Photo by Quino Al

“The familiar and the habitual are so falsely reassuring, and most of us make our homes in there permanently. The new is always by definition unfamiliar and untested, so God, life, destiny, suffering have to give us a push — usually a big one — or we will not go. Someone has to make clear to us that homes are not meant to be lived in — but only to be moved from.” — Father Richard Rohr

A man walked into a restaurant and was handed a menu for dinner options.

A few minutes later, the waiter came to the man’s table and asked if the man was ready to order. The man told him he’d like more time to study the menu.

The waiter dutifully returned after more time and asked if the man had come to a decision yet. The man said that now that he had read all the items on the menu, he needed to weigh and rank everything to come to a decision. The waiter again left to give the man the opportunity to evaluate his options.

When the waiter came back a third time, he expected the man to have a meticulous order ready for all the time he spent studying the menu.

Instead, the man informed the waiter that he didn’t need to order anything. He reasoned that because he had spent so much time studying the menu and each order’s ingredients, he knew how everything would taste anyway.

Sometimes we are the man in this parable. We think there will be a perfect time to start a project, and that we’re not ready yet. We wait and wait and wait for perfect conditions. Or we think that understanding a problem is a replacement for actually doing something.

If we only study the menu, we’ll never get the satisfaction of biting into an order of food. Taken to an extreme, we’ll starve to death.

In Chinese Buddhist teachings, manifesting wisdom is known as Samantabhadra — Great Action. Just knowing isn’t enough. You have to do something with that knowledge.

That’s why we just need to get started.

Start now.

Educator. Podcast addict. Wrote a book about creativity:

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