“Begin where you are” may sound profound, but only because so many people try to begin where they are not. Memories sometimes play tricks on us, and we imagine that we are today what we used to be. On the other hand, optimism and ambition can cause us to imagine what we would like to become. Both are illusions, perhaps even good illusions, but distortions of our present reality.

The lead role in these illusions is played by the word “if”. If only, I were slimmer… If only I was faster… If only I had more money…  if only I was born to different parents… If only I was a citizen of a different country. “IF-iciency’” is the enemy of efficiency. The honest identification, realization, and acceptance of my current reality is a critical component of constructive goal-setting. Your long-term goal is the first marker you set, only because your first coordinate is already set for you. Forget regret and bury “if”. You can begin only where you are.

 So, begin, and don’t stop.