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The Fast Track to Figuring Out Your Next Step

Posted by & filed under Personal Growth.

Most people who begin a new adventure have the same problem—they don’t know what they don’t know. That issue alone stops them in their tracks.

The hardest part about starting your new task, project, or business—is finding a way to know what you don’t know.

It’s figuring out why your current approach isn’t working. It’s figuring out how to fix the problems that you don’t even know exist yet. It’s figuring out exactly what information you need in order to move forward.

Runner Track

Since information is almost unlimited these days, it is hard to know where to look first. There is so much uncertainty involved. That uncertainty can keep you from accomplishing anything—if you’re not careful.

If you’ve found yourself in this situation—it’s totally understandable, but no longer excusable.

No more sitting on the couch, wondering what to do next. It’s time to simplify your game plan just enough to make you take action.

Your New Productivity Strategy

Next time you get to the point of paralysis—the point of not knowing what to do—just do the ONE thing you know you have to do next. It’s literally that simple. Stop making it so hard!

I want to make this so simple that even stupid people can do it (now I too, am included). Most of the time what you have to deal with next is what you’re thinking of right now.

Stop acting like you don’t know. You know more than you think you do. In order to figure out what you know, ask yourself this question: “If I didn’t know, what would I do?”

Think about it for 15 seconds.

You just came up with an answer—didn’t you?

This is now your new main objective.

How to Accomplish Your Simple New Goal

Concentrate on this one thing—this ONE thing that is in front of you right now. Stop looking five to six steps down the road. Your new eyes will only focus on this one thing. Your new motto is: “This one thing I do.” And you do it again every day.

Do not concentrate on the projects around the corner that you cannot see. You can do nothing about them right now. Simply focus on this one thing to do.

Stop thinking about the “what if’s” of life. They’ll only distract you from your new main objective. Instead, concentrate on the current situation, the problem of now, the goal you can reach out and touch. This is where your guidance and direction come from. This is the answer you’re looking for.

The Two Most Important Questions

There is time later for the “what if’s.” But that time is not now. Not until you have nailed down these two crucial questions:

  1. What is important right now?
  2. What is important immediately after that?

Once you have thoroughly answered them, do the first one right now. Then you are ready to plan a couple more steps ahead. But NOT before.

Do not skip this essential step in the process, or you will not know what to do next.

This lack of knowledge is where paralyzing fear comes from. It stops your massive action and diminishes your lightning quick pace to a slow crawl—or even a complete stop. And you miss opportunities when you’re stopped.

Banish your fear with purposeful activity. Fear evaporates when you turn up the heat by accomplishing tasks. This activity will create excitement, which actually becomes the fuel that drives your passion.

Find the ONE thing that you must do today. Then you’ll see what’s next much more clearly.

Question: What’s the ONE thing you can do today to take a step toward your lofty goals?

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    Awesome reminder Robert. I’m presently stuck with moving forward in pursuing my vision. I think fear of not knowing enough is the main culprit.

    • Douglas R Kiba

      When I don’t know a certain thing I simply Google how to or search youtube. You’d be surprised at how many solutions you can find to your problem.
      But if I’m working on a new goal and I’m stuck because I presently don’t know the how of it, what I do is relax and simply ask “How do I….” and then I just clear my mind and expect for an answer without brainstorming the slightest bit. And shockingly the answer opens up in your mind magically like a blossoming flower and bam! Now you know.

    • Hey, Fred!!! I love what Douglas says in his reply. Ramp up having to know your vision. As if you have to know today. Do not go to sleep till you have it firmly written down. Live with what you wirte for a few days. Constantly update as needed. You cannot feel fear if you move rapidly. Cool?


      Douglas, Robert, thanks for the advice. I will chip away one task a day at a time…..

  • Jody Noland

    Great post, Robert. And just the encouragement (and kick in the posterior) that I needed.

  • Contact the next person on my list to interview for my book that I want to publish by December 31, 2014. Thanks Robert. Doing it next.

    • Excellent, Eva!!! A lot of things like this – contacting anybody, can be done at any hour of the day via email or by leaving a message on someones voicemail. It may not be just that “next” person – but send out 10 more requests. Schedule these out as they come in. More people will say yes if you ask. GREAT job!!

      • Forgot to say thanks for the idea of talking to multiple people at a time. I have a tendency to think linear.

      • Completed my book this week Robert. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • In his book, Gates of Fire, Steven Pressfield wrote about a speech King Leonidas gave his generals. “Keep your men busy. For when soldiers have time to talk, their talk turns to fear. Action, on the other hand, produces the appetite for more action.”

    • I can see why that quote is a great quote, Alan!! It is truth. We all need to have an “appetite for more action”. I guarantee that you’ll have more results. More happiness. More joy. :-)

  • Steven Tessler

    I just need to do it!! I’m writing out my goals for the next five years!!

    Side note: Your interview on “Redefine Rich” was amazing!! Love everything you speak about!!

    • Thanks so much, Steven!!! Stretching yourself to see beyond next weekend is critical for your long-term success and for potentially leaving a legacy. I am proud that you were looking five years out. Recently, I met with Andy Andrews to look at his publishing career for the next 15 years. That’s a long time. But it excites us both. Long term vision pulls you into the future with great anticipation. It makes you want to stay up late and get up early. Both ingredients needed to get a lot done.

  • Like a surgeon armed with a laser to do the cutting….FOCUS…..this is the one thing I can do to confidently march forward in the directions of my dreams. Very timely thoughts…thanks for sharing!

  • dahayford

    Great post! I find this is true even with non professional-related tasks. Sometimes the next thing to do is mow the lawn or go cut that limb down that’s been hanging too low forever. With activity comes enlightenment! :)

  • Search for and compile quotes on missions for an ebook project. Then write the head of the crowdfunding campaign I’m working on and answer some questions she asked about Twitter and strategy! Man. Crazy how simple it looks when it’s listed out… and how overwhelmed I feel if I just leave it in my head. Thanks, Robert D!

  • God asks us to do only what we can with what we have right now. No more. No less.