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Stop Waiting and Start Doing

What things have you been putting off, waiting until they’re perfect?

I admire Seth Godin. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t be blogging. I’d be endlessly perfecting my prose. In private. But perfect doesn’t exist.

And waiting for perfection means we often miss opportunities to learn, grow, and improve. As Godin says, we need to “ship.” We need to get whatever we’ve got out there in the public arena.

Have you been sitting on a dream? Or tinkering with some idea or project and waiting for perfection? Waiting for the right time, or enough money, or more experience? If so, consider this your call to action!

Begin Now

Start. And I don’t mean start thinking about starting. You’ve probably been doing that already. I mean start doing the actual labor. You can always tweak the ‘grand plan’ as you go, but the important thing is to get hands-on immediately. Fortune favors the brave.

“I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it.” Vincent Van Gogh

Write down your goals. But make them tangible and visible. Be specific. Don’t agonize over the size of the project, and send yourself into a tailspin before you’ve barely begun. Instead, break your big goals down into smaller goals, and take one step at a time.

Be accountable. Tell someone what you plan to do, and ask them to check up on you. (And then don’t get weird and defensive when they do). Ideally, find a mentor. Someone with the wisdom, experience, and knowledge you seek. And talk to successful people in your desired field of endeavor. Connect, listen, and learn.

Research within reason. Research and perpetual preparation can suck the life out of a project or dream. It can become an excuse for not doing the real work, for not “shipping.” So always balance your research with action. Start laying the tile, writing the book, building the business, developing the recipe, teaching the craft, or whatever your dream is. By all means, get knowledge, but in all your getting never stop the doing.

Picture success. Envision the final outcome. Let your imagination soar, and take pleasure in the picture. It’s okay to dream. It’s a vital part of establishing and pursuing your goals. Just remember: always do the work. It’s a delicate and necessary balance.

“Nothing can stand in the way of the man who focuses his entire self on a problem.” Norman Vincent Peale

I would say the same applies to an idea or dream, not just a problem. So whatever you’ve been wanting to start–a book, a business, a blog, a restaurant, a dairy farm–take the first step today. And then tomorrow take the next. And so on. Don’t let a dream stay a dream.

 What About You?

Have you gotten bogged down waiting for perfection? What’s one thing you can do today to move forward?


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