“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’ You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” – Eleanor Roosevelt.

Thank G-d, I have never lived through horror, nor do I face horror now, but I use this quotation as motivation for getting through events which are less than horrific in my mind, for getting through things which are just outside my comfort zone. 

“…You must do the thing you think you cannot do”, said Eleanor Roosevelt.

As regards this quotation, Eleanor Roosevelt is often misquoted as having said, “Do one thing every day that scares you”:

I try, every day, to do at least one thing which scares me, one thing which takes me outside my comfort zone, I do, for fear of wasting time and just treading water, one thing every day which moves the game on, which moves me, even just a tiny bit, nearer to my goal(s), I try to do at least one thing every day which gives me a sense of dynamism, of movement, so that, at the end of the day, I don’t feel that I have wasted the day.

Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Picasso.

What are you not willing to die having left undone? Identify those goals. Prioritise those goals. Take a small step daily towards achieving those goals. Make yourself accountable, either to yourself, if you are self-disciplined, or to someone else. Hold the vision – hold it yourself or get someone else to hold it for you. 

Example, you have always wanted to learn to play the piano but you lack the self-discipline to go the online tuition route. Research teachers/instructors, identify the teacher for you, make the call, book the first lesson.

Another example: you want to learn a new language but you lack the self-discipline to go the online tuition route  –  as with the piano example, research into teachers and classes, make a booking for the first lesson or the first class. I want to publish my poetry collection – it’s currently only on my laptop and if I was to die today, it would doubtless die with me: I do not want that to happen. My poetry is a window into my mind, who and what I am, and I want to leave it as a legacy. 

So what will I do today to move towards publication? I’ll arrange to have a professional printer print off the collection for me (60-plus poems, over 18,000 words) so that I can more easily arrange the poems in order. If I do that, there is movement.

Lesson of the day: take on board the sentiments of Eleanor Roosevelt, do something day that scares you. Don’t spend the whole day in your comfort zone. Put that scary thing in the diary: no cancelling nor rescheduling! Resolve not to tread water every day – do something every day which moves you, even just a small distance, towards your goal(s).

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