It's About Your Expectations And Action
It's natural. We start a new project or new initiative and we get excited, as we should be. We see the potential for change, the potential impact and we want to make sure it's a success.
So we plan. We think through our goals, all the needs and requirements, where we need to get to. We identify the piece parts needed to make for our definition of success, because we want to do the best job possible, make the greatest change, create the best product we possibly can. We map these parts together, build the plan. We then take our first tentative steps.
Often, though - more times than we care to mention - we start to become impatient. Success is a long, long way off, and there's so much to do. In our heads, we're so far behind, that we feel the need to push - ourselves, others - to get to where we want things to be. But the pace, the progress doesn't speed up, it doesn't move any faster.
For many of us, the prospect of the journey, all that has to get done, is too much and we become overwhelmed. Or the first few steps that we take seem so small, so inconsequential (relative to where we want to be), that the entire quest itself seems far too daunting, too futile.
So we pause. We stall. Little by little, we begin to put things off. And when we do that enough, we ultimately stop, either tabling the initiative, or we let it, along with the burst of energy that launched it, wither away.
And just like that, we let our dreams go. When it's all so entirely unnecessary.
Because the thing we don't realize, is that it all boils down to two things: expectation and action.
We expect too much at the outset. I don't mean about what we can ultimately do (because we absolutely should dream big and expect the most in that respect), but about what we can get done on our way there. We overestimate the early steps and the change that we'll actually see, expecting - consciously or otherwise - too much, more than its often reasonable or practical.
And when those early expectations don't materialize, we're disappointed, frustrated, not acknowledging that it's really all about the second factor - action.
Our success is down to - almost always - simply doing. Because vast is the battlefield where our dreams have died due to simple inaction.
The truth is that it doesn't matter how big or small the step is, it only matters that the step is taken. Consistently. Over and over again.
It could be a simple phone call, a note in our idea book, a few minutes spent researching. But that very action is enough to move the ball forward. To keep us progressing. To keep the momentum going.
Because while a couple of weeks of small actions may not amount to much, in a year (and then a few years), it creates massive change. In the words of Bill Gates:
“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.”
So the point is, to move, to do, and to keep doing.
Set big goals, commit ourselves, plan appropriately, and then simply do.
And keep doing. Step by step. Bit by bit.
Until we've moved the mountain and created something that moves us, that creates the change we seek to make.