Resonance, Zone of Genius, and of Course: Fun

He picked up the acoustic guitar and sat himself down on the edge of the drummer’s podium.

The crowd was silent: this was where the band played the one – and beautiful – romantic song they had.

He flexed his fingers and played the first chord.

Instantly, his face lit up.

His eyes found mine, he smiled a big smile, and mouthed ‘Perfect!’

And the song began.

This was over 20 years ago, and I was a roadie for a local band.

And of course his guitar had been tuned to absolute perfection.

I wasn’t just a crate-carrying, cable-connecting roadie – I was a guitar player myself.

So I knew how to fine-tune the thing, unlike our other roadie who was a drummer.

He could tune a guitar adequately, but not the way another guitar player can. And yes, there’s a difference.

Why this story?

Because there’s a difference between the zone of competence, and the zone of genius.

And why does that matter?

Because of something a client told me last year:

“An artist should write their own copy”.

And in a sense, that’s true.

But for most artists or other kinds of entrepreneurs, that means working in their zone of competence.

Which can yield passable copy, but it’s not the same as copy written by a skilled and experienced copywriter.

A pro writer works in his zone of genius, not that of competence.

And that brings completely different results.

Besides, why would you want to do manual labour on something that’s not in your zone of genius?

There are things that you and only you can do – be it painting or teaching or making photos.

I say it makes much more sense to do that, and outsource things like copywriting or building your website or learning how to run Facebook ads.

The genius work, the thing that nobody can do quite the way you do it, that’s what you get paid for.

That’s the work you do that makes people resonate with you.

So it’s only logical to focus on doing that thing.

“So Martin, can you write copy for me?”

Alas, I can not.

I could, but I no longer do copywriting work: it was fun for a while, but at some point I was fed up with lengthy projects, and spending weeks or even months stuck in subject matter
that wasn’t ‘mine’.

The fun had gone out, and you know that I’m a firm believer in doing things that are fun.

So here’s something fun, something that I do I really like doing:

Fixing up and re-writing copy.

That kind of work, where you feed me a piece of copy and I whip it into shape?

Absolutely love it.

So: if you have copy that needs to shine and perform, I’ll re-write and fine-tune it for you.
Can be for different purposes.

For example:

– a Press Release

– Artist Statement

– About page

– Landing page

– Sales page

– Brochure copy

– Show announcement

– Online or offline ad

– Event invitation

Or any other type of writing that needs to convey a message and call the reader into action…

Send it over and you’ll have it back in 7 days, ready to go out into the world, with bells on.

And you better believe it’s going to give you a piece of copy that works, and gets people into action: whether that’s buying from you or contacting you or showing up at your show.

I might be retired as a copywriter, but that doesn’t mean I won’t get my hands dirty and fix your copy for you.

Because it’s fun.

Need your copy fixed and tuned up to perfection?

Then send an email to copyfix@martinstellar.com and include the URL, or paste in the piece you need to have fixed.

I’ll reply back ASAP with further instructions.

Cheers,

Martin

*Facepalm* + Get Your Ass in the Studio

That slapping sound when your palm hits your forehead?

That’s what resounded in my house yesterday, when I received emails saying that the event page on Facebook I asked you to share… has no share or like buttons.

So am I the fool for not knowing Facebook well enough, or is Facebook the fool for not having those buttons?

I don’t know, it doesn’t matter. It’s just yet another reason why I don’t enjoy Facebook, and rarely spend time there.

So anyway: before we get into today’s meat&potatoes:

Here’s the correct link – would you please do us a favour and like, and share, our Facebook page?

https://www.facebook.com/artistsnetworkalpujarra/

Thanks ever so much.

Right, so today’s missive is different than normal.

In that, today I don’t have any big ideas to share.

And, today I’m speaking to anyone who has a strong artistic drive, but for some reason hasn’t yet reached full artistic identity yet.

Kind of like me – I’ll call myself an artist and have done all my life, but it’s only in recent weeks that I actually want to *make* real art, and show it.

