Sunday, February 3, 2008

The Every-Day Magic of Small Steps

by Philip Humbert

One of the great tragedies is to spend life nurturing a great dream, a "magnificent obsession" and never see it come true. To die with your dreams still inside you, waiting for another time, another day, or a "big break" is the greatest of failures. We cannot wait!

Literally every thing you see and every tool you use, even the chair you're sitting on, began as nothing but thought. Someone had an idea for a chair. Henry Ford had an idea that cars could be in every garage. Your computer began as an idea and a series of huge, crude devices in the 1940's. The computer you are looking at right now began as someone's idea that they could manufacture and sell computers better, faster and cheaper than anyone else.

Everything starts with an idea.

It always has, and always will.Many people have observed that "ideas are things." Thoughts and words have the power to move us, to change us, and to become living, breathing, tangible things! In a sense, our world is made up of nothing but thoughts and words!

But there is a gulf between an idea and its fulfillment.

Most "things" are actually still-born and never come to fruition because we fail to span the gulf between potential and reality. That gap can only be bridged with daily action.

How many times have you thought of an invention or process that could be worth a fortune and later found that same (or a similar) product for sale a few months later? We've all had that experience. Someone got rich off "your" idea and the difference is that they took specific, concrete, focused ACTION. Their product is in the store, for sale, making them money, and your idea is still...a dream.

Here are some basics, some essentials to make your dreams come true:

1. Keep a list of big things. On your desk, or on your bathroom mirror, keep a list of your most important projects, goals and commitments. Keep it where you see it, and read it, every day. Keep it current. What we think about, gets done.

2. Keep a list of small things. Keep a list of 5-minute tasks, phone calls or notes that you can do any place, any time. When you have a moment, make that call. Every day, send a note or read a few pages. Always know "what's next" and take action, every single day.

3. Plan your days. Every evening, plan the following day. First thing in the morning, plot your strategy. Leaders have always done this! This is not new! But only about 4% of the population does it. Write down your priorities and choose your daily actions.

4. Take magnificent care of yourself! Healthy, happy, energetic people get the most done. It takes time and energy to achieve greatness. If you "don't have time," or are too tired or too distracted, you will not achieve your dreams. Take care of yourself.

We've all heard the phrase, "Rome wasn't built in a day." We know that "a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step," and we've heard the Serenity Prayer that ends, "Give me the courage to change the things I can."

Most of us will not achieve great things over-night because in general, human beings do not do "big" things. We do little things. We get up, we go to work. We hug our loved ones, we make phone calls. We balance the checkbook, exercise and fix dinner. We do little things! Highly successful people simply do the right little things, at the right time, in the right way, and they do lots of them.

If you would achieve great things, do little things and pile them one on top of another, until you reach the stars.

Start today.

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