.

It’s a new experience the second, third or one hundredth time, because we are not the same.

We might go back to the start, but we’re never starting from nothing.

Getting back in the saddle

Old, worn bike saddle

We fall, all the time.

We fail at things we attempt and we miss the things we stretch for.

The sad thing is, not that we fail, but that we let that failure stop us from achieving what we’re pursuing.

Failure interrupts our momentum and momentum is what helps to make things easier.

If you’ve exercised on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, then it’s easier to exercise on Thursday because of your momentum. If you spent Monday to Wednesday doing something else and then beating yourself up for not exercising, then exercising suddenly becomes a more difficult choice. It feels like the universe is pushing against you.

And it’s hard enough if you chose not to exercise Mon – Wed, but it’s worst if you feel like you had no choice; if circumstances made it impossible and you’re now the victim.

Now your momentum is shot and starting up feels hard. Now the momentum is with “not doing”, with inaction.

Well, in the kindest possible way – fuck momentum.

Start again and start now. Don’t wait for the conditions to be right. They’re never right.

Start small. There is new momentum in a single step.

Get back in the saddle.