Prime The Pump of Your Success!

The journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.  Getting started on any new task is most of the battle.  It feels as if there is some unseen force holding me back, and the longer I wait to get going, the stronger the force becomes.  It’s almost as if I can feel a type of gravitational pull that seems to strengthen as I hesitate.  On the other hand, by jumping into the task, even in the most simple or haphazard way seems to weaken the unseen force. Action begets action.  Just moving, any type of movement gets the ball rolling, and soon the momentum begins to build.

Getting started is the fundamental building block of all achievement.  With out taking some sort of action, nothing happens…ever.  No amount of thought alone will make much of a difference until you actually DO something.  I have thought for years about starting a business of my own and strangely no business  magically appeared.  In fact no amount of dreaming about it, reading about it or watching others start businesses has actually made a difference.  This applies to any thing.  Losing weight, beginning a relationship, finding a job, mowing the lawn, writing an essay, running a race.  Believe me I am qualified to write on this topic as I have practiced the “art of waiting” on nearly all of these areas only to find that the task can always “out wait” me

After years of observing and practicing different strategies for how to get started on difficult tasks, I have discovered the secret… Just take action!  Any type of action, but get moving.  This is the “secret” to achieving the greatest of all achievements.  Ask anyone, go right on ahead and pick a person that has achieved something and ask them, “Hey how did you lose that weight?” (but not your mother-in-law

About four years ago, and after years of thinking about it, I decided to begin exercising.  I had put on some pounds, and while it wasn’t a great deal of extra weight it was 10 or 15 pounds more than I wanted.  Now I had devised all sorts of reasons to not begin.  I didn’t have the right shoes.  I didn’t have time. I didn’t have enough energy.  I didn’t have the right socks.  I have flat feet and anyone knows that flat feet create problems, etc etc (waaa, waaa, waaa, whine, whine whine, moan, wait, grumble, wait some more…) and finally I just put on a pair of shoes, opened the front door to my house, and started walking.  And as I walked some thing miraculous began to happen…I started to feel pretty good.  The fresh air on my face, some new sights, the blood started to flow, my legs and back warmed  up and soon it felt wonderful.  By the time I had walked a couple of miles I was really feeling good.  The next day, the same time, I did it again, and then again…and again.  Now I run with my wife nearly every morning at 5:00 AM.  It is the most natural thing in the world.  It doesn’t really matter now what the weather is, or if I feel tired.  We just do it.  Along the way I lost about 12 pounds (I don’t care if I never find them again ;-)  We live in a Utah, with some pretty cold and snowy winters and we just get up, put on our running clothes, open the front door and go.  There are benefits that go way beyond physical health as we use that time to talk, get caught up on things, make plans etc, that is a topic for another day.  It all started by just getting up, opening the front door and walking.  I didn’t even have exercise shoes, I just used the shoes I had.  After all they seemed to work ok for the walking I did during the day at work, so why not?

Another example of this principle was finishing our basement.  When we purchased the home we live in now, the home came with an unfinished basement.  I used to walk down here (my office is in the basement now) and look around.  I would think about it a lot.  Really good thoughts too, about how nice it would be to have a number of additional rooms, a family room, a couple of bedrooms, a bathroom, and office, storage.  We even went to some home shows and we looked at all types of designs, and materials.  Yet the basement remained a cool box with concrete walls and the slight smell of sawdust from the recent construction of the upper levels.  

After about 8 months of thinking about it I decided that I would do something on the basement EVERY DAY.  Even if I only had 20 minutes.  If all I could do was organize a few things, or move some 2×4s into position for framing later, that is what I would do.  Some evenings It would amount to a small accomplishment.  However, after about a month I had framed the entire basement.  Then I started drilling holes and pulling wire, installing outlets and light fixtures.  Before long we were installing insulation, and then hanging sheet rock.  Exactly 12 months from the day I started I laid the carpet and the basement was completed.  It was a marvel to see how even small amounts of work, accomplished on a consistent, daily basis, resulted in an entire basement being completed.

Of all the hurdles I encounter in getting started on something, the biggest is the following thought, “I just don’t feel motivated to do it”.  Here is another secret (cupping my hands and whispering in your ear): You probably never will at first!!Just do it anyway.  Once you are in motion, THEN the motivation comes.  Getting going requires a type of “priming the pump”.  It’s just one of those natural laws of the universe.  Imagine walking into a cold room, strolling over to the wood burning stove and declaring in an earnest voice, “stove, I will feed you some wood and fire as soon as you give me some heat”.  It ain’t gonna happen.

There is absolutely nothing you can’t accomplish if you take consistent action and never quit.  See that is the biggest secret of all!  You don’t have to be the smartest, or the strongest person, you just have to take small consistent actions every single day.  Most people just aren’t consistent, they get tired and impatient and they quit.  So the prize goes to the person that doesn’t quit.  You have everything in your favor.

Take action!  No matter how small, and commit to do it daily.

“Prime the pump” of your success…and DO it!