So what happened?

My dear friend Jessica Serran happened, is what.

She’s a coach and educator for artists, and an artist herself.

And, she’s leader of a movement called ‘Becoming Artist’ and, well, she’s got an uncanny ability to help people identify as artist.

I mean, if she can get Martin to step up to the plate, she’s got to be good. Real good.

So, if you want to make art, but resistance or insecurity or childhood programming or whatever, is keeping you from living the artist life, maybe you want to see what Jessica can do for you.

She’s currently running a 5-day challenge, specifically designed to get your tush into the studio.

So if that’s what you want, best saunter over to her site and join in the fun: https://makingyourart.com/key-to-creative-flow-optin

Cheerio,

Martin

I’m Excited! (And I Need to Ask You for a Helping Hand…)

calibrating-reality_martin_stellar_photography_art_webYou know how I’ve always said that I don’t have any ambition when it comes to showing people my photos, or to sell them?

Well… things change.

That group of local artists I’ve been spending time with the last few months, they triggered something in me.
And my friend Jessica Serran, who runs a ‘Becoming Artist’ program, she played a big part in it too.

So, I’m going to show my photography, in less than two weeks, at our inaugural group exhibition.

But not just the photos… after all, I’m a writer, so I’m combining the images with words (see link below).

So right now I’m busy post-processing images, and writing for them, and doing layout… pretty exciting.

Pretty nerve-wracking too, I’ll tell you that!

Do I expect people to buy my work?

Not really – but I do expect to have some interesting conversations with the visitors.

And that by itself is plenty reward for me.

Who knows, maybe somebody will buy a piece.

And who knows, maybe next year I’ll discover the ambition to make sales happen.

But for now, none of that matters.

What does matter, and a lot, is that the ANA group gets bums in seats for our show: visitors through the door.

And that’s where you come in.

Would you do The Artists’ Network Alpujarra a big favour?

All I’m asking is for you to Like and share our Facebook page, to help with our visibility and SEO ranking.

I’d be so grateful if you do, and so will my artist friends.

Three simple steps:

1: Click the link…

2: Click ‘Like’…

3: Share it with your network…

Which link?

This one! Artists’ Network Alpujarra Inaugural Exhibition

Martin

More Medicine to Cure Your Procrastination!

Listened to one of Peter Shallard’s webinars this morning, and thought I’d share something useful he mentioned.

It’s a model borrowed from Neuro-linguistic Programming, and whether or not you give any credence to that industry, the model is extremely useful by itself.

Especially when you keep on not doing the things you set out to do, and there’s a degree of ‘but how’ behind it, or a ‘why can’t I?’.

The model is called the neurological model, and it represents the human being thusly:

Identity

Values and beliefs

Capabilities

Behaviour

Environment

In that order.

The cool thing about it is that by using this model, you can very quickly answer questions, make decisions, and get yourself unstuck.

Here’s how it works:

Whenever you find yourself spinning your wheels or unable to get a task done or a project started, identify at which level there’s an obstruction.

Then, move one level up in the chain, and create a change there.

Because as they say, you can’t solve a problem at the level it was created.

Some examples:

You’re trying to write, but your kids are running around the house and you can’t concentrate.

I.e. your environment is the problem.

Move up to behaviour, pack up your laptop, and go work in a cafe or in the park.

Right?

Or maybe behaviour is the problem, and you just can’t stop yourself from indulging in Facebook.

Move up a level, and increase your capability to focus on a task – maybe learn to meditate, or practice discipline, or even better: develop habits that make Facebook a reward for having done the task, rather than the thing that keeps you from doing the task.

And what if your capabilities are lacking?

Maybe you don’t know how to reach new people for your business, or how to write and do email marketing?

Well, do you believe that you can learn new things?

Of course you do. So focus on that and get your learn on.

But maybe your problem is that you don’t believe you have what it takes to be successful, or you aren’t fully convinced you’re worth it.

Move up a level, and contemplate on who you really are, all of you, in all aspects.

