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Hans Kleiber: Starting on the Hunt (20th century)

" … much, much, much better at it than I've ever been."

I think of Success as necessarily tied to completing something, but its natural antecedent lies in Starting something. I can become an enthusiastic finisher once some pattern of execution settles in, but Starting seems to be my nemesis. I do not easily get moving in any direction, regardless of how alluring any impending Success might seem. Until I've found some rhythm and anticipatable pattern, each opportunity just seems like another unopened can of worms offering otherwise unnecessary complications. These complications might always be necessary, little dedication tests left expressly for my challenge, for if I cannot get myself Starting, I'll never propel myself into any Success.

I search for a handhold, someplace to start, for each effort seems first a smooth, blank wall.
I seek a point from which the resulting action might cascade toward an endpoint rather than one which leaves me working uphill into bright sunlight. I'd rather work in the shade, out of the rain, in relative comfort, to my strengths. I easily overthink every challenge, posing an essentially unsolvable problem for me to resolve. I cannot answer many questions until I begin, for once I start, some path almost always becomes obvious. Even if that path proves wrong, I can still usually play along until some better one emerges. This describes that can of worms I dread. It's not that my efforts will leave me dead, just newly dedicated, freshly conscripted, my life more complicated.

I've proven myself capable of Starting more than I ever manage to finish. My backlog groweth with a seeming vehemence, my epitaph likely to feature all the efforts I never entirely managed to finish. I'm wary of the bright and the shiny. I nurture my nascent ability to appreciate what I already possess, lest I find myself overwhelmed pursuing fresh Success. I cannot Successfully shut off the oncoming seductions, though. There's always, always, always something, and while I try to be selective, I understand that my choices tend to be limited. The future isn't asking whether but when, for there will likely be no deflection possible again. I'm engaging. It's rarely ever anything other than a matter of when.

My stock answer is, “Later.” I need a few more moments to savor the world before I disrupt it again in pursuit of yet another Success. I will one day remember the time before I dismembered my present by Starting on some alluring new adventure. I've never once returned from any one of those voyages. I will be gone forever once I finally overcome my completely understandable hesitation. I will be afraid before I find courage. I will catch myself clueless long before any wisdom appears. I will dread until slightly after heading off in some new direction; then, I will forever be different. Anyone embracing change seems foolish; anyone attempting to deflect it seems short-sighted, for there's always, always, always something coming over the horizon, something wanting finishing and therefore demanding Starting. Anyone desiring to become Successful seems to need to become awfully good at Starting, preferably much, much, much better at it than I've ever been.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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