You can forget setting goals.
Don’t spend any more time reading, or mapping out your goals, or analyzing your strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to stuff like this, more analysis is not the answer.
Writers, bloggers, motivators will tell you that mapping out your passions and your interests is the key to success.
I want to gouge my eyes out.
These posts are inspiring, but they also make it almost certain you won’t take action. So many of us think about and analyze and plan our dreams. Then, we pat ourselves on the backs for doing such a good job analyzing AND WE NEVER DO ANYTHING.
If you spend all your time “wanting” to do things, it doesn’t leave much time to actually do something.
Instead, just pick a thing and get after it.
The thing you pick might be random (even if you think it’s random it’s probably not a coincidence it popped into your brain). Just whatever it is, take decisive action on that one thing — right now, today.
While other people are analyzing and journaling and meditating on their intentions, you will be DOING. Already, you’ll have a head start on the people stuck in analysis paralysis.
So call 10 people, write 100 lines of code, take 20 photos, do 5 pullups. Whatever it is,start on it today.
WHAT TO DO TOMORROW
Work just a little bit harder. Be disciplined. Work on the same exact goal.
For instance, take 20 more pictures. This time make them a little bit better.
THE NEXT DAY…
Work just a little bit harder again.
Your method doesn’t have to be perfect.
Right now, analysis is the killer. Who cares if you learn photography or coding or sailing or whatever all wrong?
You’re just a beginner. It doesn’t matter how effective your method is. It’s more important that you work on it everyday.
Don’t overanalyze this part either. Don’t incessantly tweak your workout plan or read 10 books on how to take good pictures. Right now you need a habit of doing. You need to learn by doing.
3 or 6 months from now, when you have a portfolio of past projects (aka past mistakes) under your belt, then you can appreciate tweaking the effectiveness of your training.
Right now, focus on doing and enjoying what you’re doing.
Tweaking can come later.
The beauty of daily practice
Even if you’re not good right now, working on something everyday means you’re bound to get better. Of course you are, you’re still a beginner.
- “I’ve been doing computer programming for 5 years!” you might say
You’re still a beginner.
And the only way to become an expert is by doing. Keep doing new projects make new mistakes. It will take a while, but you will become good.
Daily practice compounds upon itself. Sometimes it will be hard. It won’t feel like you’re making progress. Keep going. Soon you’ll have a breakthrough.
- Stop planning
- Start doing something, right now
- Do that thing again and again, day after day & add a little more each day
- Don’t read or analyze until you’ve made some mistakes (~3 months)
- Compounding daily practice will teach you a lot
- Keep going. There’s always more to learn.
I send articles like these to my insider’s list — I only email once a month.
It’d mean a lot to me if you’d follow me on Medium.