You’re a person who has accomplished things, overcome setbacks, has earned, and deserved, important things (whether monetary or more abstract, in the form of gratitude or help from others).

Realise that you, as you are, with whatever imperfections you might have, are worth the success you desire.

Does this make sense?

Because if it does, print the five elements out and hang them on your wall.

Whenever you get stuck, or frustrated, or bored, look at where the problem exists, move up a level, and make a change there.

Now, there’s one level that Peter doesn’t mention in his model, but which does exist in the NLP variety.

Because, what if there’s a blockage in the upper level, that of your personality?

Which level above can you go to?

Maybe Peter didn’t mention it because it’s not right for his audience, but in NLP the uppermost level is spirituality.

And that’s nothing to do with religion or beliefs or dogma.

In this context, spirituality refers to a part of your psyche that’s beyond the subconscious.

Impossible to explain, but definitely something we can work with.

After all, if Peter is the Shrink for Entrepreneurs, I’m the Monk for Entrepreneurs.

And if you want to get unstuck, and be successful and happy and realised, I’ll work with you.

Whether one on one or in The Cabal, that’s up to you.

See, this neurological model fits in perfectly with my systems-approach to creating change.

As in: every system is perfect for the result it produces.

Change something in the system, and you get different results.

Want change?

Different results?

Let me know…

Cheers,

Martin

All the King’s Tailors, and Yet He Chose Me | Find Out How I Beat the Competition

“Let me buy you lunch, Martin”.

My bank director client puts on his coat, and I start to pack up my kit.

Roll up the tape measure, carefully stack the swatch books of fabrics into my pilot case, and of course, the order form with his measurements.

It’s summer 2009 and I’ve just sold a $2k handmade bespoke suit, and all is right with the world.

Tomorrow I’ll fly home and start drafting the pattern.

A few minutes later we’re in a traditional English pub near Piccadilly Circus.

Pint of Guinness in front of me, steak and kidney pie next to it.

And I ask him:

“So why did you choose me?

“You live in London, the tailoring capital of Northern Europe.

“You have hundreds of tailors to choose from, all of them with much greater repute than I have.

“Why me?”

And he answers, giving me the golden reason for ever choosing someone to do business with:

“Because of you.

“I’ve been reading your blog, seen you active in the online forums, and I like what you say”.

I bite into the head of foam on my Guinness, listening attentively.

I’m learning a lesson here.

And he continues:

“In London, the tailoring world and the old shops and the cutters… well, it can be a bit stilted, you know?

“When I read your blog, it’s a breath of fresh air.

“The quality of your suits is fine, I’m sure.

“But it’s because of the kind of person you are that I wanted to try something different for a change”.

And there you have it.

Remember how I said that people buy the artist, as well as the art?

Well that meeting there, that’s proof.

Here was a young tailor, new on the scene.

No fancy marketing, just a blog and daily activity on forums.

And I beat the competition in all of London, even tailoring houses that have served royalty and been around for donkey’s years.

Not because I’m all that special, but because to him – the perfect buyer – I was the right kind of different.

So take that lesson my client gave me, frame it, and hang it on your wall.

Whether you sell art, or design, or copywriting services or seminars:

####People buy what you make because of who and how you are.###

Remember that, and competitors will never again be an issue.

Meanwhile, The Cabal is beginning to take shape nicely.

We had our second session yesterday, and I dare say there was fireworks and magic.

Some very inspiring and beautiful things happened.

In the words of Paula Mould:

“So yeah, thanks. The group, in my mind, is already invaluable. I’m grateful for it.“

If that tickles your interest, and you want to know if it would be something for you, here’s what to do next.

Go to the following link, and read what The Cabal is about and who it’s for.

If it resonates with you, we’ll schedule a call to find out if it would have the same benefit that the current members experience.

Check your resonance here: http://martinstellar.com/cabal-group-coaching-action-takers/

Cheers,

Martin

What I Do? Boring, Who Cares. Tell Me About YOU Instead!

Specifically, tell me what you want, more than anything else.

