I spent the weekend with my Dani in Ugenya. I hadn't had a chance to see her over the last holidays because of homa ya Nairobi which I couldn't risk to pass along to her.
As we sat on Sunday morning, she, the ever busy entrepreneurial matriarch she is, started taking maize off the cob.
The Cost of Beginning
Watching her keenly work at it, I realized something. The start is always the most difficult part. (And most expensive as well.) She'd carefully use a blunt knife to push one row of maize aside creating some room for manipulation, for the next rows to move.
New beginnings do come from another beginnings' end.
But the beginning is always the hardest part.
Think of use of capital expenditure on capital intensive engagements such as construction, acquisition of assets, moving countries or even homes. You'll frequently hear home owners building say that laying the foundation is the most expensive stage of construction, with a friend even recently saying, 'ni kuzika pesa' - it's equivalent to burying of money. Setting up and starting out is always the hardest, most uncomfortable and painful part.
Use of force
Discomfort - assuming the maize seeds on the cob could speak and feel, they would probably yell out loudly in pain because of the application of force from that knife, ouch! My analogy of pain in life is either life itself when shift happens or intentional decisions that lead to some discomfort.
Displacement - I used to religiously follow and watch Caroline Mutoko's YouTube channel when she started it years ago. On one of her videos she used to say, elevation needs separation. And from one of my recent coffees, my colleague and I even said, sometimes you need to exit certain spaces in order to come back to them later, but at a higher level. I don't think it's possible to get much vertical growth or increase without some change at the current level or place that one is.
One of the many things I'm learning in my new role is that change is the only constant and that progress is better than perfection, that done is better than perfect.
For a recovering perfectionist, this has been hard to learn but you realize that once you get the ball rolling, the momentum is progressively gained and in no time do you start cruising. James Clear of Atomic Habits speaks of this as well, micro habits rather than magnanimous, scary and audacious goals. Systems and processes rather than defined goals. For the maize seeds, assuming they had feelings, wouldn't they be glad that they have freedom and separation, space and room to breathe, be alone, discover themselves and determine a life/fate of their own? Figuratively speaking.
So whatever it is you've been putting away and keep pushing to the back burner, just start. You will get better with time (I religiously attend Ali Abdaal's church; sermon consistency and quality can you tell?)
While we're on that Ali Abdaal story, me I love his weekly Sunday newsletter (Sunday Snippets) which interestingly has similar form as mine, I just found out. But his content is great, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Done is better than perfect.
Have a great week and a Happy New Month Ahead! :)