Almost daily, I am confronted with folks who have great ideas or just know what needs to be done–yet they procrastinate, evade, or sucumb to laziness. To put it in terms I use with my clients, “Ready? Aim! Aim! Aim! Aim! Aim! Aim!…”
If you know what needs to be done and how to do it, why not finally pull the trigger and “Fire!”? A book I read recently refers to this as “analysis paralysis.” Cute phrase, but perhaps a little soft on those who are masterful practitioners. Mind you, I’m as guilty of it as some of those to whom I’m referring.
Imagine what would happen if everyone we knew simply did ONE more than usual of the things they “should” be doing… Don’t worry about becoming perfect as a first step. Simply focus on getting one more thing done than usual. I’m reminded of another phrase… “A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.”
There are those who are advocates of the idea that entrepreneurs should be of a mindset to “Ready! Fire! Aim!” While I see their point and I can see–pragmatically–how this would work “enough” to keep things moving, but I also think this is the reason people accept inappropriate work/contracts all in the name of “moving forward”.
The solution lies in knowing what you want and actually ACTING to obtain it. For example, when someone claims to want to lose weight, if they are not ACTIVELY doing something about it, they’re LYING about it. This becomes applicable to those who are “acting” on their desire to lose weight… some would simply “eat less” in some hopes of losing weight– all without any plan of action or specific lifestyle goals. I am an advocate of deciding on a path to take, learn it, then do it well.
In my own weight control efforts, I decided a while back that The Atkins Nutritional Approach was the way I wanted to go. My first action was to READ THE ENTIRE BOOK written by Dr. Atkins so as to confirm that this was something I liked and believed do-able. After reading the book, I implemented the plan. Period. Result? I lost 54 pounds in the first 60 days. As I went along, countless folks would tell me how “unhealthy” my plan was or that I should do “something else” instead. Blah. Ignore them. Choose a path and stick to it–until you have evidence that it is not working as desired.
In Buddhism, there is a saying, “There are many paths to the top of a tall mountain,” and this is extremely accurate and applicable to ANY action plan. The key is not so much which path you choose, but that you pick ONE path and stick to it. People who switch paths often do a lot of moving, but never get any closer to the summit and may even go backwards. There will always be “another path” you can take, and many may “look greener” than your current path, but it only makes sense to switch paths when the alternative is clearly and genuinely, significantly better or when your current path dead ends.
Ok, so my point is this… CHOOSE a path, ACT on it, KEEP GOING regardless of naysayers. And stop putting things off because they’re imperfect. Make them perfect later–but keep moving in the meantime.