Have you ever noticed that the longer you dwell on something you should be doing, the more difficult it seems to get? And the longer you put something off, the harder it is to get started?

A huge amount of stress and frustration and unhappiness could be avoided if people would just do what they know they should do.

I was doing some yard work over the weekend and noticed something interesting. Whenever I had to carry something heavy, a long distance, I was fine as long as I kept moving. The minute I put the weight down and rested, the weight became heavier, the distance I had to carry it, longer; and the work just that much more unpleasant.

So many times in my life, I’ve let things pile up so high, I felt as if there was no possible way to dig myself out. But there always was. Picking the thing that’s most important, and simply starting to do it.

Just taking the first whack at it made me feel better. And once I got started, I always found that the thing I had been putting off wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. And as long as I kept at it, before long, that once overwhelming pile of things was behind me—finished.

What overwhelms us is not the work itself. It’s thinking of how hard the work is going to be. Putting it off and hoping that somehow, by some miracle, it will all resolve itself is what makes a problem seem larger everyday.

I think everyone doubts themselves, every day. We procrastinate because you’re afraid. We’re afraid it’s not going to turn out as good as we want it to be. We’re afraid of making a mistake. But the greatest mistake of all is to let fear hold us back—keeping us from moving forward, achieving our goals and experiencing all the new and cool things ahead of us.

Right now, right where you are… just start doing the thing you’ve been putting off. Do what you can, with what you’ve got, and do it to the best of your ability. As long as you keep working at it, everything will work out just fine. It always does.

If you think back, you’ll remember that you’ve always been happiest and fulfilled after having completed a difficult task or faced up to a responsibility that you were avoiding or worried about. It’s never as bad as we can imagine it to be, and the joy and fulfillment that comes with accomplishment makes it all worthwhile.

Hard work never killed anyone. It’s worry that does the damage.

And worry disappears—the very moment we focus in on what needs to be done, and begin doing it.