In Anne Lamott’s book Bird by Bird, she reminds us how to get through writing and life when she says, “Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write, which was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'”
How many times have we looked around us and thought, “It’s impossible. I can’t do it.”
And then we start. One word. One closet. One meeting. One bill. We take it bird by bird.
Lamott also mentions when novelist E.L. Doctorow said, “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
You can make the whole trip that way. Great advice for life as well. We can only see as far as the end of our headlights at night. But does that stop us from setting out on our journey? No. We can make the whole trip that way in life too.
No matter what assignment or life change or job opportunity or new business is in front of you, stop stressing about the destination and just start. Take it bird by bird. And before you know it, you’ll be flying.