Because what you want is far more interesting than what I do or how I work.

Whenever people ask me what I do, there’s a range of ways to answer.

Sometimes, I tell them that I play.

Because play=creativity and when working with people who have a dream, the focus is on creating change.

With the emphasis on creating.

Creating different ways to think, to act, to see the world and your place in it.

Inner work, therefore.

Because creating change on the inside is the only way to get different results.

But, this only works if you have a big ambition.

Your drive, and your purpose: they have to be so big that it causes an overpowering decision to change the status quo.

And that status quo is you – that’s where change starts.

So very often, the problem a client wants to work on, or the change they want to make, isn’t the actual issue.

In many cases, there’s something else behind the apparent topic at hand.

For example:

You know how sometimes, a friend will call you up, all annoyed and angry because they’ve had a tiff with their spouse…

And as you listen and talk, you realise that the real problem and the real cause isn’t the spouse – but your friend’s own insecurities, or self-recrimination?

That same thing is what I see happen time and time again with clients.

Someone shows up, presents a problem… but as we talk, it becomes clear that there’s something else behind the apparent.

Something else that we need to work on.

And that something else, that’s always the self.

Always.

And why is that so important?

It’s very simple, in 5 parts:

1: You have a vision, a mission, a goal or a masterplan. That’s your ambition.

2: In order to make that real and manifest, we need to create a strategic approach – both in terms of what to do in practical terms as well as what to do about you.

3: Next, there’s your mindset. How do you deal with stuff? Success, setbacks, money, communication… anything going on that holds you back? We create change that propels you
forward.

4: Then there’s skillset. What abilities do you need to acquire or develop? Could be communication skills, or writing, or self-confidence, or learning how to listen better and read
people…

5: Finally, there’s energy. There are people, places and habits that give you energy, and there are those that rob you of it. That neighbour who always makes you feel like you’ve
lost a pint of blood after talking to him?

That’s lost energy you’ll never get back, and there are so many things in our lives that have that kind of effect.

Conversely, there are things and people that fire you up and leave you feeling alive and ready to eat the world.

Being clear on how to deal with both sides of energy will have a big impact.

These 5 points, they are like buoys, and we sail from one to the next and back, depending on what you bring to the table during our sessions.

So the answer to ‘Martin, what do you do?’

Is…

I help successful people with a desire for playing at an even higher level, to create the inner change required to become more successful.

So if you’re successful, are hungry for more, and you want to change (not feel that you must), then I say:

Let’s play.

Let’s create that change you desire.

Reply to this email if you feel this is about you.

Let’s see what we can create together.

Cheers,

Martin

What Game Are You Playing?

Sometimes, when I’m asked to advise on practical business things, like marketing strategies etc, I get the question:

“So it’s a number’s game?”

Would make sense to think that.

Between your list subscribers, social media numbers, open rates and potential buyers and previous buyers and what have you, there’s a lot of maths going on.

But business isn’t a numbers game.

It’s a people game.

Because no sale ever happens outside of a conversation.

And what do you have conversations with?

With people, of course.

Because as it turns out, cats and dogs don’t buy things. I’ve tried.

So your mission and task is to have as many conversations with people as you possibly can.

The numbers, they represent people.

And every day, you get a new chance to have a new conversation – with a new person or with someone you’ve already been in touch with.

Of course there are things you can automate, and you ought to.

For example, it would be pretty silly for me to send my daily tips one by one.

So I write it once, and Mailchimp ships out the message to all my readers.

Now you might think that this is not conversation, since I’m sending and you may have never replied to me.

(Which you might want to do, if you want to have a conversation about how to grow your business and your wellbeing).

Yes, sending an email is one-sided.

But here’s the thing: every email I send is in essence an invitation to connect with me, to reply, to ask me a question or give me some feedback.

When that happens, the one-sided conversation turns into dialogue.

And that dialogue, that connecting with another person, is the foundation of relationships and relationships lead to sales.

It’s more than likely that today someone will reply to this email.

