Norton: The most important step to success is step 1 (column)
Have you ever had this incredible urge and surge to take on a big project or massive idea? You probably know what I mean, the kind of project that when we first think about it we get so excited that we just can’t wait to get started, and in our hearts and minds, we want to tackle the whole thing immediately. I mean we really want to get after, it right?
Cleaning out the garage, the attic, or the basement seems like a really good idea until we open the garage door, crawl up into the attic, or walk down into the basement and gaze upon the enormity of what could become the world’s greatest cleaning project ever. That urge and surge in our hearts to really get after it suddenly becomes the run and hide white flag of surrender or retreat.
Writing a book, maybe a topic or subject that we have been dreaming about doing for a long time and a message that we want to share with the world because we have such great passion for it. Then we look at our notes and outline, we realize how much time and commitment this is going to take, and before we know it, once again we have talked ourselves out of pursuing our goal of writing a book and have walked back onto the ledge of giving up because it just seemed too big and too massive to undertake.
So as the wrestling match continues between our urge to super achieve and the enormity of the task in front of us, it really leaves us with only one a decision to make, do we take the first step or not.
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And Zig Ziglar says it this way, “People who never take step one can never possibly take step two.”
So, no matter how big the project or goal is, before we try and boil the ocean and believe that we can complete the project or task in some kind of abbreviated fashion or quick fix, we need to stop and remember that all we have to do is take the first step. Cleaning out the garage, move the first bicycle; cleaning out the attic, move the first box; writing a book, write the first sentence or paragraph; fixing a broken relationship, say the first words; starting a diet, adhere to the first meal plan. Success really does begin with step one.
If we were to take a really good hard look at every single project, large and small in our lives, and focused on the very first step that would lead us to success, we would realize that most times it is also the very smallest step in our success journey. Start with something small and easy and let the momentum build is a terrific strategy.
Zig Ziglar also said this, “We really can make radical changes in minute steps. Earthquakes, hurricanes and floods get all the attention, but termites do more damage each year.” Radical changes in minute steps, taking one bit at a time is where it’s at. It’s when we can distill the massiveness down to the manageable, in that moment that we can begin to clearly see the path ahead and know what we need to do in order to get to where it is that we really want to go.
So how about you? Do you have a good plan for taking on tasks, projects and your goals? Or does the size and magnitude of what needs to get done submarine your spirit and your desire to take it on? Either way I would love to hear your story at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can learn to take step one, then step two, step three and all the rest of the steps, it really will be, a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker. He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.
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