The Art of How to Make Progress
Have you noticed how knowing how to make progress is one of those things that only seems massively important when you’re not making progress?
The stinger is that being able to get that feeling of making progress is so essential to motivating ourselves to keep going. Without it, we feel stuck and get frustrated very easily. We lose hope. We give up. We don’t see the point in trying, if we’re not going anywhere.
In fact, being able to make progress is essential to feeling like you’re living a kick-ass, meaningful life.
Without it, you will certainly slip into negative thinking, questioning what it’s all for, and why should you bother. Feeling stuck is just a natural consequence of not triggering that feeling of progress.
The good news is you don’t have to light up the world to turn it all around (even though this is precisely what most movers and shakers try to do!)
If you’re a go-getter, I KNOW you’ve been there before.
How do I know?
Because this is a common problem experienced by people who have big dreams, and a desire to go out and set the world alight. It’s not something experienced by people without vision or ambition.
Unraveling the Go-Getters’ ‘Stuckness’
I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs, and the most common block that talented people come up against is trying to do everything, all at once. Even if they don’t intend to actually do everything in one go, they still try to see that track they’re going to run on.
The way to overcome this is both simple and sophisticated.
Let me explain.
It’s simple in that you have to take the first obvious step forward to be able to make progress. Don’t try and make it complicated or too involved. Imagine you’re hitting a golf ball… you don’t want to be whacking it all around the course. Just put it as close to the hole as you possibly can.
It’s also simple in that you need to know where you’re going and keep in mind that bigger outcome you’re shooting for. Paint that picture of where you want to get to in your mind’s eye: even if it’s something like finishing the paperwork clogging up your desk, or getting the kitchen cleared up. Visualize the end result – the task finished.
Right, now here’s where it gets sophisticated.
You need to keep your eye on both of these things at the same time: the end goal, and the simple, direct baby steps.
Take your eye off the baby steps, and you get mentally absorbed into a candy-land dream that will never materialist. Take your eye off the big picture, and you get trapped in the long grass of minutia.
Every Journey Begins With A First Step
With that in mind, here is the step-by-step process to making effective progress quickly:
- Get clear on where you want to end up. See the end goal – and sure, plan this end result in lots of detail.
- Now chunk back and decide what is the most obvious first thing you need to do.
- Take the first obvious step, holding in mind the big picture, i.e. where you want to end up.
- When you’ve done that, take the next step.
- Only ever plan the next two or three steps down the way.
Between Minutia and Candy Land
The road to real, tangible, jaw-dropping, tummy-turning progress lies slap-bang between those two worlds. You need to walk with one foot in each, and divide your attention between each on a daily basis, to really take the straightest path to where you need to go.
It works beautifully if you have an idea of what you want to create and where you want to end up. Sure, you can imagine and visualize all the detail in that end result… but trying to map in the same detail *how* you’re going to get there is flat out going to mess you up.
Name Your Candy Land
I’m curious to see what you’re shooting for. Leave me a comment, and describe your big vision – that ultimate goal you’re going to work towards.
Movers and shakers make things happen by getting clear on where they’re going, and then using the process described above.
That’s it! Go ahead and leave a comment sharing your ultimate vision for what you want to create.
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