Start Something New

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If I could share 500 words to inspire, this is the important wisdom I'd want to pass along to others...

  • Far too often in our daily lives, we have all heard that “It’s never too late” to start something new. For me, that mantra simply isn’t how I want to live the rest of my life. Life is too short and too precious to give myself an excuse to put something off until tomorrow.

    Instead, I firmly believe…

    It’s never too early to start something new.

    Just imagine for a moment consciously living your life looking forward to accomplishing something new instead of regretting what hasn’t even happened. Maybe this involves reading a new novel, listening to a new album, organizing a trip abroad, or simply making a concerted effort to spend more time outside in nature. Now ask yourself this: what reasons do you come up with every day to keep putting these things off?

    The straightforward answer is that there aren’t any valid reasons. We have simply conditioned ourselves to be complacent and wait for good things to happen. It is incredibly easy to become content, to not question or challenge events or situations in our lives. Think about this example of two runners—one on a treadmill and the other on a wooded trail. One of these runners is bound by the limitations of their treadmill: the incline, the speed, and the firmness of the belt are all constraints placed on the runner. The treadmill’s belt moves but the runner always stays in one position. The miles tick by, but the view never changes.

    Now, think about the runner on the wooded trail. His/her experience is not only different, it’s more fulfilling. A map may be consulted beforehand, every step must be thought out, the weather is certainly unpredictable, and the view changes constantly. Each stride brings a new experience and the trail runner owes it all to him or herself. He/she didn’t rely on electricity to power a treadmill or the hours that a gym is open. He/she created and took advantage of an opportunity to experience something new.

    Finally, think about these trail runners, not as strangers, but as your family members, co-workers, and friends. They stepped off the 9 to 5 treadmill that consumes so many people’s lives and they charted their own course. They decided to use their initiative to see something that they may never have seen before and may never see again, and they spent time with their partner that no one could ever take back. But, most importantly, they’re doing it at their own pace because they have taken charge of their future.

    So…where does that leave you? Start small: tread new territory, break out of your comfort zone, amplify a typically mundane task, and most importantly, as you’re preparing to leave for work or school or errands today, don’t think about what you’ll do…

    Think about what you are going to start today!

    Matthew Conboy

    Matthew Conboy (b. 1977) is an artist and educator based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was born in Washington, D.C., raised in London, and now resides on Pittsburgh's Northside. Conboy recently completed a PhD in Interdisciplinary Arts with specializations in Visual Art and Aesthetics at Ohio University (Athens, OH). He received his MFA in Photography from Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA) in 2004 and his BS in Architecture from The Catholic University of America (Washington, D.C.) in 1999. He now works as a photography instructor at Robert Morris University and Point Park University and is an active member on the Board of Directors at the Mattress Factory. In addition, Matthew is most excited about directing and curating Start with Art: Pittsburgh, the first program in the world that sends newborn babies home from the hospital with original, signed, and numbered photographic prints from emerging artists. In creating the world's youngest art collectors, Matthew firmly believes that art is a right, not just a privilege.

    For more information, please visit

    View all posts by Matthew Conboy.

    1. says:

      I like the idea of starting the day with the idea of starting something new each today! Time to break out of the comfort zone! Thank you! I love your program of giving art to families with new babies! What a wonderful way to develop a love of art! I enjoyed reading about your work!

    2. glory
      glory says:

      I loved what you wrote … simple and straight forward……. It has encouraged me to continue on my journey taking new steps sooner than later.

    3. Linda Gray
      Linda Gray says:

      His approach is totally positive staying away from words like procrastination – I think Creativity has a big play in this. It is hard to be creative if we get bogged down in thoughts or guilty feelings for not accomplishing some task on our list. By pursuing “new” ventures, even small tasks not on the list – it can be a fresh start. Living in Costa Rica where everyone thinks we live totally in manana land it is even more important to strive for “new”. Linda Gray


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