The decision is the thing.

It looks romantic from the outside, I’ll be honest.  A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, but you can’t take the first step without the decision to make the first step in the first place.

The gap between being there and getting here and the gap between being here and getting there are only covered by two actions:

Making a decision without much reassurance from others…


Doing the work without much appreciation from others about how difficult it is.

What covers the first gap (the one between being there and getting here) is making a decision. Making a decision to take action is scary and uncertain; and there’s usually very little reassurance from others. It typically begins when you are motivated enough to actually make the decision in the first place, and you’ll either be motivated by internal factors or external circumstances. And only one of these do you have control over.

What covers the second gap (the one between being here and getting there) is doing “the work.” Many people believe that “the work” or work ethic, is fading in American life. I prefer to believe that as the nature of “the work” shifts (from blue collar to white collar to “no” collar) the nature of the work ethic changes as well. Have I put in less “work” when I type up a 500-word blog post than a person has, who codes an algorithm all day in a language that looks like Mandarin to me?

It looks romantic from the outside, I’ll be honest. But on the inside, I can tell you, the work is what people observing you building your business, your project, your idea, or your processes from the outside aren’t going to see. And by “the work,” what these outside observers are really looking for are the tangible results of your efforts, your arguments, your research and your time.

Because, for better or worse, American culture is still built on getting results, rather than the nature and efficacy of developing, managing and experiencing, the process. For the peace builder, thinking about how to start building their project right now, I encourage you to cover the gap, first by making a decision, and then by doing the work.

For the peace builder (or anyone else who ever built anything) the decision is “the work.”

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
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