I came across an interesting thought in the book I am reading right now, which is This is Marketing, by Seth Godin. Godin gave an example about picking your battles, and understanding the scope and playing field that you belong on. The example is as follows. You have a small bottle of purple dye, and when you put just a drop of it on your skin, the exposed area becomes a vibrant purple and it’s tough to get it off. Then, you take that same dye and put a drop of it in a pool. Not much happens. You then pour the whole bottle in and it subtly changes the color of the water. Then, you go to the ocean, and try putting both a drop of dye and the whole bottle of dye in the water, realizing that it has absolutely no effect on the color of the ocean.
What’s the message here? Select a challenge you are capable of conquering.
Oftentimes we have a really ambitious vision for something we want to create or get done. But, as we’ve all heard, it doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s important to think about the necessary steps and protocol to begin working toward that larger vision. Picking a hurdle you can leap does a few important things with your motivation and effort. First, you set yourself up for the possibility of success instead of instant failure. The positive relationship that you develop with your task serves as a surge of momentum that will help you to take action, and provide the necessary motivation. Let’s also think about this physically. Leaping over a smaller hurdle will train you to be able to do a one day leap over the larger hurdle you previously couldn’t surmount. But, if you spend your time initially on that first larger hurdle, you might be putting your effort in the wrong places, and not make the same kind of progress. So, similarly with your task, understanding how to do it on a smaller level will serve you on a larger level.
So, think about that hurdle you want to leap over, and maybe think about the smaller hurdle in front of it that will give you the momentum and training you need to get over it.