In the pursuit of what we want, or the striving to reach our potential, we are essentially attempting to get from point A to point B, whatever those points are. It could be from broke, to having a bit of money. From unfit, to healthy. From depressed, to happy. We all have different starting points and different goals.
However, in our quest to move from one state to another, we often tend to overcomplicate things. Sure, some things are not easy to do, and involve a lot of meandering, a lot of forward steps, and backtracking, until we get it right. But many things are pretty straight forward.
Maybe we subconsciously feel like things should be hard, so we invent extra steps and turn simple tasks into monstrosities. Or perhaps we actually fear success, being more comfortable with the status quo, the way things are. For all the ambition we have, a part of us wants to stay the same. So, we make it harder for us to move forward, and deliberately sabotage or take the longer route to get what we want.
As much as possible, we should move directly towards our goals. With most things, the steps are clear. We know what we must do. You want a good relationship? Invest time and effort into it. You want to get fit? Exercise and eat right. You want to make more money? Start by making more sales or reworking your business model. You want to make more sales? You don’t need to sit for a whole weekend listening to sales programs and reading books. You simply need to enter an office park and go knocking door to door. The point is, with most things, there is a direct and clear path to getting it. It may not be easy, it hardly ever is, especially when starting out, but many times it is a simple thing. It is the essence of the One Thing, the ability to recognize the most direct step towards your goal, and then do it.
There is no need to overly complicate your journey by adding extra steps. Don’t say ‘I’ll take this action, when that thing happens’. Do you really need that thing to happen first? Or can you execute right where you are? Do you have to wait to buy those gym clothes or get membership, or can you drop down right now and give me 20 push-ups? You don’t have to wait, you don’t have to dilly dally. You can get started now. Start by doing it badly if you are worried about perfection. We get lost in books and learning at times, because we want to get it right from the start. So, we wait until we feel like we know enough, before we attempt anything. But you can learn a lot more from taking a bit action than you do from reading hundreds of books.
Sure, you should learn before you earn. I am a big fan of the principle. You need a foundation of knowledge and awareness to build your activities on, as well as a sense of what to do when you get what you want. So, always be learning, always be improving your mental models, your understanding of the lay of the land, your sense of what is possible. But do not use it as an excuse not to act. Do not use it to procrastinate.
As much as possible, shorten the distance between your two points – between your intention and your execution, between your thought and your action, between your goal and your work. You know what needs to be done. Stop dicking around. Go do it.