I don’t know much but I am 100% certain that one is greater than zero.

One is greater than zero is something I like to remind myself of all the time. If I don’t feel like running that day, or working on a specific project I push myself to do the bare minimum. Doing something is better than absolutely nothing. If say, I have a website to build, the entire task seems huge, daunting and not enjoyable but by breaking it down and getting started on even just a little bit I can feel like I have achieved something. All the little chunks I do over time build up to real progress and most of the time just starting to do one small thing snowballs into really doing something major.

Of course doing a little bit every day doesn’t mean you can automatically do something big over time. I’m not saying five minutes of practice per day will turn you into an elite pianist. But by starting, and realising that even 5 minutes of work is better than doing absolutely nothing, you can start to achieve a goal. Momentum usually builds and you can really get going with whatever it is.

Starting something is hard. We all have to battle inertia.

Inertia is defined as follows:

a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force.

In this case, we are the matter and the state of rest is exactly that, doing nothing. But by overcoming the initial pain of starting we can use inertia to keep us on that straight line, to continue and build momentum.

Here’s an example:

Say you want to run a marathon in exactly one year. The problem is you have never run one before, haven’t run for years and are generally unfit, what do you do?

If your fitness is really bad I’m sure any trainer would start you off by walking. Getting used to moving more and building up the distance. Then eventually running short distances. Then building these short runs into slightly longer runs. This process continues over time and it’s hard but soon you’ll be running further than you have since you left school.

The issue is, most people don’t start. That first walk is difficult to get up and just do. Inertia is working against you.

The person who gets up on day one and does that first walk has taken the biggest step towards completing that marathon. One is greater than zero.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Lao Tzu

Whatever your goal may be, remember that one is greater than zero. I try to remind myself of this daily. Sometimes I forget and don’t make any progress. But there is always tomorrow to try again and climb that first rung on the ladder.