You start with the end
You start with the end. Which is actually an end, rather than The End. This end is also a beginning, as ends always are. But let's not confuse things. Although there will be many of these ends in your life, for now focus only on this one. This end can be anything you want it to be, anything you really want. It can be a place, or a thing. It can be a person, or people. The end can be a feeling.
If you don't have an end in mind, here is a way to find one. Imagine yourself at some point in the future. As far as you can go into the future, while still being able to comfortably imagine yourself, and your life. 10 years is good, 30 is better, but even next year or next month will work too. You can close your eyes when you're ready to do this, if it helps.
Try to get a deep sense of yourself in this future. Imbibe the person you have become, the person you are. Ask this person questions, as many as you can, and listen intently to their answers. Do they have children? What was their greatest achievement? Do they feel more happy than sad? What was the scariest thing they ever did? Do they believe in God? What is their biggest regret? Do they believe in themselves?
As you ask more and more of these questions, this person and their life will take shape before you. You will begin to see the all of the endings they have lived through. Maybe they finally wrote the novel they were always talking about, or travelled the world for a few years. Maybe they started a business, or formed a charity. They probably fell madly in love, at least once, and hopefully they feel... something.
Now remember, this person is you. All of those endings are your endings too. The endings you are imagining and creating for yourself right now. Think about which of those endings you want most. Again, this end can be anything, anything that you truly want for yourself and your future. Decide on an end, even if you're not sure that it's the right end. Just go with it. Especially if you're not sure that it's the right end.
Got one? Okay, good.
Now take one step backwards, away from the end. Just one, and look around. Where are you? What are you doing? Are you getting ready for the premiere of your debut film? Are you moving to another new country? Are you preparing your restaurant for the grand opening?
Once you're done there, take another step backwards, and do the same thing. Then another step, and another look around. Then another. Step backwards again and again. Have a long look around each time and take it all in, every detail of every step. Step backwards through the final draft of your first book, or the birth of your first child, or getting the keys to your first house.
Step backwards to quitting your job, or graduating, or buying a one-way plane ticket. Notice how these steps start to seem smaller with each one you take. Step backwards until the steps don't even feel like steps any more, until they become so tiny that they feel insignificant.
This is where things will start to feel messy. This is the place where all steps are basically the same, no matter who you are, or what end you have chosen. This is the place where your steps don't seem to be heading anywhere, or making any kind of difference. Step backwards to sending a few emails, or looking up courses, or sticking a world map on your wall.
Step backwards to seeing them for the first time.
Keep taking these tiny steps backwards, until you're here. Now. You are reading this email. It is March 16th 2018. You know the end that you want. You have walked each step between there and here. Your finger hovers over delete, and you have two choices...
1: Go about your day as normal, like all this never happened.
2: Take one step forwards.