I believe one of the main problems people have with reaching for really big goals is figuring out where to start. I know that that was a constant problem for me in trying to build a business. I followed tips from The 4-Hour Work Week. I asked people who had their own businesses. But nothing really jelled for me until I found a process that made sense to me.
Let’s say that your goal is to become a Senator, or the President. Let’s say that you want to get Brad Pitt’s body. Let’s say you want a family, but you don’t even have a significant other. Maybe you want to write a book, or a song. All of these are big goals, and everyone should have some big goals in their lives. But where do you start?
One of my very favorite books is Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I would VERY HIGHLY recommend this book to anyone and everyone. I would recommend it most to anyone looking to better define themselves. In that book, Mr. Pirsig talks about speaking to a student who had a big project but could not get started.
He wanted her to write about one of the buildings on their main street in town, but she couldn’t think of anything to write. So he said, “Ok, just pick one brick and start writing about that.” So she left and came back the next day with way more text than he had asked for. She stated that once she started writing about one specific thing, the dam broke and her thoughts came pouring out.
Another interesting example of this being used by others is how LinkedIn wants to use it. I recently went to a talk from a rep of LinkedIn where he talked about the future of his company. One of their goals is to be able to present all of the data that they have in a useful way to their end users. One of the ways they will do that is you can say your career goal is to be a Chief Marketing Officer one day. They will look at all of the people on LinkedIn who are CMOs and tell you what is the most likely path to get you there. Even more than that, it will tell you where you are right now and what the next, best step is in your career. Crazy, huh?
Just as one last example. I really wasn’t sure what this blog post was going to be about today. So I used this technique myself, and look how much I was able to write.
So, my advice to anyone having a hard time trying to start something because it seems so huge is just pick one tiny little thing and get that done. Then pick another tiny little thing, and get that done. Eventually, if you get enough tiny little things done, you will have started something big.