I heard these words last night when I checked out a link my sister, Jennifer, sent me. It was for a writing job with inspirational life coach Dani Johnson. I’d never heard of the woman, but I was interested about the job (which I am in no way qualified for — this woman is looking for a 20-something-year-old who apparently requires no sleep and can be in ten places at once — sorry Jen) so I went and googled her.
I stayed long enough to listen to a few testimonials, read a little about how she got her start — it’s the standard rags to riches story — saw all the ads urging me to sign up, to attend a workshop THAT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! and then I started watching a video of Dani in action.
Of course she’s dynamic. And gorgeous. Aren’t all inspirational speakers? I know my tone sounds skeptical, but honestly, I was reserving judgement, and still am. Who am I to say whether this is someone who’s figured out how to become rich by preying on people’s fears and desires, or whether she truly can help people change their miserable lives?
All I know is she said two words that got me thinking: just start. She bellowed these words at the crowd. And I sat up and listened. The crowd applauded. What they were applauding exactly, I don’t know, but I do know that if she can have a galvanizing effect on someone watching a video, her message must have ten times the effect in person.
Just start. Such simple words, such a simple concept. Listening to speakers like Dani Johnson, and there are hundreds of them spouting the same words, it would appear that the overwhelming majority of us are just a bunch of dummies who have failed to grasp the simplest lesson life has to offer — just start.
Just start being successful, dammit! Just start being rich. Just start being happy. Just start being a better wife, husband, mother, friend, coworker, employee, pet owner, house cleaner, citizen, daughter, son, grandmother, — whatever it is, just start being a better it.
But, starting is hard. Even Dani knows that. Her personal history tells you so. Therefore, she’s speaking from experience and that makes her advice credible. Oh, and she was on Oprah, so, really, that’s about all the endorsement you need. Again, I’m sounding facetious, but all I’m doing is imparting knowledge. That I got off the internet. From sites owned and endorsed by Dani Johnson.
I am serious, though, about taking notice of those two small words. The truth is, Dani, and all those like her, are speaking the truth. If you want a better life, if you want to be debt free and happy, if you want the made-for-tv lifestyle that’s been spoon-fed to us from the moment we could stare at a television screen, then all you have to do is start.
Even if all you want is a simple, happy life, with meaningful relationships with those closest to you, if tending a garden and sitting in the sunshine with a book in your lap and a faithful dog at your feet is what you imagine when you close your eyes at night and open them each morning, then start working towards that.
I read Tao of Scrumble’s blog last night and this is what she and her partner, the Artist, did. And they sound blissfully happy. They sound like they’ve found their success, their richness. It took them awhile, it didn’t happen overnight, but they got where they wanted to be because they started.
I’m doubting that they had any advice from a Dani Johnson, but, who knows, maybe they did. And would it matter if they did? No. It shouldn’t matter where a person gets their inspiration from, all that matters is that they get inspired. To start. Living. Dreaming. Hoping.
I wish I could turn back time so that I could have linked this post to Soul Dipper’s Occupy Blogosphere page on Thursday. I think it would have been a good fit. She has started something that can have an immense, positive impact on our lives.
There are examples all around us, every day of people who have decided to ‘just start’. I look at my own life, often to the point of obsession, trying to figure out if I’m happy, if I’m content, if I’m successful. The biggest problem is that I fall prey to playing the comparison game. And when I was watching that Dani Johnson video that’s what I started doing.
If those people can change their lives, if those people can start businesses and become debt-free and have six figures in the bank, if those people can have everything they’ve ever dreamed of, well then, why can’t I? Those people are the kind of people I should be.
It was late. I’m sorry.
I woke up this morning and smiled when I remembered how I had reacted to that silly promotional video. Because I have a good life. Could I be happier? Yes, but then, who couldn’t be? Could I have more money in the bank? Damn straight! But I don’t, I have what I have and I’m okay with it. Could I be a better wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, sister, friend, coworker, citizen? Very likely, yes, but I do my best and I feel blessed that I am all those things. I have an abundance of love and support and happiness in my life, and for that I am grateful each and every day.
For me, just start means: Just start being present in your own life. Just start paying attention to what is important immediately. Just start being accountable to yourself and to those you love, and to those who support you. Just start recognizing your personal worth. Just start believing that your dreams, your hopes, your desires are attainable. And then, just start making it happen.