How to Do Instead of Talk
So no podcast Alpha Asian Podcast for this week. Thank you to those who've downloaded my previous episodes. Here are the highlights for my last episode on The Psychology of Accomplishing Goals:
Sometimes people ask me, "How do you find the time to do all the things that you do?"
I have a job that's a little more demanding and stressful than the usual 9 to 5. My wife and I have a daughter who's quite a handful at the moment. In my spare time, I run 2 blogs, write for various exercise magazines and websites and I’ve authored a number of books. And I still find time to workout.
People have dreams to accomplish something, but very few people accomplish what they dream of doing. For example, a lot of people want to write a book, but most of these people never write one. People use the excuse that they don’t have time.
This is bullshit. Everybody has the same 24 hours in a day. You cannot save time. You can only spend it. But you can spend it wisely or foolishly. You just have to get into a habit of taking action, of taking the first steps.
Here are some my mindset tips on what Guy Kawasaki calls the “art of the start.” These are tips to get you to act, to do, instead of talking about doing.
1. Just do it. A journey of thousand miles begins with one step. Bottom line is you got to do something, anything. You have to get momentum going. In other words, you have to get into a habit of performing actions as opposed to talking about them or planning them. A lot of people can clearly see a story in their heads, but they never put a word down on paper. You don’t have to be great to start, but you do have to start to be great.
2. Ready. Fire. Aim. Avoid analysis paralysis. If you worry too much about creating the perfect product (whether it’s a book or video), then you will never create it and someone else will. This is why businesses come up with updated versions of their products, a Version 2.0, because they want to get their version 1.0 out first before somebody else does.
3. Chunking. You may have some dream of making a movie or starting a social movement, but such dreams can be so grandiose, so complex that they can be too big to tackle. Complexity is the enemy of execution. So what do you do? You want to break up large projects into smaller tasks. For example, when I write my books I write each chapter as if they are stand-alone articles. I take a daunting task (writing a book) and think of it as a series of smaller projects.
4. Frame all actions as successes. Even if what you did was a failure, at least you learned something and that is a success. Success at an early stage simply means completion. For example, let’s say you ran your first marathon and completed it but you didn't come in first or even in the top 50%, then you shouldn't define it as a failure. You should define your own success and say, "I did well. I completed my first marathon. Next time, I'll work on bettering my performance. If I perform better, then that would be a success." Too many people take this all or none approach to everything. They define everything by success or failure, when in reality, most situations are opportunities to learn and practice. Art is the process, not the outcome. So define your own success.
5. Don’t tell people your birthday wish, or it won’t come true. Studies show that telling someone your goal makes it less likely to happen. When you tell someone your goal, your mind is tricked into feeling that it's already done. Because you feel the satisfaction of having accomplished this goal, you're less motivated to do the hard work necessary. The second reason you don’t tell people your goals is that they will make you doubt yourself. Some people might think your dream is stupid, or they won’t believe that you’ll accomplish it. That negative energy you receive from people can make you doubt yourself and question your own abilities. So don’t tell people your dreams.
6. Don’t rely on a partner or group to motivate you to act. Do it yourself. In my experience, people who want to start or join a writing group, never come up with a book, because they’re relying on others to motivate them. Crowdsourcing seems nice, but people get into arguments about how things should be done, and they end up negating each other’s efforts. Don’t rely on other people to create your vision (whether it’s a website, a social movement or business) unless you’re the boss. Better to have followers than partners. Start off as a soloist, and then attract followers for the cause.