A few years back I was surprised to hear Brian Tracy say that most people try things less than once before giving up. In other words, most people convince themselves out of going for things before even trying.
But you can’t win the game just sitting on the sidelines. There’s only one way we win and that is by being in the game (and a heck of a lot of hard work).
Lots of people have dreams of being rich and famous. Lots of people want to live in a big house overlooking the sea with a fireplace in the living room. Some people dream of running a multi-million dollar company. And there are still people who dream of riding off into the sunset with their Mr. or Mrs. Perfect.
Regardless of what we want, there is one requirement – action. We can’t just wait for our dreams to fall in our laps, that’s not how it works.
Action is where we separate those that can and those that can’t.
And as we all know the first step is always the hardest.
If you’ve ever stood on the edge of a diving board 10 feet in the air and looked down you know what I’m talking about. From down on the ground 10 feet might not look like much but when you’re up there looking down it’s quite a drop.
From down on the ground you’re not participating. You’re merely observing.
But up there, you’re involved. There will be consequences to your actions. Fall badly and it can quite painful as I once found out.
The other day when talking to a client I posed a question to them…if you have decided to diet, which day is the hardest?
Naturally, the first one.
Why? Because that’s the one that comes with inevitable pain of leaving what is comfortable behind and doing the uncomfortable. That’s the one most people don’t take. It’s the one that most people can’t be bothered to do.
But let’s say you do take that first step. What’s the most difficult step then?
The second one.
It’s not the 15th hurdle that we need to worry about when are in the starting blocks, but rather the one right in front of us. Too many people look down the path and say to themselves, “That’s a lot of work. I’ll never make it that far so why should I bother getting started?”
The answer is – because if you don’t start you’ll never win.
Successful people see the world differently than others. They can see the finish line but know that all they need do is to focus on getting past the first hurdle. Once they have done that, they focus on the next one.
By taking each hurdle individually, they are breaking the goal up into manageable chunks instead of viewing it as a single problem, which can be overwhelming for many people.
Whether you are building a model airplane, cooking spaghetti, writing a book or flying to the moon, success is determined by simply following a blueprint.
You can’t skip certain steps because you just don’t like them and you can’t just go in any order you like.
I have never forgotten what Neil Armstrong once said when he was asked him about the problems they (the astronauts) faced about their journey to the moon.
He said, “You only have two problems when you’re going to the moon: first, how to get there; and second, how to get back. The key is don’t leave until you have solved both problems.”
Keep things simple.
Take that first step, then the next, then the next, and before you know you’ll find yourself at the finishing line.
Success is reserved for those that do.
Be a person who does.