The four steps I’m going to show you now, while ridiculously simple, are actually the basis of something incredible: taking pure thought and bringing it into reality. Let’s get started.
1. First, set the timer on your smartphone for three minutes and write down all the things you’d love to be accomplishing right now — but aren’t. Remember, I didn’t say “think” about those things, I said write them down. Write without pausing, write without judgment. Write without stopping to consider what’s real, what’s practical, what’s doable, what’s acceptable. Do this without even pausing to think if your dreams are moral or legal. (There will be time for those considerations later) Just write. And If you’ve been successful in writing without any intrusions from your conscious mind you will have a fairly long list within the three minutes. The time limit is important. It keeps you from overthinking — when overthinking is inappropriate. Set your timers. Go!
2. Next, take another three minutes to select the three items from your list that look the most interesting to you. As an example, let’s say they were:
• Learn to fly a plane
• Take a trip to the Galápagos Islands
• Go to a concert of classical music
3. Now give yourself three minutes to consider just one tangible step you can take to move each of your three selections into reality. For example:
• For learning to fly a plane — you could Google the nearest flight school for times and prices.
• For your trip to the Galápagos — you could go online and look up Galápagos tour options.
• For your symphony experience — you could look up concert times at a performance hall in your area.
4. Finally, give yourself three more minutes to pick one of the three choices from your list and actually implement the small action you’ve considered above. That’s it.
Child’s play I know, but think about how far you’ve already come in just 12 minutes. You’ve moved from some nebulous notion about wanting to take action on an as yet unspecified dream to actually undertaking its first practical steps.
I leave you with this: The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex, overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one. — Mark Twain