Life, I think you’d agree, is not a straight line from here to there, from poverty to riches, from ignorance to enlightenment. It’s a gnarly, windy road that can lead you astray, if you let it. Being human, we often let it.
One of my all-tine favorite quotes is a simple piece of profound wisdom that can instantly act as a survival pack on that road you and I are walking. When all has gone off track, this quote gives you all you need to get restarted.
As with most useful quotes, it’s often changed and misattributed. It’s normally attributed to President Teddy Roosevelt or tennis great Arthur Ashe. The Roosevelt attribution is a little closer as the quote comes from his 1913 autobiography. However, he uses it quoting Squire Billy Widener.
Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are.
Eleven words of sheer genius.
- It begins with do what you can. You don’t have pull off a miracle or make up 20 points on one play or change the world in an instant. Just do what you can.
- Next do it with what you’ve got. You don’t need obtain a Master’s degree or someone else’s approval or have more money in the bank to begin. You can begin with what you’ve got.
- Finally, do it where you are. You don’t need to wait for the perfect moment. You don’t need to undo what’s been done. You don’t need to move to a new city. You can start right where you are.
It all seems very simple, but how often do you and I place all kinds of conditions on beginning a change? We’re always looking for a better time, a better place, a better situation. Those are myths. They don’t exist or, if they do, you’ll wait your life away in the hope they might one day arrive.
You don’t need them. You have your ever-ready survival pack in this quote – Do what you can, with what you’ve got, where you are. You have permission to use it without orders from headquarters.
The journey of a thousand miles does begin with the first step, but the first step begins by beginning.
In case no one else has told you today, YOU are amazing! Rock on!