The hardest part of anything is starting. Ask any of the characters in your favorite books. It's the hardest thing in the world to start an adventure. I always think of Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. Every time Gandalf came to their doors, their response was to push back. No, thank you. We don't want any adventures here. That is to say: we don't want anything hard. They were so comfortable in their little worlds. They were content to remain where they were. They had seen people go on adventures before, and they knew: this is hard. They saw adventures as nasty, uncomfortable things -- "Make you late for dinner!"

Here's the deal, though: they wish that they dared to go. They wish that they had it in them to go. Bilbo feels the call of the mountains and clear skies and cold, sharp breezes. They hear the adventure-call, and they long to step out onto the Road.

Haven't I felt the same thing? I've experienced the same crazy longing. I've looked at my horizon and wondered why my heart called to me so. And I've wished that I dared. I've dreamed of daring. I've craved adventure. And I've stood at the threshold and trembled, afraid to step beyond my door because I can't see it.

But all it takes is one step. All it takes is one tiny movement onto the path, into the fear. All it takes is one moment of embracing the fear, feeling it cripple you, and moving anyway.

And then something crazy happens. Once you've moved and put yourself on the path, somehow it all becomes easier. Once you've made the first step, everything else just kind of stems from that. Everything spills over from that.

Every time I've traveled abroad, I have felt that familiar fear. I have heard my mind kicking and screaming in fear, digging in its heels, crying, I cannot. And all at the same time, I have sensed my soul quietly tugging, whispering, I want to. All it takes is a sheer second of choosing to listen to the whisper and not the scream. All it takes is just starting.

And then, somehow, after that, when you find yourself in the middle of it -- well, then you're in it. And then you have no choice but to see it through to the end, because, after all, you're in it. But it's better than never starting at all. It's better than never beginning. Seeing the light shine on the mountaintops, no matter how blinded you are by the light, is better than never seeing it at all.

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