You have many outstanding qualities. You’re smart. You’re creative. You’re imaginative. You may even be a visionary. So what could be holding you back?
Here’s the rub. Too often you become enamored with an idea but don’t follow through with the action that needs to be done to make that idea a reality. You think about it, you get revved up about it, you talk to others about it, but you don’t propel your idea into orbit.
No matter how clever you are, no matter how ingenious your ideas are, without dedicated work, you end up with zilch. You hope, you wish, you expect, yet you don’t achieve. What does that do to your ego? Perhaps you experience it as a letdown, a setback or a drag. But watch out, for when it becomes a pattern, it can bankrupt your soul.
So, if you’re hot to trot but can’t get going, here’s what you must do:
1. Appreciate the difference between daydreams and goals. Daydreams are enjoyable especially when you’re thinking about visually appealing images: an award, a best-selling novel, a fantastic tech invention. Goals, in contrast, involve a plan with an explicit structure such as clearly defined objectives, steps to take to achieve those objectives, time frames for meeting each step, a goal line to know when you’ve achieved your objective.
So, enjoy your dreams. But whatever you’re striving to achieve, map out the road you’ll take to reach your goal.
2. Differentiate between “Feeling Good for the Moment”’ and “Feeling Good About Yourself.” “Feeling good about yourself” happens when you take pride in who you are and what you’ve accomplished. “Feeling good for the moment,” in contrast, satisfies your urge of the moment. It’s so easy to veg out by watching TV, playing video games or lounging in the sun like a lizard on a rock. Yes, taking it easy and having fun is fine. But stay in that mode too long and it will be at the expense of your accomplishments.
3. Limit Your Use of Fuzzy Language When you use fuzzy language, you don’t even realize that you’re giving yourself permission to slack off. Which sentences do you think will help propel you forward?
“I’ll try to write a proposal this week,” or “I am committed to writing a proposal this week.”
“I’d like to get more organized so I can move ahead with my idea,” or “I will create an organizational structure on Monday to help me move ahead with my idea.”
I hope you noticed that the first sentences start off with fuzzy words (I’ll try to, I wish, I’d like to) in contrast to the second sentences which are definitive about the action and the time frame in which you will
do your work.
4. Ground Your Thinking by Asking Relevant Questions You’ve got a great idea. To help yourself clarify your goals, ask yourself questions that begin with “Who, What, Where, When, Why and How.” A few examples:
Who could I brainstorm with about my idea?
What makes my idea unique?
Where would my proposed product work best?
When would I create a proposal to show to a company?
Why do I want to put time and effort into making this idea a reality?
How can I complete the work I need to do to get my certification?
No matter how smart you are, no matter how creative your ideas are, work still needs to be done to make them happen. Even Einstein didn’t rely solely on his super power brain; he attributed his success to his steady work habits: “It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
“Begin somewhere. You cannot build a reputation o what you intend to do.”