How to Create Real Change in Your Life

05/15/2011 11:18 pm ET | Updated Jun 16, 2011

When it comes to creating real change in your life, there is only one action item that is critical. The most brilliant organizational strategies and profound insights into human behavior are 100 percent meaningless without it. If you are not doing this one thing, nothing else matters. I'm not being poetically licentious; I'm telling you the truth. That thing? Start.

Begin. Commence. Initiate. Leap. Whether you want to become a meditator, artist, CEO, friend, athlete, or simply the best you of all time, you just have to take the very first step. What is that step? Write it down. Then do it. Don't worry about the step after that.




Forget about sweeping gestures--they're irrelevant and confusing 95 percent of the time. Instead, make small, graceful, clear gesture after gesture. This is the way.

And also, here is the key piece of advice on starting: you have to do it all over again tomorrow. And the next day. Every day, in fact.

Starting is a sacred act. It requires opening without knowing what is going to happen. This is also known as faith. If you "know" how it's going to go or what is going to result, you're actually somewhere in the middle, not the beginning. So give up all notions. Turn toward this very moment. Open your heart to yourself, your day, your loved ones and your enemies--which simply means not having preconceived notions about any of it--and then start.

Meditation practice is the practice of becoming comfortable with not-knowing.

All you have to do is start. In this case, that means pressing "play."