Heck, it might even be you.

And even if nobody replies, I’ll send another email with another tip and another invitation tomorrow.

Because I wouldn’t have a business if I didn’t connect and converse with people.

So if you want bigger results, more sales, and a bigger audience, you could do worse than to find ways to have more conversations.

So… shall we talk?

Cheers,

Martin

Triptych: The Cure for Proscrastination, Part 5

Tell me, did you procrastinate on anything yesterday?

If so (don’t worry – we all do it at different times) maybe today’s email will help.

In karate, there’s a concept called ‘mizu no kokoro’.

And while I don’t propose you start breaking boards with your fists, the concept is quite useful.

See, most of us use our brain in the wrong way.

In fact, most of us use it too much, but overthinking and mind-dominance are a different story.

The mind is a magnificent tool, when used correctly.

You put stuff in there, you let it simmer, and then you get to have all kinds of ideas.

Wonderful process, wonderful ideas.

But the mind is not where you should store those ideas – that’s where most people go wrong.

Nor is the mind where you should store task lists.

Your mind is for thinking, for making new ideas, and then?

Offload those ideas, drop them out of your mind.

And your tasks, reminders, and to dos – same goes for them.

Don’t walk around with a head full of things to do, as if you’re some sort of biological calendar – store them elsewhere.

Because if you don’t, you’ll feel a constant weight on you, of SO. MANY. THINGS. TO. DO!

And that pressure, the permanent self-bullying of all that stuff you need to take care of, that’s one major reason why people procrastinate.

Your subconscious registers that there’s too much to even contemplate, and throws in the towel.

So, clear your mind.

Any idea, to do, task, whatever it is: store it elsewhere.

It’s why my wallet is a little folder with note cards in them, and a pen tucked into the fold.

This way, I have a way to store ideas and tasks everywhere I go.

If that’s not your style, then use your phone.

Got an idea, remember something to take care of later?

Send yourself an email.

Or install the GTD (Getting Things Done) or another app for tasks.

Here’s one I discovered last week:

An app called Remember The Milk.

I added a second app called ‘Speak Here Now’, which connects with RTM.

I tap the Speak icon, I say “Remember to call John” or something, and…

Katsu!

It automatically shows up in RTM, for me to find and take care of later.

The result?

Nothing to remember, everything organised, a system that is nearly hands off, and…

A clear, empty mind, just like water, ready to be used for my work and my creativity.

So if you don’t have a system to instantly remove any task from your mind, I highly recommend you set one up now, and make a habit of using it.

Your mind will thank you for it.

Cheers,

Martin

Tryptich: The Cure for Procrastination, Part 4

What, a tryptich in four parts?

Well of course, why not.

If Douglas Adams can write a trilogy in 5 parts, then so can I, see if I don’t.

And today’s procrastination mind-bender is about self-sabotage, and specifically about *who* in your mind sabotages you.

Because most people think that it’s some sort of broken part of the subconscious.

Something damaged, from the past, something wrong that should be eliminated.

But most people are wrong.

See, the psychological part of you that causes self-sabotage isn’t an enemy.

Quite the contrary.

The part of you that sabotages you is your friend, your protector.

Except, he or she behaves like a bodyguard constantly beating up the client he is hired to protect.

So what’s going on there, why does that happen?

To explain that, I take you back to the stone age, to meet my old friend:

A caveman name Grog.

Say hi to the nice people, Grog.

“Urgh!”

There’s a good caveman.

Now Grog here – put that club DOWN, Grog. Just go sit there and rub these two sticks together.

As I was saying, Grog here, he doesn’t think much.

His brain doesn’t have the size required to read, or speak, or post cat pics on Facebook.

It’s barely big enough to remember that certain animals are tasty and others are too dangerous, and to remember that this berry is sweet and the other makes him feel ill.

Yet somehow, he’s extremely good at surviving.

Whatever danger shows up, he’s got an uncanny ability to ward it off.

So good, in fact, that you and I are proof of that survival skill.

