Yesterday I received a hand-written note from my cousin. In it – a simple quote with a simple takeaway. Everyone starts somewhere:

“The one thing all famous authors, world class athletes, business tycoons, singers, actors, and celebrated achievers in any field have in common is that they all began their journeys when they were none of these things.” - Mike Dooley

Don’t get caught up in what everyone else is doing. Don’t stress about what you haven’t done yet. Never compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.

All of the greats we admire and respect weren’t born into greatness. They’ve hustled. They’ve tried. They’ve overcome the obstacles life’s put in front of them, but maybe more importantly, have overcome the biggest obstacle each of us face: ourselves.

Today, take the first step. Get started. Go.

(Photo credit)

Join the conversation! 13 Comments

  1. So true. I love the stories of the greats who have failed before they found their success. Walt Disney, J.K. Rowling, Richard Branson…and so many others! I don’t love that they failed per se, I love that they failed but stood strong in their conviction and passion.

    It’s so easy for me to get down on myself by comparing my beginning to other people’s middles, but that’s just silly! Everyone is unique, everyone walks their own path and everyone is living out their success story.

    Best to keep your eyes on your own paper, as they say!

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  2. Just what I needed today! You read my mind! THANK YOU & keep inspiring : )

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  3. Yes, you’ve said it well Matt, the biggest obstacles we face IS ourselves. We all make things much more harder than they should be. I recently read a great book by Steven Pressfield that has helped in overcoming my own personal obstacles. The book is titled “Turning Pro.” The premise is to help change your mindset from thinking as amateur to think like a Professional.

    When you have the Professional mindset you start to think, say, and do the things a Professional would do. It changes your view from the “I should do this” mentality to the “I must do this,” in order to accomplish what I need to do.

    One great example in the book is a friend of author decides one day she wanted to be a golfer. As expected at first she is horrible. And continues to play bad for sometime. Then one she shows up to the golf course dressed up as she was a Pro golfer.
    She decided she wanted to be really good at it and started to think, act and do what a Pro Golfer would do. Now she is one of the best golfers he knows.

    Think like a Pro, not like amateur…those obstacles we place in front of ourselves will disappear.

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  4. Great reminder! I had just gotten out of a meeting with my supervisor – as she (lovingly) tore apart an essay I wrote to apply for an award… and it was a nice reminder that everything we do starts somewhere and goes through many iterations before it’s “finished” or to a point we can be proud of. Great posts this week!

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  5. PS – This quote is being printed out to hang in my office so college students can see if as they think about their careers!

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  6. We give the past a lot more credit than it deserves. And the lack of a past, oh my, what we give to that! You caught some people’s attentions with this post as the comments above are sometimes longer than the post. ;-) Here’s my longer comment: http://www.veraclaritas.com/past-performance-does-not-guarantee-future-results/

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  7. Thanks. This is just what I needed to hear/read for today. I was losing hope because of this very long road and am taking. I can see success just around the corner.. I can feel it. But it seems so far away. For two days I stopped whatever it is that I was doing because I couldn’t find the motivation to go on. I feel like everything is lost. However, with your post, I realized that I gotta start somewhere and I really need to get up of my feet and ACTUALLY START DOING SOMETHING. Thanks for inspiring me today.

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  8. This article definitely strikes a chord on some things I’ve been thinking about lately! I have tended to be discouraged when thinking about the great talents, skills or knowledge that other people have and that I currently don’t have. Many times my mind set is that since I don’t already know how to do a certain thing or have the knowledge of it already that I never will, but that isn’t necessarily true. We have our whole lives to do, learn and create what will be a part of our skills, talents and knowledge and there is no cut-off to when we can or can not attain the knowledge to do those things. We (myself in particular!) just need to remember that we all have done and attained what it is we have attained thus far and that if we keep on moving forward that there is no end to the possibilities that lie ahead for us.
    Thank you for this encouraging post!

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  9. Yes, yes and then a little side of yes!
    I’m SO guilty of comparing myself to others and their success instead of looking inside and concentrating on what I AM DOING or WHAT I WANT!

    Definitely words to live by :)

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  10. This is weird… I had all these questions so I googled something that brought me here. With every post I read on your website it just gets weirder. It’s like you’ve been reading my mind for a long time and decided to write me some advice…haha
    Thank you for the ideas.
    Anna

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  11. Amazing quote. truly motivational, and inspirational too in the sense that it tells us we can be anything we want!

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  12. This was truly inspirational. You made my day!
    Thanks so much!

    Reply

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About Matt Cheuvront

I empower folks to do the work they want to do and live the life they want to live. Connect on Twitter or check out the work I'm doing at Proof.

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