The AM5 - Oct 4, 2020

Why is it so hard to do something you haven't done before?

The number one reason people don't make progress is they struggle to visualize the path.

This applies to any personal goal you've never achieved and any project, business, or new thing.

You must visualize the finish line AND the tangible steps to getting there.

Most people can see the end goal. That's easy.

But what about making a 10-20 step checklist and timeline for reaching that goal?

More difficult.

Think about something for a second.

Think about a big goal or project that you completed that was new to you when you started.

Maybe you finally got over your weight loss plateau and lost 20 pounds.

Maybe you finally finished writing that book or screenplay.

Maybe you built your own house.

Now try to remember what it was like when you started.

Did you struggle to figure out the next step, so it felt like you were wasting time?

Did you get distracted by things that weren't important that, in retrospect, was a waste of time?

So on and so forth.

Now compare those feelings to how you feel now if you were to do it all over again?

How much easier would it be?

Next time becomes an exercise in doing rather than an exercise is doing, figuring out, and thinking hard.

And that's the difference between having experience and not having it.

Experience gives you the ability to approximate the steps needed so you can connect that to a timeline for finishing.

This is why experience is so powerful, and why you often see companies trying to hire it.

Experience isn't everything, but it is a huge timesaver, which frees you up to focus on improvements and efficiency over struggling to figure out what's next as you slog through the unknown.

So if you don't have the experience, what can you do?

Make lists. Then sublists.

Work on this list while updating it as you get new information.

Accept not knowing—don't get stuck because you can't see what's in front of you. Most people like to see the entire path. Instead, all you need is to see the next logical step forward, which is, in most cases, obvious.

Finally, focus on first principles, which are the fundamentals you know for sure. Too often, people get caught up in complexity because complexity confuses them into believing it matters. Most of the time—like literally, 95%—complexity is just a distraction, and what you really need is an obsession with the basics.

-Colin Stuckert


Beware the barrenness of a busy life.
-Socrates


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