START: An Ode to the Birth of an Idea

November 5, 2017

At our recent Performery Open-Mic Night, I decided to participate by reading a poem I wrote called, START.


I composed it in 2013. I had attended TEDxRVA in Richmond, Virginia on an early spring day and my brain was filled with stimulating ideas and emotions. I had a lot on my mind as I turned in for bed that evening.


At the time, my wife and I were adjusting to life with newborn twins. Our nighttime routine had us waking up in the middle of the night to feed each baby their bottle.


When the alarm sounded at 2:00am that early morning, I held my daughter in my arm, sat on the edge of the bed, and began to feed her. Suddenly, several pithy lines of prose appeared in my consciousness—in a manner and pace I have rarely experienced.


Wanting to record this unusual moment, I carefully positioned my daughter in my left arm and continued to feed her the bottle with my left hand. I grabbed my iPhone with my other hand, opened up my Evernote app and began to capture the thoughts as quickly as my thumb would type.


When I woke the next morning, I quickly rushed to my computer and continued to write. By noon, START was finished. The random ideas I captured in the wee hours of the night transformed into an ode about the birth of an idea.


I shared it on my company blog, Medium, and other social media platforms and was soon surprised by the engagement and positive comments I received from all over the globe.


I share it with you now in the hope that it helps inspire you to take action—to take a shot on goal and pursue that brilliant idea you’ve been meaning to get to. After all, the only way it will ever happen is to START!


START by Tony Vengrove


Dear Idea,
I’m coming for you
The wait is over
This is a call-to-arms


Today you cease to be a story in my head
A mental concept
Today is the day you will be birthed into the world
No more hoping for a natural delivery, I’ve scheduled a c-section
A creativity-section, so to speak


Today I start
By starting I become stronger for trying
By trying I immediately separate myself from the masses
Who remain stuck in intention
Who unconsciously find comfort in the status quo
It is easier to dream than to start


Starting is only a beginning
A journey
But starting leads to learning
From learning to insight
To better ways


Starting is better than complaining
Or worrying
Starting is cathartic
For engagement fuels inspiration


No more excuses and why-nots
Enough baby steps
And fear of imperfection
Of not being good enough
My good enough is better than most


I will silence my ego which describes you as both brilliant and far-fetched
I will become present
I will bask in the glory of creation
I will honor you by gifting my full attention
For you deserve mindfulness


I’m tired of seeing others recognized for ideas I had years ago
I’m tired of seeing others creep toward the fringes of my dreams
Back off


No more will I let my cans turn into should-haves
Of course, I can!
I can do anything once I believe
For we live in an age where nearly anything is possible
A dream only requires a computer connected to the world


So you see, Idea
There’s no security staying trapped in my head
Only to become a faded memory
Stagnation’s step
On the stairway of death


No longer will I dread other’s judgment and criticism
Fear shall transmogrify into treasure
So bring it


If this sounds like war
It is


I’m climbing to the top of the mountain
To stake the flag of achievement upon its peak
I may get lost on the way up
I may back-track to find a better path forward
But I’m not coming down
I’d rather die trying than retreat


I commit to you a spirit of desperation
Of having no other option than to succeed
I dare to fail


Intoxicated by ambition
A cacophony of thoughts
A caustic nougat of emotions
All created by you, Idea


Oh, the glory of clarity!
Starting is the only way
I can
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