Clarity Comes from Movement

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Let me ask you a specific question today:

What are you waiting for?

I have to ask myself that question often. Most of the time, my answers are just excuses. There is a great definition of excuses that I have adopted:

“Excuses are just lies you tell yourself.”

I love that quote so much I wrote it down on a sticky note and put it on my computer monitor for a few months. The last few days I have been reflecting on my year. This includes celebrating the moments of victory and contemplating the areas of defeat.

If there is one big lesson I have learned on my journey, it is this:

Clarity comes from movement.

I don’t know if you are like me, but I never run out of ideas. Ideas are plentiful. I see opportunity all around me. My challenge has been in speed of implementation. I often want to have absolute certainty before I just jump in. I want to know the water is warm before taking the leap. The problem is “intentions” never get us anywhere.

4 Reasons Clarity Comes from Movement

I am going to offer you 4 reasons why you should just get moving. I’m not saying you should be reckless. However, many of us have never fully started. A few thoughts that have helped me:

1. Perfection is a passion killer – If you are waiting for everything to be perfect, you’ll never get started. The sooner we accept things will never be perfect, the better off we will be. I launched my first membership site 25% done and an outline in hand to finish the rest. I was able to pick up around 15 members the launch weekend(paying $27 a month). Since I was “dripping” the content to them on a weekly basis, I finished the rest as we went along. If I had waited till I finished the whole thing, I never would have done it.

2. Mini-experiments help me to discover the deep needs – Until you take action and put a product or service out there, you are only guessing. Think about your niche or blog audience. Is there something you can quickly roll out to see if your idea might work? For us it was starting with Blogging Your Passion University 101 Course. Once we identified the real need, we have gone on to create the additional courses.

I also did this with my first Kindle book. Instead of starting with a full 40,000-50,000 word Kindle book, I created a series of books. I launched my first Kindle book with 11,000 words. Now that I have seen it is a success, I am currently writing the other 3 books in the series. I taught my exact steps in the Kindle Your Passion Course.

3. Failing forward is the only way to really learn – Experience is often the best teacher. You may end up putting a product or service out there that gives you zero return. That’s okay, learn from it. Also, ask yourself how you can leverage what you just did and turn it into a positive.

Did you create an ebook that has made zero sales in the past 3 months? Chop up the book into a series of blog posts and use them to gain more raving fans. Another great product idea will come along.

4. Realigning momentum is easier than starting momentum – Momentum is a funny thing. I have found that it is easier for me to redirect momentum in what I am doing over just getting the momentum to begin with. Even if you have to take a few steps back, it is easier than starting from the very beginning.

What’s holding you back?

Let me turn this discussion into a real, practical exercise for you. What is holding you back? Do you catch yourself saying any of these things:

  • It’s all been done before.
  • I need to get my blog design figured out first.
  • I need to wait until _________________.
  • I’m not a good enough of writer, speaker, or ______________.
  • I don’t want to box myself in.

Do you catch yourself saying any of these things? The bottom line for me. I get more clarity when I take more action.

Question: Has clarity come from movement in your experience? Please share below.

12 thoughts on “Clarity Comes from Movement”

  1. Hi Jonathan, For me my writing ideas are just ideas until I sit down and start to write. It is not until I put down those first few words without judgement that the clarity of the “idea” comes to life. It is like the words are hiding back behind my brain, and until I force myself to start do they begin to show themselves. Of course this applies to most anything we want to achieve. Starting small is also important. We are often scared by the big picture.

  2. Great stuff Jonathan and so timely. I too take the end of the year to reflect on where I’ve been and where I am going. And “my story” includes many of those reasons you listed and that’s why I sometimes hold back.
    Another saying that I just posted on my white board (thanks for the reminder).
    “Doubt will take you out of action. Action will take you out of doubt.”
    Wise words…

    1. Jonathan Milligan

      Hi Lisa. I’m going to have to steal that quote. Love it! While no one wants to head in the wrong direction, standing still doesn’t get you any closer either.

  3. Timely, indeed. It is easy to come up with excuses, no matter the state of the economy or stage of life for that matter. We (my wife and I) are in a major evaluation of our life and goals, and have come to the conclusion that we have spent a lot of tim aiming at “nothing”, of course hitting the bull’s eye every time. Thanks, Jonathan.

  4. Okay I managed to lose what I just wrote. My line is “I need to get writing everyday, so I have something to post twice a week. I need to but I don’t. Thanks for the nudge.

  5. Well Jonathon…you could have been writing specifically for me. I have tons of ideas and as many tons of excuses. All that you mention and more. I have been coming to the same conclusion, “Please Terry just DO something”. It’s slowly working. I take baby steps if that is all I can do. Including reading your posts. I hit 60 years in 2012 and so one of my “excuses” is, ” am I too old”?. NAW! But the technology does somethimes overwhelm me. I have ideas I am really enthusiastic about. I want them to be perfect at the outset. I am good at the big picture, then fall apart at the details. Thanks for your post. It helps me to know that I can do it…if I keep moving.

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