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Struggling to Do Big Things? Break It Down!

What is it that separates people who experience remarkable success from those who are just… well… average?

One thing: action.

We often look at those who do “great” things and think, “Wow, must be nice!” Or, “Wow, I wish I had it that easy!”

That’s because we typically don’t notice them until they get “there” (although there is no “there,” but that’s a story for another day).

So we just think that somehow they woke up one morning and poof… greatness. Then we just go back to dreaming (or hoping) that one day we’ll experience our own breakthrough.

The truth is, everyone who does something remarkable starts by doing something rather unremarkable.

The key word is actually doing. The second keyword is something.

Do. Something.

And maybe we should add “different.”

Do something different. (You know the old saying: Keep doing what you’ve been doing and you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.)

I know, this is ridiculously simple advice: Do something. Great, thanks, Shawn.

Everything I’ve said so far is true, but here’s the real meat of this message:

Most people don’t achieve the great things they dream of because they just keep staring at this big, massive goal and they have no idea how to get there… no idea where to start.

You’re here. The goal is there. What do you do?!

What you do is break the big goal down into baby steps and take one at a time.

That’s the only sure way to get “there.”

Dr. BJ Fogg at Stanford University identifies three key elements in achieving any desired behavior: Motivation, Ability and Trigger.

Your motivation is what makes you want to pursue this behavior or action (or goal) in the first place — to alleviate pain, to experience pleasure, etc.

The trigger is a prompt or cue or something that nudges you to start.

The ability is simply your ability to do what you want (or need) to do. More specifically, it’s how simple it is for you to do it… and when you’re staring at that big mountain, it’s the opposite of simple. It’s extremely complicated and difficult. What that does is cause you to not take action — “Why should I? I don’t have a chance anyway!”

So you must break your goal down into steps that are manageable. Make it simple for yourself.

What is it that you want to do?

What is the simplest first step you could take toward that goal?

For example, if you want to write a book, you might start with an outline. Or if that’s too much, then write down some key themes or points you want to address. Then write one sentence… then a paragraph… then a page… then a chapter…

Doesn’t that feel like something you can do?

Don’t defeat yourself before you get started.

Take one step.

Then tomorrow, take another.

And then the next day…

You can get to the top of your mountain!