Positive action is an iterative process. We try something small, learn from it, and react to the information we’ve learned. It follows this pattern:
Yes, it really can be that simple. Try something small. See what happens. Make an adjustment and do it again. The point is to keep taking action without getting bogged down by trying to plan everything out from now until the end of time. When we take the plan-everything approach, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and then most of us, myself included, take no action. Starting small is key.
Positive psychology has had an exponential growth in popularity and overall, that’s a wonderful thing. I also believe that while our thoughts are extremely powerful, they aren’t the only thing for us to rely on. The positive gets you so far, but it needs to be coupled with action in order for you to be truly successful. You need action to implement the changes you want to see in your life and your work. And because change is hard, it’s critical that you see progress quickly, rather than in days, months, years. As you learn from one Next Step, it will inform the rest of the Next Steps you take.
If your Aspiration is to get a new job in an industry you’ve always dreamed would be fun to work in, you don’t want to plan out every possible step from now until you retire from that job. Instead, try something smaller, like researching job descriptions to compare your current skill set to your desired role. What did you learn? What will you do next?
This is the fun of the Next Step! I love that it is a manageable chunk I can quickly and easily do. It goes back to the old (and somewhat gross!) adage: How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.
The same is true for each of us. How do we achieve our Aspiration? One Next Step at a time.
The intent is not to find the most perfect thing to do; it’s about testing, learning, and moving forward. It’s easy to get paralyzed by the sheer number of choices when you’re looking for the perfect thing, so if you find yourself struggling with this step, try to think about the absolute smallest thing you can do. It might be so small, it seems insignificant, but when done consistently, it’ll become significant progress.
Each Next Step is something that brings you closer to your Aspiration, while maintaining alignment with your Identity. Remember that the best Next Steps are small and something you can do quickly to assess progress and make any needed adjustments. The point here is to avoid getting too far down a particular path before discovering you need to course correct.
#PositiveAction What is the smallest Next Step you can take today toward an Aspiration?
Next Steps are the sixth element of ACTION, part of a series focused on positive action. Here is the full series:
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