He was oozing Uninformed Optimism and confidently told me…
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”
I said, “BS, thinking like that is the surest way to start, stop, and quit before hitting your goal!”
And I get it. In my early career, I suffered from Uninformed Optimism. This made me an optimistic and positive go-getter who habitually quit when things got hard (see the dreaded dip below).
🤜🏾 Here’s the deal, no journey worth taking comes easy. It just doesn’t happen that way. So making it seems like success comes one step at a time isn’t the whole truth. It’s more a mental boobie trap when we consider that all steps are not created equal.
So here’s my 2020 quote, with a dose of REALITY…
A journey of a thousand miles doesn’t really begin until you’ve taken the step that makes you want to quit. Every step before that was just the warm-up! ~ X
Isn’t that more in alignment with the truth? So I dropped the smile and said, seriously…
Again, he didn’t have REAL answers — just more Uninformed Optimism. So I said, “I love the attitude, but let’s apply it to a proven process that will help you succeed.”
Because here’s the truth, the honeymoon will not last, and it will get harder than you ever imagined. And that point you will want to quit. Does this pattern sound familiar?
First, you need to get super clear about what you want and how you will get it. The “WHAT you want” is far more important than the “HOW you’ll get it.”
So don’t worry too much about putting together a perfect plan. Now, that doesn’t mean you should wing it. Just that even great plans don’t survive the war. Or said differently…
“Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth. ~ Mike Tyson”
The key is having a GO-TO process for support when you get punched in the mouth. And believe me, you will get punched in the mouth. We all do.
And one of the worse strategies is to believe that we will somehow heroically pull through it. Heroics can help, but when we look at world-class performers, we see that they rarely rely on heroic intensity.
Roughly 90-95% of the time, the best performers across disciplines, succeed using CCI.
My experience and the data show the following relationship to completing BIG goals.
There are countless studies, books, and strategies on how to improve consistency and continuous improvement. You can read them or try the RAW Review process. It’s worked for me for over 15 years.
And a warning, the RAW Review is crazy simple but powerfully beneficial. I’ve used it personally but have also seen clients, lose tons of weight, make millions in added revenue, save and turn around marriages, improve parenting, and once it even helped prevent suicide.
First, choose your goal. The goal doesn’t matter as long as you are crystal clear on your desired outcome. Once you’re clear on the desired outcome, put together a simple plan, and then execute your plan.
After EVERY action toward your goal, do a RAW REVIEW to enhance your CCI.
AND AN IMPORTANT NOTE – Don’t wait until you’re broken and beaten and want to quit. DO YOUR RAW REVIEW DAILY. It only takes a few minutes.
1️⃣ (+) RECOGNIZE the things that are working and going well. Double down and keep doing these actions!
2️⃣ (-) ACKNOWLEDGE the things that are NOT working as well as they could. Eliminate these actions or work on improving them.
3️⃣ (=) WORK on executing the positives (+) and improving the negatives (-).
A couple of notes. First, be sure to double down on what’s working. Second, ONLY work on improving one negative at a time. Trying to improve too many things at once tends to slow you down. Or worse, it will give you an excuse to stop and tinker. Fixing stuff isn’t the mission, consistently getting better while in motion is.
And the last point, when it comes to the WORK, you absolutely must fight for clarity. One clear action is better than a dozen vague ideas. Use the three W framework below.
Doing your RAW Review will help you keep your CCI high and alive. And It will also create rapid micro-feedback loops that fuel INFORMED optimism.
INFORMED optimism is the 1-2 punch of a great attitude flowing into a solid strategy for success. And so you know, our aim isn’t to avoid the dip of informed pessimism. It’s to get through the dip as quick as possible.
Because remember, the goal isn’t just to take a step, it’s to take each and every step, to complete our journey.