06 FEBRUARY 2017
Starting to start
by Frances Williams: Editor of ReConnect Africa and CEO of Interims for Development.
‘The horse-thief started by stealing a fowl.’
This Hausa saying illustrates progression; start small and with each accomplishment you can build your skills and enlarge your goals.
At this point, I hasten to add that this isn’t a call to encourage you into a life of spiralling criminality, but a reminder to stop ‘starting to start’ rather than just starting. If progress is what you are seeking, I can promise you that - without action - you can be assured of seeing the end of this year in much the same way as you greeted the beginning.
Looking back from my point of view, 2016, to put it mildly, was not a great year. There were far too many losses of those near and dear, not to mention the passing of many iconic names.
But if there is one lesson I am trying to learn from last year’s rollcall of disasters, it is that time is on no-one’s side. We are not promised another year, or even another day, so if there’s something you need to say, say it. If there’s somewhere you need to be, then be there. If there’s something you want to do and that you have vague plans for starting at some undefined time in the future when it feels right, may I suggest that you stop ‘starting to start’ and just start?
Whether you choose to label the end of procrastination as a New Year’s resolution, or simply see it as the opportunity to finally get real, I will leave it for you to decide. All I will say is that instead of thinking about starting something, why not just begin?