7 Steps To Doing Your Big Thing
Almost everyone has some sort of big thing they want to do, and most of us have a few. You might want to start a business, write a book, become a martial arts expert, pay off your debt, learn to cook, or some other project that will take you months or years of dedication to accomplish. Whatever your goal is, you might feel like you just don’t have enough time or money or energy or knowledge to reach it. But you really do.
Several months ago, my husband and I were trying to sell a house. We weren’t getting many calls because it wasn’t a great house. It needed a lot of work and most people aren’t interested in a house, however cheap, that needs a lot of work. One morning, and old man called to ask about the house. I told him everything I knew that was wrong with the house, and he declared it was just what he was looking for. Because I am not the greatest salesperson in the world, (the house is still for sale), I reiterated just how bad it was, and urged him to come take a look at it. He answered by telling me the story of his first house.
Somehow, when he was very young, the man acquired a piece of property. He said that he was in his early 20s, and working as an apprentice electrician at the time. He told everyone he was going to build a house, and everyone laughed at him. He said that the day he started digging for the foundation of his house, he had $30 in his pocket. He used it to buy block. He said that everyday, after work, no matter how tired he was, he did a little work on his house. Even though he didn’t have much money, he used every extra penny to buy what he needed for his house. And, after about two years, the house was finished. The old man told me, with pride in his voice, “And that was just the first one!”
Although he didn’t buy our house, his story stayed in my head, because he described exactly what you have to do in order to finish something big.
Step 1: Make the decision. In making a decision to do a big thing, you are making a commitment to yourself.
Step 2: Get started. It’s easy to get stuck between step 1 and step 2. The old man had to actually pick up his shovel and start digging a foundation. He didn’t just sit on his property and dream about a house. You cannot finish what you don’t start.
Step 3: Ignore the people who laugh at you. Or who say that you can’t. You should consider the obstacles, but don’t let them stop you. There are always going to be naysayers, but you don’t have to listen to them.
Step 4: Work. Work. And work some more. The sentence “Everyday, after work, no matter how tired he was, he did a little work” makes it sound easy. You can take baby steps, but you must take steps. Whether it is everyday, every week, or on in a less routine manner, you need to be working toward your big thing regularly.
Step 5: Give yourself some inspiration. Big things are frustrating. Life is busy. Those two facts conspire to to put an end to most dreams. Find some way to stay interested in and dedicated to your big thing. Collect images on Pinterest. Join a club, association, or forum of other people interested in the same thing you are. Keep a notebook handy to jot down ideas that are pertinent to your project. Find a way to stay excited about your big thing.
Step 6: Remember that you have time. There has never been a human on earth who had more time than any other. We all have the same 24 hours. You may have children, a job, a spouse, and other responsibilities that take up your time. Ultimately, though, you get to decide how to spend your 24 hours. If your big thing is really important to you, you will dedicate some of your time to it.
Step 7: Give yourself permission to mess up. Do you think that the old man did everything perfectly on that first house? He didn’t mention it, but he probably messed up a lot. He was learning, after all. You will be learning, too, because you’ve never done your big thing before. You will screw up. Don’t let it stop you.
Are you working towards a big thing? What would you add to the list?