Birth: Plunge In!

Three things.  Sitting down at the computer and just writing.  Jumping into an ice cold pool of water.  Peeling open a wall with a crow-bar.

All three have been, for me, the “plunge in” approach to beginning something important.  Here’s what I learned.

The immensity of writing a doctoral dissertation was making me sick.  Someone I trusted told me to forget the research and sit down, every day, and just write–write everything I already knew about my topic.  It might just be all garbage, I was told, and you might get some ideas out of it, but it will move you beyond this paralysis. Months later while in the thick of research and writing, I went back to those days of “just writing” and found material that became part of a chapter.

Another time, I was suffering from a strained muscle.  I had read some new therapeutic research showing that alternating soaking in hot then cold water sped the healing of the tissue dramatically.  I went to a spa with the requisite hot and cold pools.  The hot pool was fine, but I could not get past ankle-deep in the cold pool.  The only way to get myself entirely in the cold pool was simply to plunge right in.  The momentary shock was worth the results–plunge required for healing.

Years ago, we were restoring what was then our 100 year-old house.  I had looked at a wall in our bedroom for months.  Shouldn’t there be a fireplace there?   On impulse one day I opened the wall up with a crow-bar.  There it was–the original chimney and flue, pulling a draft through the house like a heavy duty fan!  A month later, with the help of a brick mason, we had an old fireplace restored.

Many times, the important changes in our lives begin with a single moment when all that is left to do is plunge in.  Don’t misunderstand.  Just plunging into things can be dangerous, but there are those times when it is what moves us into the change that we need.

What change are you hesitating before?  Is it time to plunge?

Bob Patrick

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