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I recently moved into a new space, and part of the to-do list was ensuring all appliances worked. I finally had a dishwasher full of dirty dishes and was ready to test it out. It’s a fancy brand, and the options are quite different from the simple one I previously had: sanitize, child lock, half load, heavy wash, delay start, quiet mode, etc.

Quiet mode? Sanitize? “I think I will choose noisy and skip sanitize because I’m in a rush,” said no one ever! I pushed the appropriate buttons, including the large ON/OFF button to the left of the panel, and off I went.

As I went to empty my dishwasher after work, I noticed things didn’t look right. I rinse dishes so thoroughly that it’s hard to tell, but they looked the same. I checked the detergent cup to find it still full. Nothing had happened.

I was going to call the landlord, but something made me go back to look at the panel again. With so many things to choose from, I had missed the most basic and important one: START.

I was amazed that something so important could get lost in the myriad of other choices. I would have thought turning it on would have been sufficient.

It’s like that in life sometimes too. We have so many options, thousands of thoughts and decisions to make, goals to set, and keep. The menu of our lives can seem perplexing, confusing, and seemingly broken.

We may get up out of bed and turn ON to face another day, but if we don’t push START by taking a different action, nothing will change.

As I hear the quiet hum along with the swish of the water inside the unit, I know that my dishes will be perfectly clean. I can trust the process. It’s important to remember that when things seem out of sorts or overwhelming, we need to stop pushing all of the other buttons and just hit “START”.

Stepping back to take another glance at our lives may help us to see that we needn’t take massive action to accomplish goals. The trajectory of a ship is changed by the slightest tilt of its rudder.

We need to begin one new thing – one step, one moment, one day, and one dirty dish at a time.

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