“Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.” – Vincent Van Gogh
The majority of truly great or renowned artists didn’t just one day pick up a brush, palette, easel and medium to create a masterpiece. Nor did the sculptor one day just look at a block of marble and create an awe inspiring sculpture. No, the artists who are so often attributed with “incredible” talent had to spend countless hours working on their craft before they ever created a true work of art and Vincent Van Gogh’s story is at the epee-center of that theory, given he only sold 1 painting during the course of his life.
It’s no different for the rest of us in life. We rarely ever do anything truly great without having taken a series of much smaller, perhaps even somewhat insignificant, almost imperceptible steps along the way. Rarely does someone initially just set out do do some great thing. That doesn’t mean they can’t or don’t have a grand vision for what will eventually be accomplished though… Typically, they do!
What it very simply means is this. Rarely do we ever go right from where we are, to exactly where we want to be. Between where we are with our initial idea and our desired outcome, there is a gap. If we “choose to begin” whatever it is we are considering, we will fill the space of the gap with specific activities that either lead us toward successful completion, or away from our desired outcome.
Sometimes the gap is almost overwhelmingly wide. It is actually more like a chasm, than a gap. However, with the right strategy to move forward, almost anything is possible…
In preparing for my own “GREAT” event, I was introduced to a strategy I have since used to change various elements of my life. The strategy introduced to me was developed by the riders and founders of the Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC.org) and consists of just five simple words. The first time I heard “Commit, you’ll figure it out” was from a colleague trying to convince me, a non-bike owning, non-bike riding, non-believing, non-rider, that I could, just like so many others, complete the 192 mile, 2 day ride across Massachusetts. Honestly, I thought she was just a little “delusional.” Wow, was I ever mistaken…
After careful consideration, I first said I would “consider” the idea. Of course, this was after much maligning on my part about all of the reasons why doing this made absolutely no sense at all. Anyway, I agreed to listen and a conversation took place between myself and a couple of colleagues both in person and through repeated emails (there were lots and lots of emails, I needed a “lot” of convincing).
A plan to help me “see” how I could go from where I “was” to where I would need to “be” was laid out in a discussion of the details and then I did the thing we each must do if we are ever to accomplish something we have never done before… I decided to commit! I decided to “Commit, then figure it out!” The simple act of making the “commitment” put me on a path of discovery where a “series of small things were brought together” to help me prepare for this epic event.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but I would develop a “system” along the way to help guide me from where I was, to where I had “committed” to be, which was at the finish line with everyone else who had committed to do the same thing… I had absolutely no idea “how” I was going to accomplish my goal, but I had an incredibly powerful “why” and I believed that would be enough… It was!!
I completed my first Pan-Mass Challenge (PMC) three years ago and am currently “preparing” to ride in my fourth event on the first weekend of August with thousands of other “cyclists” from across the globe. “We” succeed together!
Author: Bobby Kountz
Bobby Kountz is a former Oncology Nurse, a seasoned Oncology Sales Professional, and Personal Development Enthusiast. He is also an Inspirational Writer, Professional Speaker, Personal Development and Career Transition Coach, Dedicated Community Volunteer, Social Equality Activist, Mental Health Activist, and Loving Father and Husband.
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