If You Want to Be Successful, You Need to Work on the Hard Things

Photo by Martin Péchy on Unsplash

It is easy to do things when they are easy. No one likes to do the hard things. As I’ve been working on launching my business, I’ve been focusing on working on the easy things. The things that do not require much time. The things I know I have knowledge on and do not require me to think outside the box. Every time I look at my to-do list and I glance at an item I know is hard, my first reaction is to skip it and go to the next easy one. But, by skipping those harder challenges, I am handicapping my ability to become successful.

I believe that to be successful, you need to be able to do the hard things in life. Many shy away from doing the hard things which is why those that muster up the courage to work on the hard things succeed. After four weeks of being out on my own, I’ve managed to pretty much do all the easy things. I’ve published a podcast, run two blogs, and take on freelancing jobs that are within my wheelhouse. But, if I want to grow to the levels that I dream about, I have to just filter out all the noise and start working on those hard things.

I’ve always known that everything is hard until it is not. Nothing on my list is rocket science. Everything that I am trying to build is within my capabilities as an engineer. I’m not trying to invent time travel or end world hunger. So, why is it that every time I need to create something out of nothing, I find it next to impossible? I look at the hard items and quickly get up and walk away.

I think I have discovered a strategy for tackling the hard things I need to do with my business. One key component is from my dealing with rejection post. Ever since I published that post, I’ve been intentionally doing things that I know might end in rejection. I’ve been putting myself out there, asking for things and being a lot more aggressive. The next part of my strategy is to break things down to the most basic fundamental principle and start working from there. I watched a great Ted Talk on this a while back and I really do think that I can apply the principles from that video now.

Things are hard because we make them hard. Everything really is simple when you take bite sized approaches towards solving the hard problems. You take enough of those smaller, easy steps, and pretty soon, you’ve made some significant progress on that once hard task.

The concept is pretty simple. Do something hard, but breaking it down into thousands of smaller, easier items. For example, I’m currently writing a book and creating a writing course for engineers. I have no experience creating either products, but I’ve managed to break things up into smaller tasks that I can manage daily. Sure, it is going to take me a while before I finally finish that hard task, but I think that taking your time to do something hard is better than not doing anything at all.

I’ve managed to create outlines for both my products and every day, I dedicate 25 minutes of uninterrupted time just for those activities. After 25 minutes, I’m either a few paragraphs, or a chapter farther a head than I was the day before. After enough of these sessions, I will have finished my book and course that I can then share with the world. In just a couple weeks, I’ve managed to accomplish more than I did the last six months. I’ve managed to be much more successful in tackling hard items simply by breaking them down.

What hard thing have you tried working on, but continue to put off because it seems overwhelming? I encourage you to consider adopting my strategy. I’ve have found great success and I do not think I would be as far along as I am now if it wasn’t for my tactics. I challenge you to find that hard thing you’ve been putting off and start breaking it down. Break it down into steps that you can easily accomplish within 30 minutes of uninterrupted work. After you complete a few of these 30 minute sessions, you’ll realize that the task you thought was impossible really isn’t.

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