I had a wish. There was something I wanted to do, very much. It was something I had never done before, at least not in as big a way as I imagined it in my mind. I wanted to lead the National Anthem in front of a crowd. Like most US citizens, I have sung along at sporting events. But my dream was to do it by myself.
Most people have a dream of something they would love to do. For some it may be a once-in-a-lifetime trip, or maybe it’s running a marathon. Our dreams and desires can take many forms, yet they all start in the same way: as an idea in our minds.
It’s all in your head. If you want to do something, you must have the belief that you can. Rather than thinking “oh, I can’t possibly do that!”, try thinking “how can I do that?”. Image what it would be like doing that thing you want to do. What does it feel like? What was the step you took just before it happened? What was the step just prior to that? When you break down a giant accomplishment into smaller, more realistic chunks, it becomes much more achievable.
Biggest gap in the world. You’ve done your research. You’ve learned everything you can about what you want to do. You are feeling very informed. That’s great. Now, what are you going to do with that knowledge? The knowing is important, but it is the doing that makes things happen. How many times have you heard someone say (insert whiney tone) “Yeah, I tried, but it didn’t work out.”? To quote Yoda, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” You either take the action steps to do something, or you don’t. The best things take time, and effort to achieve. Quitting may cross your mind, but don’t let that thought linger. What can you do to take another step closer to your goal?
Done is better than perfect. Scared? Aren’t we all. Afraid of what others might think of you? There will always be nay-sayers, but remember: it’s your life. Do what you want any way. Afraid of making a mistake? Mistakes are learning opportunities. When Thomas Edison was asked how he felt about his numerous failed attempts to create the lightbulb, he said “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”
On August 3, 2019 I had the privilege of leading the National Anthem in front of a sold-out crowd of over 3,000 people for the Jackson Browne concert at the Festival at Sandpoint in North Idaho. It was a powerful experience and I will enjoy the memory forever. I later heard a recording of my performance. I heard every missed note and intonation I could have done better. But I owned the moment, and I did it.
Whatever your “it” is, you can do it too. Take a deep breath and start. Today.