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START.DO.NOW

by Steve Prager on December 14, 2010

I turned 52 this year. Somehow, seemingly overnight, I’ve morphed from a young person with “time-i-i-ime on my side” to a grizzled, post middle age, post hip, techno challenged grump.

Flip me over and my expiration date is closing fast.

A true story:

A good friend came to visit me the other day. We hadn’t seen each other for several years, so it was fun to catch up on all the work gossip. As we talked, he (being the polite gentleman that he is) said “Uh,..you’ve got something on your moustache.” He looked embarrassed for me, so I excused myself and ran to a mirror. HA! What he thought was a booger on my moustache was just a big clump of white hairs!

My expiration date was showing.

Believe it or not, you’re expiration date is showing too. Day by day, your life is slipping away from you. Before long, it’s going to be too late to realize your dreams, your plans,..maybe the best part of your life.

HOW IT STARTED

Once upon a time I was the Postmaster of a tiny fishing village on the Oregon coast. The kind of place tourists visit and people write books about. It was magical.

Every day I found something new and wonderful. A historical tidbit, another jaw dropping vista, a new friend. One day I was sharing with a local customer about a particularly gorgeous, hidden, hiking trail that went right up to the ocean.

“Oh yeah,” she said hurriedly. “I’ve heard about that place. It sounds great. I’ll have to go someday.”

“You could go today,” I said hopefully.

“Oh no,” she exclaimed. “I’ve got too many chores to do. Besides,” she smiled wistfully… “someday I’ll go.”

I was dumbstruck. This wasn’t a young mother with a house full of kids. She was older than me and retired. Not only that, she had lived in that town for years and NEVER been there.

She had bought into a lie. The lie of Someday.

SOMEDAY NEVER COMES

Just like the woman in that story, we’re all guilty of ‘someday’ thinking.

Someday…

I’ll write that book

Start my own business

Take that class and learn to _______

Spend more time with the grandkids

Follow my dream to______________

This blog will attempt to pry you and I loose from some terribly destructive thinking and focus on how to discover, value and follow our dreams.

We’ll talk to people who found what their dreams are. We’ll ask them what steps they took forward. We’ll share tips and ideas and ‘how to’. We’ll even kill some sacred cows and have a cyber barbeque.

And we’ll change into what we’ve always wanted to be.

We’ll help each other START to DO.. the things we’ve only dreamed about.. NOW.

START. DO.NOW

Stay Tuned and thanks for reading.

-Steve

PS. This is my first blog. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin December 14, 2010 at 8:24 pm

NICE photo… I think I can actually seethe bugger….nice
Good luck
Robin

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Steve Prager December 14, 2010 at 10:55 pm

Next time, we’ll get more of the guitar and you in the photo!

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Mark Powers December 15, 2010 at 1:09 am

Steve! I’m so excited to see this up and rockin’! Kudos to you for making the decision that now is the time to start knocking out those goals. You’re so right . . . someday never comes.

I look forward to watching this site grow & following you on your quest. Congratulations on the launch!

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Steve Prager December 15, 2010 at 11:28 am

Mark,

I can’t thank you enough! I’m really excited about all the things you’ve taught me and I’m gonna keep starting and doing NOW until I get this stuff figured out!

Best and hope to visit soon,

Steve

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Miss Rose December 15, 2010 at 1:07 am

When is the next blog???

(insert eager anticipation)
- Miss Rose, friend of Mister Ben and Mister Mark.

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Steve Prager December 15, 2010 at 11:26 am

Miss Rose,

Great question. The next couple of posts will be out soon. Please check back tomorrow.

Thanks again for your support?

BTW, what life challenges, goal setting, dream finding and fulfilling things do you deal with? I’m open to any of your thoughts on these issues!

Best,

Steve

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Miss Rose December 15, 2010 at 3:40 am

(Just learned that you are a different Steve, the other of whom is friends of Ben and Mark (Powers) and I was confused…) Feel free to delete my prior comment, except that I am indeed eager to read your next post!
- r

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Steve Prager December 15, 2010 at 11:24 am

Miss Rose, no way am I deleting! It’s great to have you.

Any friend of Mark’s is a friend of mine!

Welcome :)

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Kenny Eller December 15, 2010 at 5:09 am

Steve,

I couldn’t agree more! Great post and welcome to the blogoshere (I think that’s what the bloggers call it, I’m kinda new too) :-)

I found your site through Mark Powers. What a nice read to begin my day! Keep it up! I’ll be back!

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Steve Prager December 15, 2010 at 11:23 am

Kenny, thank you for your great comment. I do hope you continue to drop by!

Isn’t Mark a great guy? He’s a fabulous musician, an excellent writer and a great human being!he’s been a HUGE help to me..

Kenny, do you have a blog or a web site? I’d love to be a part of what you’re up to!

Best,

Steve

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Travis December 15, 2010 at 8:51 am

Great start Steve! Can’t wait for your next entry. You’re doin’ it! Travis

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Steve Prager December 15, 2010 at 11:21 am

Travis and Jo,

Thanks! You’re both a BIG part of my friend network that INSPIRES me!

Your blog is next!

