The Best Life Advice Came from Microsoft

And they took it away


It was in our faces the entire time. Right there in the lower left.

Perhaps the most important piece of life advice ever was provided by Microsoft, and we didn’t even realize it.

And then they took it away. We still call it a “Start” button, but the text admonition has disappeared.

I struggle with getting started. I’m not alone. I know that it’s a common topic of discussion among self-help folks, and common in most productivity porn.

It’s common because it’s true. Just getting started is 80% of the battle. Once you stick it out for even a few minutes, momentum kicks in and the rest — while certainly not “easy” — flows.

Even this little essay, part of my “10 minutes of writing” exercise, took far too long to start. Once started, 10 minutes almost comes too soon (I don’t limit myself … it’s a minimum, not a maximum).

The trick is, though, it’s about so much more than just creativity. It applies to almost any aspect of life.

There are the obvious things like exercise, or running errands, or other things we’re “supposed” to do. But it applies to the things we “want” to do also. Even sitting down to read a book takes energy to get started. Getting together with friends. Going out for dinner.

Everything takes energy to start.

It’s easier to stay at home. It’s easier to keep scrolling in social media. It’s easier to be passive.

It takes effort to Start.

But anything worthwhile requires you do so.

Even if there’s no reminder on your screen.

1 thought on “The Best Life Advice Came from Microsoft”

  1. Very well written Leo.
    Am working through a pile of non routine chores. Every day is a bewildering and difficult new project. But to just start at any point is better than overthinking it and not starting.This makes a good desktop wallpaper.
    Thank You.

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