This past year I wrote and released a commercially published book, and I’ve been approached by people with similar aspirations asking about the process, and how to get it done. I always pass on Winston Churchill’s advice to writers: (I’ve heard it variously attributed since but in my mind it fits best in his mouth)
APPLY SEAT OF PANTS TO SEAT OF CHAIR
In other words, just show up and start.
One day, without over-thinking it, or even having an outline, I just sat down and started writing, and kept it up daily, and four months later I had a book.
Which leads me to my coaching tip for today. 80% of success is just showing up. To me, showing up means, in part, just getting started without waiting for or expecting perfection.
When I fail, it’s usually because the thought of starting is just too daunting. I’m like the stopped train that can’t get going because there’s a 2×4 on the track against the front wheels. But when the train is up to speed, it blasts through a concrete wall as if it wasn’t even there.
The obstacle isn’t the obstacle. The obstacle is me overthinking things rather than just showing up and getting started.
Which one do you need to show up for today:
- A potentially painful 2 minute call?
- Finally letting go of your pride and saying sorry to someone?
- A difficult in-person conversation?
- A project that you know you can do and will make a big difference in your life but you haven’t started?
- A dream you talk about but never do? (learning an instrument, restoring a car, entering a race, taking a trip, doing something special with your spouse or kid etc.)
Today, just decide to show up. Make it your priority. Motivation doesn’t come from how you feel; it comes from taking action, which in turn makes you feel motivated.
Forget perfection. Be first with the worst, but get it done.