When you have a goal – whether it’s starting a business, getting in better shape or traveling the world – it’s easy to look at someone who’s already successful in that domain and then trying to reverse engineer their strategy.
While that can be useful, one thing that you have to realize is that the habits and strategies that successful people are using today are probably not the same ones they were using when they began their journey.
What is optimal for them right now isn’t necessarily needed for you to get started. There is a difference between the two, and you can’t let the fear of starting with something that’s less than perfect stop you.
You see, comparing your current situation to someone who is already successful can often make you feel like you lack the required resources to get started at all. If you look at their optimal setup, it can be really easy to convince yourself that you need to buy new things or learn new skills or meet new people before you can even take the first step toward your goals.
Usually, that’s not true. For example, you don’t need new shoes to start running. You don’t need new cooking bowls to start eating healthy. And you don’t need a new backpack to start traveling. Those things might be optimal, but they are not needed in the beginning.
Speaking of optimal, when it comes to eating healthy, maybe the optimal diet would involve buying grass-fed beef and vegetables that are only organic or some other super-healthy food strategy.
But if you’re just trying to make strides in the right direction, why get bogged down in the details? Start small and simply buy another vegetable this week – whether it’s organic or not. There will be plenty of time for optimization later.
Feeling like you need to “learn more” or “get all of your ducks in a row” can often be a crutch that prevents you from moving forward on stuff that actually matters.
You can complain that your golf game is suffering because you need new clubs, but the truth is that you probably just need two years of practice.
You can argue that it’s hard to travel light without the right backpack, but the reality is you could make it work with what you have now.
You can point out how your business mentor is successful because they use such and such software, but they probably got started without it.
Obsessing about the ultimate strategy or the ultimate diet or the ultimate equipment can be a clever way to prevent yourself from doing the hard work. But the truth is, many of us stand on the sidelines even though we have all the tools we need to achieve success – or at the very least, take the first step in getting started.
An imperfect start can always be improved, but obsessing over a perfect plan will never take you anywhere on its own.
Change That Up!