And the reason he has that skill even if he couldn’t say ‘watch out!’ to save his wife wife Shreeka’s life?

His limbic system, also known as the lizard brain, rules the roost.

It’s the oldest part of the brain in terms of evolution – it’s the stem, and it’s there to protect us.

It’s instinctive, and it’s core mission statement?

Protect from harm, increase pleasure.

That’s all it does, and whatever we think or feel or want, if the limbic system recognises fear, it steps on the breaks.

That’s what causes your reflexes – like when you’re in traffic and your foot is on the break even before you’re conscious that the tail light ahead of you came on.

It’s what drives you hand to grab the falling cup, just before it hits the floor.

And, even though we evolved to have far more abilities and brain centers, the limbic system has permanent overrule permission.

We may be intelligent these days, but the protector still protects.

And when we self-sabotage, it’s that limbic system doing it.

The bodyguard beating up his client.

But how?

Why?

If it wants pleasure and happiness for us, why won’t it let us get more successful, more focused, more productive?

Why doesn’t it allow us to kick procrastination to the curb?

Because of the unknown.

In prehistoric times, anything new and unfamiliar was potentially deadly.

And so the limbic system sabotages our efforts to venture into the unknown.

And, our chances of success too.

Because when we change, when we take massive action, become successful…

We change.

Things change.

Responsibilities, activities, wealth, relationships… everything changes, including yourself.

And what do things change into?

Who will you be?

Who will you be with?

Who will you lose?

What will your life be like?

We may have some idea, but in reality we can’t predict, it’s mostly a great unknown.

We just know we want to be successful, and enjoy it – but what it will look like?

No telling.

So you make a choice, to get things done, to build your success, and the limbic system agrees: sure, that’ll make you happy. Go for it.

But then it’s automatic protection program kicks in, realises that doing those things is going to open up some sort of Pandora’s box, and decides that no, you’re not going to do that.

Much better to stay here, where you are.

It’s safe here, isn’t it?

Comfortable, nothing wrong staying here.

Even if it’s uncomfortable – at least you know how uncomfortable.

So that’s why our protector sabotages us.

But now, what can we do about it?

To answer that, I’m giving you a simple, 5-step solution, courtesy of the very clever psychologist Peter Shallard.

Step 1: Identify what it is, specifically, that scares you

Fear only ever has one meaning; that there is an upcoming situation you need to prepare for in some way. Whether you’re facing a tiger in the jungle, or your first ever sales presentation, this is true.

Identify the message your Lizard Brain is attempting to send you by getting clear on what you’re afraid of.

Step 2: Acknowledge the Lizard Brain’s ultimate intention

Every part of you, Lizard Brain included, is doing the best it can to move you towards you goals. The confusing part is the incongruity of you consciously wanting to take action, be extraordinary and win success… while your Lizard Brain is pulling you towards safety and the security of inaction.

Acknowledge and respect the Lizard Brain’s intention by asking yourself what it’s ultimate purpose could be. You’ll soon figure out that it simply wants you to be safe, so that you can relax, be comfortable and be happy.

Step 3: Reassure your Lizard Brain that your intentions are aligned

Ask yourself why you desire your big goals. It’ll be for success, freedom, wealth and happiness.

The key here is that both you and your Lizard Brain want the same thing (happiness) – you just have different ways of doing it. Reassure that fearful part of you by reminding it of your highest possible intention for yourself (happiness).

How can that old internal conflict exist when both you and your Lizard Brain want the same thing? That’s right….

Step 4: Flip the equation

Ask your lizard brain how it would feel if, in 5, 10 or 20 years you hadn’t progressed towards your big goals. Imagine giving in to your old Lizard
Brain fears, permanently, then waking up in 20 years to realise what you’d done.

Turn the fear equation on it’s head by having your Lizard focus on the disastrous consequences of always settling on what is safe.

Have it really feel the fear.

FINAL STEP: Take action

Go do the thing that used to scare you most.

~ Peter Shallard

And my addition to that?

