Sit Down for This One

If you're sitting down and reading this--which you probably are--stop for a second and look down at your lap. Right there looking back at you may be the answer to a nagging question or problem. The answer to, "Where do I begin?"

Let's call it the IN YOUR LAP THEORY.

And it goes like this: As you're looking down say to yourself, "Maybe I've cast my net way, way too wide. Maybe the answer is right here in my lap. Who, in my small circle of friends and family may be able to help me? Who, in this small circle may have a contact, right-on-the-money advice, may know of a friend who could start the ball rolling?"

It seems so obvious, doesn't it? But how often we forget the obvious.

I say this from years of sitting across from people who tell me their stories--as a therapist and before that as a reporter--watching and listening.

Instead of starting small the overwhelmed are often paralyzed with fear; trying to solve a problem alone, too embarrassed to ask for help, convinced every path is bumpy and will most likely dead-end. Here's what they overlook: people LIKE to help, it makes them feel good. Not everyone, of course. But when you begin asking your intimate group for assistance --you may be surprised at the response.

Whether it's finding a new, better or part-time job or nailing down trusted caretakers for your elderly parents, start small and look at your lap.

And read this powerful quote. It's about what happens next. In fact, it's worth reading several times. It's written by WH Murray over fifty years ago--and just as relevant today:

Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one fundamental truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one commits oneself, Providence moves, too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe's couplets:

Boldness has genius, power and magic in it
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.