If you’re looking for success, one of the best habits to have is the habit of “do it anyway”. It’s a key to success that is easier to implement than you might expect.
In the next few minutes I’m going to show you why this habit is so important and give you three simple steps to put it in action.
An Odd Breakfast
Have you ever eaten a live frog? Hopefully the answer is “no”, but the reaction you had is probably exactly what Brian Tracy was going for when he talked about how he gets things done.
In his book Eat that Frog, he talks about a statement made by Mark Twain:
Mark Twain once said that if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.
Although there is some doubt Twain spoke those words, the value of the idea is still the same: sometimes you have to go through the bad to get to the good. If you have to eat a metaphorical frog, the best thing to do is not just sit and think about it. Despite the fact it’s no fun, you “do it anyway”. Get it over and done to get on to other things.
The Value of Do It Anyway
It can be a challenge to eat the frogs that come our way. The trick is to find the right methods to do it anyway.
When you look at someone who is wildly successful, you’re seeing someone who has found a way to take a task they don’t like and do it anyway. It’s something I’ve been fascinated by for over a decade. I’ve studied scores of successful people, read hundreds of books, and researched how they could be so successful. What I’ve found is really simple:
They found a way to make “do it anyway” easy.
Make it Easy to Do It Anyway
To be clear, I’m not necessarily saying these things are easy, but I am saying you you can make them easy, relatively speaking. Let me give you an example.
When I first started becoming dedicated about going to the gym, I found that I often didn’t want to go. But, despite my feelings, I knew I should. As I started making it to the gym each day, I found I actually enjoyed the run on the treadmill. I felt better after going. The thing that was the challenge was stopping what I was doing, getting in the car, driving to the gym, and getting changed. The setup was slowing me down, but the activity was enjoyable.
So, despite the fact that the next day I didn’t want to get up and go, I made it easy to do it anyway. I had my gym bag already packed from the night before and sitting by the door. I didn’t give myself time to argue or think about it. I stood up, grabbed my bag and got in the car. Before I could change my mind I was in the car and on the road. At this point it would be more challenging to turn around than continuing on to the gym. I had made it easy to make the right choice.
Three Simple Steps to Do It Anyway
If you want to make it easy when you have a challenging task to do it anyway, here are three simple steps to make it easy:
- Set Yourself Up: Remove anything that makes it a challenge to do the task you want to get done. Get rid of distractions. Remove barriers that slow you down. Have everything ready that you need to get the task done, like a pre-packed gym bag by the door.
- Start: Doing the task is typically not the hard part. Starting is the hard part. It’s easy to write once you start typing. It’s easy to walk on a treadmill once it starts going. Convincing yourself to sit at the computer and type or get to the gym and get on the treadmill is the hard part, so don’t try to convince yourself. Just start without discussion.
- Work Up to It: You’re not going to write a novel tomorrow. You’re not going to a run a marathon next week if you’ve not moved around in the last five years. The goal is to start. Start where you are. Write a paragraph a day. Get on the treadmill for twenty minutes and just walk while you watch TV. Work up to where you want to be; don’t wear yourself out by doing too much before you’re ready. Your goal for the day is just to start. That’s the way to make goals that stick.
The beauty of “do it anyway” is that when you do what you don’t want to do you will find that things get done, and that you are further along than you expect. Staring at a blank screen all day while feeling overwhelming pressure to write a chapter in twenty days will get you nothing. Writing a paragraph a day for 20 days will get you about 4-5 pages of a book, so do it anyway.
Before you do anything else today, do this: pick one thing you want to do, but struggle to get done. Set yourself up for it then start it, making sure you work your way up to success. You will find great power in the tactic of “do it anyway”.