When you want to do something new, your first instinct is to learn everything about it.
You want to make sure you know enough.
And when you do know enough, you’re ready to start.
The problem is that you often don’t know when enough is enough.
You try to learn everything, because you want to avoid mistakes.
Then you wonder why you’re stuck.
The solution then is to learn just enough to get you going.
I call this action-based learning.
Action-Based Learning — The Video
Watch the video below, then read the rest of the article.
And remember, if you want more videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel, as I do not post every video to the blog.
What is Action-Based Learning?
Action-based learning means learning just enough to take the next step.
No more. No less.
And it means that you see through your perfectionistic tendencies, and the fear behind it all.
Because trying to get things perfect is, in and of itself, imperfect. Perfection doesn’t exist. The only thing that exists is an image of perfection in your mind.
Why is It So Powerful?
Action-based learning gets you out of the fantasy world of your head, and into reality.
When I started Wake Up Cloud in 2009, I didn’t have every single detail mapped out. All I knew was that blogging seemed interesting, and I wanted to share my story.
So I started with what I had.
Action-based learning helps me focus on the present moment and ask: What is the next tiniest step I can take?
How to Get Started with Action-Based Learning
Action-based learning is a simple concept to grasp.
It sounds good. It feels good. You may even feel motivated right now.
But applying it is another matter.
Here’s my 3-step process:
1. What Do I Want to Do?
Let’s stick with the example of when I wanted to start Wake Up Cloud. I knew what I wanted to do. I felt drawn to write, to blog.
I didn’t know exactly what niche to pick, so I picked something broad, like personal development.
I didn’t think I had anything worthwhile to say, but I started anyway. I was sick of waiting, and being spellbound by my thoughts. I wanted to see what would happen if I followed what felt magnetic.
I had plenty of reasons not to start, but I knew that it was only by diving in that I would uncover the path forward.
2. What’s My Next Step?
So I knew I wanted to write and blog.
My next step was to learn how to get a blog up and running.
Right at that time, I got an email about a blogging course. It felt good, so I signed up. (The course was by Chris Garrett.)
When possible, I like to join a course, or work with someone. It saves me time, and helps me focus on taking action instead of on what I need to learn.
If I wouldn’t have signed up to Chris’ course, I would simply have figured out what I needed to do next, which was to get my blog going.
Then I would’ve taken action.
3. What Do I Need to Learn?
Finally, I would have asked myself what I needed to learn in order to get my blog set up.
My focus is always on what I can do RIGHT NOW.
What is the next step I can take?
What do I need to learn to take that next step?
When thoughts of failure emerge, I bring my attention back to this moment, and to the next tiny step. I don’t have to know where I’m going. It just has to resonate with me.
The path reveals itself as I walk it.
As Joseph Campbell said:
“If you can see your path laid out in front of you step by step, you know it’s not your path. Your own path you make with every step you take. That’s why it’s your path.”
Avoid This Mistake
The mistake we make is to believe we can learn enough to avoid mistakes.
Believing that is the first mistake.
We assume that mistakes are bad, and that we can make faster progress if we absorb enough knowledge. But the path forward is through learning enough to take the next step.
There is no avoiding mistakes. There is only avoiding life, and avoiding your journey.
Look at what you want to try next, and take the next step.
Your mind will want to craft plans, learn more, and avoid taking action, but bring your awareness back to the present moment.
There will always be fear, anxiety, and overwhelm. Those aren’t the problem; the problem is how you relate to them.
You can start moving toward what you love today. Right now.
There is always a next step you can take.
The question is: Will you take it?
Have a good one!
P.S. If you want to learn more about doing work you love, check out Lifestyle Liberation Academy. There’s a free video training series you can grab here.