"Timing, perseverance, and ten years of trying will eventually make you look like an overnight success"
Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter
That quote drifted into my consciousness earlier today, and I got to thinking about the phenomenon (well, the myth) of "Overnight Success" - the come-from-nowhere band, the unheard of entrepeneur who is suddenly on every social media stream, news channel and billboard ad.
It's a funny thing, isn't it - the idea of an "Overnight Success"?
Most people look at a successful person or a high-performer and think that they "just are" successful - that it all happened at once. We make the assumption that Successful is just how these people are - that it's an innate or inborn quality, not available to "ordinary folks" - people like you and me.
Now, here's the thing - that kind of mental shortcut - jumping from where we are now to where That Successful Person is - completely skips over the journey that got That Successful Person to where they are in the first place.
It's like thinking of Tokyo and wondering why we are not there already, without ever considering the necessity of booking a 'plane ticket and getting to the airport.
But there's a problem here, and it's almost a universal: we envisage making the instant transition from here to there in a single bound - thousands of miles in a single instant. A leap like that is just too much, too big, too far - impossible!
So most people don't even try - it's tragic.
But there are ways around the problem - here's my favourite bypass around the perceived mega-leap. Think of yourself in possession of the outcome you want - the destination, and ask "What did I do before that?" over and over again. You will then backtrack in time to figure out how you got there, right back to the very first step of the journey - the step you can take today.
Take that step.
© Neil Cowmeadow 2018
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