You know the way it was when you were young...
I didn't waste my life - I simply didn't know anything.
I (you?) did things - mainly play: sword fighting, bows & arrows, football, hideouts, probably hitting golf balls with a wooded shafted club. I was active - running around getting dirty. I made a lot of mess.
But looking back, (you?) I think I had no "wisdom" at the age of 8. I'd figured nothing out. It probably didn't even cross my mind that there was stuff to figure out. I don't remember ever feeling "I've got a useful guideline for success".
Yesterday my daughter showed me
there is another way - activity is not the only path.
She was skipping. (She recently learned how to skip with a rope.) She was trying to skip to 100. In case you think that's easy, I assure you - for her that was Everest. That was the ultimate peak. She was a novice climber.
She was failing.
She tried several times to make it to 100. Each time she tangled the rope a long time before 100. To be accurate, she couldn't get past 17.
I watched out of the side of my eye. This took place in our kitchen. I didn't want to escalate the pressure on her. It was her mountain - not mine. She'd fallen innumerable times when learning to walk. It was her business. Certainly, I hoped she'd succeed sooner rather than later.
She was in control of her challenge.
Suddenly something happened that caused me to pay total attention.
"100 is ten tens. I'm going to do ten tens. Not one hundred" - she voiced out loud. Goodness knows what had gone on inside.
She resumed skipping. Counted out loud to ten. Then carried on skipping - counting up to ten again. At the end of each ten, she gasped out the total number of skips so far.
She kept going
- got more and more shaky - she kept going - she did nine tens before the rope tangled in her legs. She resumed straight away. She tangled again at 96. She kept going.
She got there. She made it to the top of Everest.
The poor thing could hardly stand up. Her delight was loud. Ecstatic. Celebratory.
She did something marvellous didn't she?
She broke the big job down into bite-sized chunks. She gave herself a series of small achievable targets. She won herself a stream of small successes on her way to the big one.
She's learned how to go for a big goal by breaking it down into pieces and focussing on realistic steps at a time.
It took me years to realise that was the best way to climb a mountain.
This year I went to Chicago to the Genius Shared tiny conference. Liz Strauss led the conference thru a process. She began by insisting it was good to have only One (important) goal. It was good to break it down in to bits you could achieve within a realistic timescale. She give us an experience designed to help us achieve more. To be more successful at winning.
"What's going to to be an achievable goal
that's going to move me in the direction I
want to move longer term?'
[I wrote in my Moleskine notebook on 27 June] [Not affiliate link]
Liz Strauss is a mature woman:
She's tripped up enough times to have become wise & a skilled leader. The conference was full of experienced business people. We were all keen to get better at achieving success.
Liz Strauss led us to practise what my daughter did in our kitchen yesterday.
My daughter is 8
(almost 9). She's figured out something that's pretty useful - eh? She's gained a method. If she applies that method to other mountains, she'll make a stream of successes.
As a result, she might become a lot more successful than all those impressive people I worked with at GeniusShared.
Here's your hint - from now on
Skip your way forward in bite-sized chunks.
You're probably wondering who's in that photo? And where did I get that little figure? Click here. Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen - unconventional hero. Follow @u_nconventional - website coming soon.