Do the Thing, Have the Power! (#687)

(Today’s tip is adapted from the Creating the Impossible 30 Day audio program)

One of the things I’ve learned in over 20 years of coaching and teaching is that there are certain things which are predictable about human beings. So even though I probably don’t know you personally, I’m going to make a bet with you that there is at least one thing you are not doing that if you did it, your most wonderfully impossible goal would come 20 miles closer today.

Now, I don’t know what that one thing is. It might be a phone call you’ve been avoiding making, an email you’ve been putting off sending, or a conversation you’ve been reluctant to have. It might be sitting down to type the first words of your novel or a letter of resignation to your boss. It might be sending in a check to book on a course or sending off an application to begin training for a new career. It might even be as simple as going for a walk, doing a push-up, or any of the myriad of things you already know to do to create the life you want.

But I do know that if you did it – if you “did the thing” – you would be so much closer to your goal than you are now it would be as though you were a different person. You might even be all the way there.

But you can’t do the thing, can you?

You can’t because you don’t know how. You can’t because it’s too hard. You can’t because, well, you’re just not the kind of person who does things like that.

In his essay On Compensation, Ralph Waldo Emerson concludes with the now famous line:

“The law of nature is do the thing and you shall have the power; but they who do not the thing, have not the power.”

Now this is exactly the opposite of how most of us go about things. We try to build up the power before doing the thing. We have this idea that we have to able to do something before we can do it. And in nature it is the exact opposite. Do the thing, and you will have the power. When you do it, you will develop the ability to do it.

This is the essence of true learning. We can learn about something, or we can learn to something. We learn about it by talking about it, reading about it, and studying it. We learn to something by doing it before we can do it.

Do the thing, and you will have the power.

We walk before we can walk, and now we are walking. We dance before we can dance, and before long we have learned to dance. We ask for help before we can ask for help. We make money before we can make money. And before we know it, we are walking and dancing and asking for help and even making money.

How? We have done the thing, and in so doing we have unleashed the power within us to make things happen.

So what I want you to do today is I want you to find that one thing. And it might not be one, it might be two. But I want you to find those one or two things that if you did them, you know it would make a tremendous difference to reaching your biggest, most wonderful goal. And this week I want you to do them. And it’s fine if you do them badly. It’s fine if you do them terribly. But do them.

Do the thing, and you will have the power.

What you’ll find is that as you “do the thing”, other things will begin to happen. You’ll find it easier to do things the next time. You’ll notice yourself thinking, “I can’t believe I did it- maybe I am the kind of person who does things like that.” And the shift in who you become in doing the thing will make doing anything else so much easier.

Of course, if you don’t think you can do it, if you don’t know how to do it, if it’s all too much, if you’re not ready yet… just do the thing. Do the thing, and you will have the power.

Today’s experiment is simple:

Do the one or two things that would make the biggest difference to creating your goal – even if (especially if) you don’t think you can.

Have fun, learn heaps, and enjoy the power!


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