If you think about a game like basketball or tennis, you get an intuitive sense of the importance of the starting point. Start off strong and the rest of the game is more manageable.
In life, parents stress this too. We tell our kids to get a strong foundation in education to start off well.
That advice is good. But it also misses the point. our chronological life is not the same as our intellectual and emotional life. Chronologically, we start off as kids. Intellectually and emotionally, we start off all the time.
In fact, you might argue with some conviction that life is not a single game at all. It is a series of smaller and shorter games. And each of those smaller and shorter games has a starting point.
This is what Musaashi was talking about when he said that in each second we have an opportunity to be the person we want to be. Each second is a starting point.
And so it brings up the question, what is a “good” starting point from an intellectual and emotional point of view. Even better, what would an “optimal” starting point look like? I will be writing about that in the next days.