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“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe

I don’t know about you, but I am always doubting what I do. Is it good enough? Is it right? Will people like it?

When I was younger, I played Dungeons and Dragons with my friends. If you are not familiar with the game, it allows players to create their own fantasy worlds where players go on adventures, rescue damsels in distress, fight dragons, and other creatures commonly found in Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. For the game to work, you need a Dungeon Master (DM) who creates a world, the adventures the players will embark on, and acts like a judge when game play needs an outside advocate. I enjoyed writing the stories and creating these worlds. It was great fun getting the feedback from the players that were part of my game and watching them enjoy spending time in my world.

Jump ahead 30 years and I am in a doctoral program specializing in Information Technology. In the 13 years I was in the program I was writing 10-25 page papers every week. Needless to say, writing has been something I figured I would be good at, since I finished my doctoral program with a 4.0 grade average. I also realize that at some point I will be too old to work any type of job that requires manual labor or something as physically taxing as my service in the military. So, here I am, writing on this blog, working on books, and starting to figure out how to publish various essays I come up with to Medium.

The point I am trying to make is that regardless of what or who you want to be, what goals you want to achieve, or where you want to go in life, you have to start somewhere. Like the quote says, you have to begin with whatever you have at the time. This is wise advice because you will never be good at anything you try until you begin doing it. If you pay attention, you will run across people who will give you feedback. You will learn from other people who have already done what you are trying to do.

So you start doing and learning and doing some more. Then one day you figure out that you really don’t want to pay the price that this “thing” requires of you. That’s ok. Set your sails for a different shore. Try something else. It is the doing in life that brings rewards, not just the winning. Once you’ve won, it’s over. Once you accomplish a goal, it’s done. Now it’s off to the next adventure.

Every person you can think of that has made a big dent in this world, started somewhere. They either didn’t know what to do or doubted themselves. They started. They committed. They gave it their best shot. If you never start or take a risk you will never accomplish anything worth accomplishing. Keep plodding forward. It will be worth every step.

Until next time…