It’s a wonderful thing to set goals. To plan for the future. But you have to be cognizant of the fact that no amount of planning alone will guarantee the outcome you hope for.
The difference, whether you see things come to fruition or not will be determined by the effort you put into what you have planned for. Interestingly, you can’t have one without the other. Planning & action. They’re twins of sorts, in that they feed each other. And make no mistake, you need a balance of both.
Planning Alone Will Not Get You The Results You’re After. You Need Consistency of Action too…
You find that balance by embracing consistency of action in your daily routine. Overtime even the most insurmountable of undertakings can come to pass. As proof consider the following examples:
The Brooklyn Bridge, which what must have been considered an unattainable idea at the time, at least initially, yet through planning, revision, and execution of the plan not only was built, but still stands to this day, having served countless people in the city it resides. Perhaps what is taken for granted today is that the actual construction of the bridge took some 13 years to build. That my friend is a lot of “consistency of action required”, on a whole lot of ongoing tasks to see it through. As they say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day, but it was built.”
Consider the career or job path you’re currently on, or think about someone you know who might be viewed as an expert in their profession. How do you think they attained that level of mastery? It didn’t happen through osmosis. It certainly didn’t happen by magic. Rather, it happened because he or she (or you perhaps) spent time in the activity of their given profession. Observing, learning, and participating in the very things which make up the particular profession.
In short, we would be hard pressed to find anyone who achieved mastery over a subject without “doing” it over a particular period of time. You can be the most studied in a subject, but until you’ve gone from academic, to applying action in the given area, you’re just not going be able to have grasped the level of those who are “in the activity” on a regular basis do.
Don’t wait for permission to get started. Ultimately you’re the only one who can grant you permission to go for your dreams…
Years ago when I first decided I wanted to be a writer, long before I ever aspired to write a book, much less get a traditional book deal and have it published (though I have now) one of the important things I managed to avoid was falling victim to the idea that I somehow had to follow a set of rules put into place by the purveyors of conventional wisdom. Perhaps you know the one I’m referring to.
The idea that I’d need to gain formal training from some college, or higher learning institution, who needed to bestow a degree on me prior to becoming a writer. Or that I would have to be more studied to get started. Or that I’d have to be flawless in my grammar, and english composition skills. Fortunately, perhaps a bit naively, I didn’t give those things a second thought.
Instead, I just did what seemed the natural first step. I fired up my computer and began to write. I wrote just as I would if I were speaking what I wanted to say. The funny thing is this is very much the same way I do it today. I wasn’t a great writer to begin with. Then again, who is ever good at what they do when just getting started? It’s the consistency, the doing of the thing overtime, which allows us to improve, to get better, to gain mastery. Consider times in your own life where you have found this to be true.
You Attain Mastery by Taking Right Action…
Friend, if you wish to excel in your given profession don’t just hope you’ll pick things up over time that will allow you to improve. Be intentional about it. Pick up a book, or audio program, attend a seminar, work with a mentor or coach, anything that can directly allow you to improve your skillset. Don’t leave things up to chance. Decide what you wish to excel in, and introduce the things into your routine that will allow you to attain the results you want to see.
Anything worthwhile isn’t going to just happen. It takes effort, but then again, isn’t that at least part of the reason we value having met with achievement? When things come easy, we don’t place the same value on them as we do those we had to work at.
Consider the 10,000 Hour Rule…
Malcolm Gladwell, in his book titled, Outliers: The Story of Success discusses the 10,000 hour rule. The basic premise is that mastery, and or greatness in a given area or endeavor takes time, a good bit of it, to excel, or attain true expertise. That isn’t to say that there aren’t exceptions to the rule, just to say that for the most part, in even the examples of the most “gifted” among us, you can identify that they put in their “10,000 hours.” I suspect you have found this to be true. Either in your own life, or the lives of those you look up to or consider experts.
The point above isn’t to scare you away, or make you feel bad if you haven’t put the time into the areas you want to excel. After all, it’s not about where you start, nor even where you are now, but where you finish that counts in the end. My hope is that you’ll realize that whatever you wish to do, to accomplish, to be, or become, will require giving your time to it. That isn’t a bad thing. In fact, that should excite you — in that effort and time on a given endeavor is a great equalizer with regards to your attaining mastery & expertise. And that my friend, is something to be excited about!
It’s Your Life, LIVE BIG!
– What are your thoughts on the ideas above? Share your feedback in the comments below.