The Secret of Getting Started

Part 1 – How to bridge the gap between your ambitions and your actions so you can make your dreams come true

What makes us act? In order to trigger action, a thought MUST include concrete, specific, contextual information like Who, What, When, Where, How, Why, Before, After, During, etc.

Science reveals a critical truth: abstract thinking leads to inaction

Action is not an abstraction

Why couldn’t I start? Abstract thinkers turn the need for concrete action into an abstraction

“I should think more concretely about this”->abstract, nothing specific

But since this is just an abstraction, it STILL doesn’t get any traction!

Ask yourself: What stopped me specifically from doing the specific things that self-help teaches?

Four Steps to Success (what most self-help books teach)

1. Accept how things are now, including your feelings, problems, needs

2. Have faith, trust, hope, or belief that things will turn out well

3. Take lots of small steps, not big ones

4. Be patient and accept imperfection in the intermediate stages of your plan

(These are all abstract ideas)

What Stopped PJ from Starting

1. Denying own needs (because he wouldn’t be perfect)

2. Not daring to hope or trust (he might be disappointed!)

3. Despised small steps and starts (because talented people shouldn’t need crutches)

4. Avoiding intermediate steps/stages (fear of losing control)

W.I.S.H.ing for Another Way

* quick and easy

* didn’t have to solve all problems in one go

* just keep moving forward like a “candle in the dark”)

Ask yourself: List the topics you’d like to to W.I.S.H. on

* What dreams, goals, or project are you not getting “traction” on? Where are you blocked or stuck?

* Include even the ones you’re not sure are possible (we’re W.I.S.H.ing here!)

* Which one of these stands out the most? Which is most on my mind right now?

Part 2 – How to Make a W.I.S.H. (makes the abstract concrete)

Where am I now?

* Accepting what is; feeling what you feel

* What is on your mind? What’s going on and how do you feel about it?

* What are you afraid of, or worried about? What is the worst case?

* Separate facts from feelings

* Be sincere and genuine

* Continue to completion

Ideally, I would like…

* Desiring what you want…

* Transform abstract/general negatives into specific positives

* What do you really want, instead of the current situation?

* Imagine your ideal, even if you don’t think you can really have it (W.I.S.H.!)

* Continue until you feel good!

Some things I could do….

* Ask, Wait, Listen…then write down everything that comes to mind

* Even if it’s wish fulfillment (e.g. it just happens by magic!)

* Don’t have to complete solutions, just one step forward is enough (candle in the dark)

* Continue until you feel like maybe you really could do something (one-side stream of consciousness, not a polished, formal list)

How I choose to help this circumstance…

* Ask: what am I really willing to do?

* What’s the smallest step you could take, even if it “doesn’t really” accomplish anything by itself?

* It doesn’t have to be from the “Some things I could do” list

* Can be a piece of one, a new idea, or even just thinking about it some more!

* Being open to a different attitude, or making another wish

Ask yourself:

* What did you learn about yourself by doing this?

* What would happen if you did this all the time? For all of your goals and problems?

* Which will you do this on next?

Part 3 – From Start to Finish – How to make all your W.I.S.H.es come true

More you can W.I.S.H. for (not just for problems and projects)

* To know, to learn, to understand

* To decide, or know what to do next (choose between projects)

* To feel or think differently about something

* To get past mental block or issue

Don’t know where to start?

* Create a quick “wish list” and get all of your projects moving

* One W.I.S.H. per project

* One sentence per questions (W, I, S, H)

* Go fast! H could be “not to do this right now” or do full W.I.S.H.

* Run back through list and highlight actions items ->list for day

* Good for daily or weekly project review

* Create next actions (GTD)

Let W.I.S.H.ing Make It So

* Create a “W.I.S.H. Book” – binder of W.I.S.H.es

* Get a book that feels good to look at, write in, use regularly

* One W.I.S.H. or wishlist per page

* Date and title each page (but only after you finish!)

Ask Yourself This

* What projects would you like to include in your first W.I.S.H. list?

* Select top 10-15 projects ->Make W.I.S.H. list

* Write four sentences for each

* Remember: only one step each, that you can actually do…

* And deciding NOT to work on something right now is a valid first step!

A Final Secret

* If you are thinking right now that this sounds like a good idea…

* That that means you’re thinking about it abstractly!

* Abstraction ->inaction!

* So get started now, by W.I.S.H.ing you were (one step closer to) doing this!

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