If the thing that scares you most is too big, then start small.

There’s need to jump over your fear – you can also grow you capacity by leaning into it.

Feel the thing that’s just a bit scary, feels a bit edgy, and start with that.

Repeat.

Over time, you’ll see yourself take more and bigger actions, and procrastination will fade into the background.

Final note?

Never, ever beat yourself up for procrastinating, because now you know that it only happens because you yourself are trying to protect yourself.

And I’d say, make peace with that, be grateful for it.

Ok, one more: if you like this type of insight, I highly recommend you head on over to Peter’s blog at PeterShallard.com. The guy’s a genius.

Cheers,

Martin

Tryptich: How to Beat Procrastination, Part 3

One of the easiest way to beat procrastination is to get clever on how you create your to-do lists.

You know, the tasks you’ve decided you want to or should do.

For most people, a task list will look something like this.

– Build new website

– Lose weight

– Learn how to play the piano

– Find more buyers

– Empty email inbox

– Sell photos online

And on and on it goes.

You look at that list, panic sets in, a feeling of defeat comes up, and off you go scrolling through Facebook/Pinterest, or giving your kitchen cupboards that deep cleaning they need so badly.

So look at that list there.

Can you tell me what’s wrong with it?

I’ll tell you: those aren’t tasks.

They are goals.

The difference is huge, and the mistake is so easy to make.

You have a goal in mind, and without further though you put that one on your to-do list.

But that’s not where it belongs!

See, each goal, big or small, consists of several smaller subgoals, and each of those are reached by performing small tasks.

Building a website consists of registering a domain name, researching a host, choosing a host, signing up, installing WordPress or another engine, choosing a theme, installing a
theme… and so on.

So obviously, if you make the mistake of filling your to-do list with goals, your subconscious will see that list and decide ‘screw this, you and I are going on vacation’.

So if you struggle with procrastination and your to-do lists, do this (ha!):

Take all the goals you have, and put each of them on a separate piece of paper (or Word doc).

Write the goal at the top, and put a horizontal line under it.

Under the line, start listing all the subgoals.

Take each subgoal, and put it on a separate piece of paper.

Line under it, and then… the magic happens.

Then you write down all the tasks that have to be completed to reach the subgoals.

When you’re done with one goal, put the papers in a folder, and repeat the process for your next goal.

This is powerful, life-changing stuff, and my thighs agree.

Wait, thighs? What now?

Well, for years I’ve wanted to start practicing some sort of martial arts.

But ‘start martial artists’ is not a task or to-do, it’s a goal.

But last Sunday I had coffee with a friend who’s also a coach, and when I described what I want out of martial arts, he said that Aikido would be a good thing to try.

I liked the idea, so, without even thinking about it, I grabbed my phone and emailed myself a reminder: “Find martial arts teacher”.

Monday morning I found the email, I googled for local teachers, and found one.

It looked good, nice and austere, Zen-like, proper stuff.

Called him up, agreed to go to the training the same day, and that’s what I did.

And that’s why right now, my thighs hurt like you wouldn’t believe.

Awesome stuff though – I believe that Aikido just really might be my thing.

In fact, if it wouldn’t be for the first Cabal session tonight, I’d go again today.

So now I’ve started practising martial arts, just because I turned a goal into a smaller task.

And you can do the same thing for yourself.

Take it small, start with just one small goal, and break that puppy down into subgoals and subsequent tasks.

There’s a big chance that you’ll start taking action on them right when you’re done.

And hey, while it might seem at first that you’re not making a lot of progress, don’t forget that water cuts stone.

If you release a drop on granite every second, in the end there will be a hole in the stone.

It’ll take centuries, but compound influence adds up to result.

Guaranteed.

And you’re bigger than just a drop, when it comes to taking action.

Or to put it differently: progress not perfection.

Keep your eye on one task after another, and don’t worry about how fast you’ll reach the goal.

Keep your eye on the task at hand and then the next one, and you’ll reach the goal sooner than you expect.

Cheers,

Martin

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