Enlist perspective…

“The most important thing about getting somewhere is starting right where we are.”

Bruce Barton

Once you have made the decision to “go” what is next? How do you start? Where do you start? The best practice I have ever found to help accomplish this is the classic “Gap Analysis.” I have written about this before here.

The real key to getting somewhere is being able to conduct an honest assessment of where you really are right now. It is so easy to buy into a false sense of self or have perceptions that aren’t reality. Enlist of the help of trusted friends and colleagues to bounce your ideas off of and ask this one question.

“Based on your understanding of my goals and desires, what is the one action you would recommend I take today to move forward?”

You don’t have to agree with the answers, you don’t even have to like the answers. But you do have to listen. If these are truly people that you trust and respect, then they have an interest in your success. Gaining outside-in perspective is incredibly valuable and can help you identify things you might have otherwise overlooked.

Starting where you are doesn’t have to be a lonely endeavor. Enlist the help of others. Enlist their perspective to ensure that you are truly starting from the right place.

Decide to start…

“The distance doesn’t matter, only the first step is difficult.”

Madame Marquise du Deffand

How do you know how far is far enough? Does it really matter?

Does the distance or degree of difficulty determine what is the right thing to do?

Does how far you have to go define whether or not you should make the journey?

I would strongly argue that if you let distance or difficulty define your decisions then you are choosing to let those things define your life.

It isn’t how far you go that truly matters, it is the decision to make the journey that counts. When you decide not to be limited by outside variables you are freeing yourself to act. Having made the decision to embark you are empowered and enabled to do what really counts. Take action…

The contagion of beginning…

“If we wait for the moment when everything is ready, we will never begin.”

Ivan Turgenev

Everything can be improved upon. No idea, concept or plan is perfect. In fact, everything we do in life falls far short of being as good as it possibly could be. And that is okay.

Take a deep breath. Let it out. Yes, nothing we ever do will be perfect, and that is okay.

As a person that likes to do things “right” I know how hard it can be to balance between making sure that some idea is “ready” and when is it “ready enough.”

We can always wait one more day, and then begin. We can always rehearse the presentation or pitch just one more time. We can always review and edit the plan (or the blog post) just a little bit more and make it better. But what if “one more day” turns into never? What if the extra time rehearsing makes the presentation feel scripted or canned instead of real and authentic? What the extra time editing and reviewing removes the real and raw emotion and prevents “publish” from ever being clicked? What great works have been lost to the annals of time because the creator of the work spent all their time getting ready, but never actually started on the effort itself?

Seek to find the balance between “right” and “right now.” Know when you have reached the point of “good enough” and then begin. Make the commitment to beginning a higher priority that the commitment to getting ready.

Throughout life I have found that waiting can be contagious, but so is taking action. Be sure that you are a carrier of the contagion of beginning, and not the carrier of the disease of seeking perfection before beginning.

Finish what you start…

“The secret of getting ahead is getting started.”

Anonymous

And the secret of staying ahead is to finish what you started…

How do you find the right balance between “try a lot of things and keep the ones that work,” and “don’t start something new until you have finished what is most important?”

This is a question that is rolling around in my head of late. Start the right things and finish them. See them all the way through, no matter what. Starting is easy, finishing strong is much harder.

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