The First Step

Es gibt nichts Gutes, außer man tut es“ is a famous German saying by writer Erich Kästner, which loosely translates into

„Nothing good happens unless you do it“. 

It’s practical and to the point. And it sounds so simple. Too simple almost. „I know what I want, I just need to do it“ is something you have probably thought more often than you care to admit. The hard part was the thinking bit, right? Well…

There are many reasons why a plan can fail and we are usually very good at considering them all. Bad timing, not enough resources, not enough patience for a proper plan, not enough perseverance….the possibilities are almost endless.

Of course there are also a number of reasons why a plan can succeed, turning „bad“ into „good“ and taking out the „not“ in the examples mentioned above, for instance.

But the most important part of any journey, of any adventure, is the First Step. If we don’t take the first step, we won’t be taking the second, the third…and we will never reach our goal. We don’t even give ourselves the chance to find out whether our idea was a good one, or what might have been around that corner. Could have been something exciting, who knows?! And committing to the first step doesn’t mean we can’t then change direction , but it means: we are on the way.

Some things do of course require some planning. But any good plan should always include:

  1. knowing what the First Step will be (making that phone call, getting up 20 minutes earlier to do that thing, putting my sport clothes next to my bed, throwing out that junk food in my cupboard)
  2. committing to a concrete date and time when it will be taken (sometime tomorrow or next week is no good)

Setting a goal can also be useful. But I would argue that in most cases knowing the goal is not necessary. Starting the journey is much more important than knowing where it needs to end.

Right then:

What’s the one thing you’ve wanted to achieve or change for a while? 


What’s the First Step you will take and when will you take it? 


Picture credit (CC0 license): (via