Today as I was out for my early morning run, I came across this scene:
Last night’s powerful thunderstorm created a new hurdle for me this morning. Literally. It reminded me of the hurdles we all face in all parts of our work and lives and how easily we can be stopped by them.
Here’s a three step process for overcoming the next downed tree that blocks your path:
1. Make a plan
A bit of careful planning is the first step on getting past unexpected hurdles. It’s easy to react in the face of unanticipated roadblocks – and most of us do so much drama and theatrics. A few moments of planning will get you back in action more quickly than drama. What’s the next small action you can take to keep you on course? And then next one after that? Develop a list of action steps you can take that will each take less than 30 minutes. Small steps, repeated, are what get you to the finish line.
2. Take action
Now that you know what the steps are, take action. A plan without action is like a recipe without a chef. Use the plan, the recipe, and be in action. If you want to clear the hurdle rapidly, take massive action. Accomplishing some of the most immediate steps that you need to take to get past the hurdle will fuel your confidence level and you will be charged up to take on subsequent steps with gusto. Success breeds success.
3. Get help
Recognize that you can’t always surmount the hurdles on your own. Think realistically about the magnitude of the challenge, your resources, skills and knowledge, and the larger context in which this hurdle presents itself. Human beings are social animals and we get more done – and get it done better and faster – with the help of others. Do you need to hire a contractor, a constructor worker or a coach to help you past the hurdle? Get the assistance you need to powerfully overcome the hurdle and get back on course.
This morning, as I ran around the lake, I climbed over the hurdle as did everyone I encountered. I didn’t see a single person who said, “Oh no. There’s a downed tree across the path. I’m giving up.”
Not even close.
>> A woman with a cane maneuvered over the tree trunk.
>> A man lifted his dog (who was too big to get under it and too small to get over it) across.
>> Cyclists dismounted and lifted their bikes over it.
>> Countless runners took it in stride.
What hurdle is in your path today? Make a plan, take action and get help.
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