Start where you are, use what you have, do what you can – Arthur Ashe, American tennis player
Origin of the quote – it is attributed to Arthur Ashe, American tennis player *, but a very similar quote by Theodore Roosevelt probably predates this. Roosevelt’s quote reads: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”.
If you have ever found yourself stuck, unable to move, overwhelmed by the immensity of the task in front of you, this perspective really helps. To just start. Take a small action. Plan the next 5 small actions. Like a snowball rolling downhill, small steps in the beginning leads to giant leaps in progress at the end.
But the trick to this is to just start. Don’t wait until you have the degree, the partner, the dream job. Start right now, from where you are.
You CAN be awesome at your dead-end makeshift job, right now.
You CAN start your diet at 4 in the afternoon on a Sunday while contemplating pigging out on ice cream in front of your favourite series catch-up.
You CAN start your exercise program on your way home from work when you stop at the mall – just stop at the farthest entrance from where you want to be.
Just take the smallest first baby step. Starting is in your head, not in your circumstances.
Use what you have – you don’t need fancy new running shoes. You walk every day in your normal shoes. Just walk.
You don’t need a new professional wardrobe to become a success at work. Just by already being an awesome employee, who does more and longer for more people, you are already successful and on your way to your next career step.
You don’t need the whole set of pencils or the fancy expensive paper to start being an artist. If you have a blank sheet of paper and a pencil or pen, you can start creating, and being, the artist you want to be.
And then the final kicker – do what you can. If you ask all the millions of people worldwide who are really successful at what they do, you are unlikely to find any who became successful without putting in the hours, the effort. Yes, like the picture, we may all want to skip forward to where you are already successful, but if you do not begin, today, where you are, with what you have, you are unlikely to ever get there.