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Linda December 15, 2010 at 8:52 am

Know where you’re coming from. I’m 62 and have just begun (incrementally) doing NOW instead of waiting for “someday”. It’s hard, though, because we are so conditioned. After all, I’d hate to look “stupid” – what if I fail? – people might laugh – it takes effort! …. and on go the excuses. ;-)

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Steve Prager December 15, 2010 at 11:19 am

Linda, thank you for your great comment! I think you hit on something really important that SCARES me to death! Like you said,..what if I try something and it looks Stupid or fails?? And you’re sure right about the effort thing! I’ve had a lot of great help getting this far, but being techo-challenged,..everything takes me longer.

I guess for me,..the answer is that I’ll feel MORE stupid and more of a failure if I don’t start.do.now.

It also helps that I’ve adopted a new motto,..ready, fire,..aim (which I learned from Michael Masterson). Now I just do my best, hit the launch button and then tweaK it later (maybe!)

I hope you continue to drop by!

Best,

Steve

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Rachel December 16, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Dad,
You are the coolest! Great post! So proud of you!

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Steve Prager December 16, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Thanks Rachy! Right back at ya, uber girl!

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sandyragland December 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Hmmm…this sounded JUST like a super close friend I had when I was in high school…..except….maybe….strangely…..wiser.

I am awaiting anxiously the next installment!

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Steve Prager December 16, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Thanks! You are one of my heroes! You get to use your gifts in art to help people. Bravo!

Strangely wiser……you’re right, that is a mystery!

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Jim Scarle December 16, 2010 at 5:40 pm

This is great, Steve. I have it bookmarked and will check in from time to time. This might even motivate me to write a bit, as I have so much stored in the brain, and have been putting it off to “someday.” Jim

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Steve Prager December 16, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Jim, Thanks! I hope you do write. Have you considered doing a blog?

Idea-Your life in Japan would be fascinating!

Hope to see you in cyber space soon!

Best!

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dave norwoods December 17, 2010 at 10:26 am

Very cool blog here and very good to reach out and push people to wake up. I am a example of this. I have been to 100 countries and 109 islands by performing bartering networking giving sharing and talking about god to people. If you dont push and listen to your inner voice life will pass you by. No time to ever waste. ride the ride. I am.// travelindave.com is my site of stories photos and videos of what I do for on the edge living.// I hope I can inspire more people. blessings

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Steve Prager December 17, 2010 at 5:00 pm

TravelinDave,

Thanks for stopping by! Appreciate the kudos.

I’m definitely checking out your blog and would like the opportunity to learn more about what you’re doing!

Thanks for the inspiration :)

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Christy Lack Smith December 20, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Steve,
I love the blog, but what I love more is that one of my favorite people ever provides gentle reminders that life is not a dress rehearsal and that we have one chance to sing all of the melodies that lie, unsung, within us. I need to sing more, literally and figuratively. I need to buy another piano and start taking lessons again. I may even decide that I don’t care what people think and write that novel afterall.
Christy

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Steve Prager December 20, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Christy< Wow! Thanks! I hope you do both and very soon.

What songs do you like to sing? How come I didn’t know you played piano??I would’ve had you in White Lightning!

What’s your book about?

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Christy Lack Smith December 21, 2010 at 8:00 am

Steve,

The last time I sang in public was when I got married 7+ years ago. As a surprise, at our reception, I sang a very cliche` version of “I’ve Dreamed of You” to Steve. For more than a year, I rehearsed in the car to the accompaniment CD and always, without fail, wept or choked up to the point that I couldn’t finish. At our reception, I had the music ready and told the deejay that I didn’t know whether I would be able to muster the courage, but if I did, I would give him a sign and then he was to cue the music before I changed my mind.

There was a moment when I told myself, “I can’t do this; what if I mess up and people talk forever about the bride who screwed up a song at her wedding.” I was afraid to become that person. My fear of missing the chance to sing that song to the man who rescued my heart overpowered my fear of what other people might think, so I just did it. Nailed it, actually. I didn’t cry, but I think everyone else in the room did.

Playing piano didn’t come until I was in my late 30s. As I child, I wanted to take piano lessons more than anything, but family circumstances prevented it. So, as an adult, I got a piano, found a wonderful teacher who was willing to take on a “nontraditional student” and took lessons for about three years. Circumstances changed, I moved, my teacher moved, I enrolled in graduate school……numerous reasons/excuses. Now, there isn’t a reason for me to delay. It’s just a matter of doing it.

The novel…..that one will be like scaling Mt. Everest. For years, I kept journals that contained the stuff from whence a Great American Novel could have been made. Prior to a surgery, I chose to destroy them because I knew that without being put into context, my friends and family read my entries and think I had led a life of quiet desperation. Now, all of the agony and victory is locked inside my memory, so the only way those experiences will have a life beyond mine is if I put a pen to them forthwith.

Christy

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Steve Prager December 21, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Christy,

I love your story! A perfect example of SDN! I was touched. Do you have a recording of your song??

Novel -I can hardly wait to read the first chapter! Arkansas is such a great backdrop too

Thank you for sharing. This will encourage everyone :)

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free audacIty December 25, 2010 at 9:28 am

thanks

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