To Make Great Things Happen, You Need These 2 Things

Photo by  Peter Conlan  on  Unsplash

Photo by Peter Conlan on Unsplash

To achieve great things you need 1) a plan & 2) not enough time.
— Meg Jay, TED Talks

This quote was mentioned in an article, called "Go to the Next Level Of Your Life Before You Feel Ready," that  I read today on Thrive Global where the author talks about this musician named Burke, a 30 year old pianist. When Burke decides he wants to do a project, he doesn’t overly-wait until he feels ready. Instead, he immediately creates conditions to make that project a reality. He forces his own hand.

Here’s specifically what Burke does the moment he decides he’s going to pursue a creative project:

·        He calls his sound engineer and gets scheduled several months in advance for when his album will be recorded.

·        Being on the schedule and being financially invested now gives him a pressing end-date (“To achieve great things you need 1) a plan, and 2) not enough time” — Meg Jay TED talk).

·        He then blocks out his calendar for the next several months for “Creation Time.” This is where he’s actually going to sit down and do the work. If it’s not on the calendar, it probably won’t get done. If a paid-gig or another “great opportunity” pops up during creation time, he says he already has a meeting. That meeting is with himself.

·        He then tells all of his fans via social media and his email newsletter about his upcoming album. This creates positive expectation and anticipation in his fans. Burke really cares about ensuring his fans trust him. So when he makes a public declaration to his fans, he feels compelled to make good on that promise.

At first, reading through this list gave me anxiety for Burke. I thought to myself, there is no way I would announce I was putting together an album without actually having it done first. I would wait until I was 100% ready to get the studio booked, see how the recording turned out and THEN, and only then, would I even think about announcing that I had an album. I would probably first share it with a few friends, a small circle, honestly probably just my mom, wait for feedback and then depending on that, decide if I was actually going to announce it. 

So lame and so stupid. 

Because Burke doesn’t do it this way is the reason why he’s a Grammy Award nominee. It’s why he’s seen as a disruptor at such a young age in his field, disrupting not only others, but himself as well and continually trying new things, more difficult song, more complex sequence of notes and getting better. 

I really want this. I want to do more jumping in and giving myself the opportunity to fall on my face and fail. And then get back up and try it again if it doesn’t work out that round.

The alternative is what I’m most afraid of in my life – regret. The alternative is just standing still, trying to think my way to a new destination. But it doesn’t work that way, right? We figure out  by doing, by making the jump.

What about you? What is something that you do or tell yourself to help you move forward? To take action before you feel ready?

Let me know in the comments below! I really would love to hear what’s worked for you.

P.S. The article I mentioned is really really good, so if you get a chance, check it out, here, as well!