103 How to start anything

What do you do when you don’t do what you want to do? In this episode, Leary and Armin talk about how to start anything.

How to start anything

This week’s Inspire Me quote is from Don Shula:

“The start is what stops most people.” 

In this episode, Leary and Armin discuss how to start the ideas we resist—even if we don’t want to. They compare ideas to bumble bees, partitioned hard drives, and dying loved ones, and share some practical suggestions on how we can retrain the way we approach and activate ideas.

Quotes from the show:

  • “The problem is, when you find yourself resisting the very idea you want to implement, it starts to make you question, ‘What’s wrong with me?'” —Leary
  • “It’s so much easier to procrastinate and justify your procrastination on stuff that you don’t like doing.” —Leary
  • “I have to mourn a loss [of an unfinished idea] to birth a new [idea]. Sometimes it’s hard to let something go.” —Armin
  • “When I see how many things I’ve started and never finished, I eventually look at the next thing to start as another thing to fail at.” —Armin
  • “I [often] find I may not want to start something because I’ve got so many other things that I’ve started and haven’t quite finished yet. What ends up happening, … is [I hold] an idea hostage because [I] haven’t finished other stuff.” —Leary
  • “I’m not advocating that we not finish ideas; I am advocating that [we] not punish [ourselves] … and [realize our] next idea might be a better idea than the idea [we’ve] been working on. It could be worth trading up for.” —Leary
  • “The question is, ‘In the idea that you want to pursue, what are [you] willing to guard and protect?'” —Leary
  • “If you keep bombarding yourself with all those reasons not to do something, eventually, you stop being creative at all.” —Leary
  • “Sometimes the idea that you write down needs time for your brain to think on it awhile before you act on it. And that allows you just to incubate it. If you still have the same energy to pursue the same idea several days later—then it’s worth pursuing.” —Leary
  • “If you have a to-do list, you have a get-nothing-done list. That’s all a to-do list is. If you actually want to get something done, schedule it.” —Armin

This week’s Challenge Me:

Pick an idea. Write it down. Incubate it. Then post it somewhere where you’ll see it and start working it.

What are some other ways you have found helpful in motivating yourself to start working an idea you previously resisted? Share your thoughts and comments with us below.

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3 thoughts on “103 How to start anything

  1. I had a few take-always from this episode:
    1. Let ideas incubate – This is very helpful as I consider blogging topics. I was challenged to write 10 minutes a day but don’t post it. So I write in Evernote and let it sit. Some ideas percolate back to the top as worth investing more writing time and others may never be developed. I’m going to use this method for other ideas I’m considering.
    2. Don’t use a to-do list but rather schedule it. I realized that by signing up for classes or volunteering for a job, I was forced to schedule time for my goals. That’s probably why it’s worked well for me. Now I’m going to extend that practice to my daily work — a very helpful idea.

    • Super! Thanks for sharing your take-aways Tracie. You know what’s funny? Right after Armin and I recorded this episode, I had an idea that I thought was simply awesome at the time. I should get started on it right away, I thought. The next day when I looked at it again, it appeared pretty stupid (for lots of reasons). For me, incubation is my friend. It’s that guard rail that keeps me from going over the edge whenever I’m distracted by all the scenery of a not-yet-well-formed idea.

    • Your #2 takeaway was a game changer for me. My to do lists would grow everyday and began to make me feel like there was no end in site. Once I started scheduling tasks in my calendar, it forced me to prioritize and be realistic in terms of what I could actually accomplish in a single day. I hope it’s as useful of a takeaway for you.

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