Are there good action steps? vs. “bad” action steps? When you start out brainstorming, there are no “bad ideas” because any idea may lead to a good idea or action.
Once you move from brainstorming to executing your action steps you begin to notice that some actions seem better than others. Maybe more effective or easier or just more fun. The other ones … are they bad?
Well . . . yes & no.
You want to keep them around because there will be additional brainstorming as you progress through your 1000 Cranes project and these “bad ideas” may spark some other, more useful, ideas down the road. They may even help you overcome obstacles or challenges because they could get you thinking about some counter-intuitive strategies you might be missing.
When you are deciding which idea or action step to tackle, you should consider “The Seinfeld Strategy“. An online article by James Clear for Entrepreneur magazine describes it this way…
Brad Isaac was a young comedian starting out on the comedy circuit. One fateful night, he found himself in a club where Jerry Seinfeld was performing. In an interview on Lifehacker, Isaac shared what happened when he caught Seinfeld backstage and asked if he had “any tips for a young comic.”
Here’s how Isaac described the interaction with Seinfeld…
He said the way to be a better comic was to create better jokes and the way to create better jokes was to write every day.
He told me to get a big wall calendar that has a whole year on one page and hang it on a prominent wall. The next step was to get a big red magic marker. He said for each day that I do my task of writing, I get to put a big red X over that day.
“After a few days you’ll have a chain. Just keep at it and the chain will grow longer every day. You’ll like seeing that chain, especially when you get a few weeks under your belt. Your only job is to not break the chain.”
A key part of creating your “chain” of action steps is choosing the right ones. If they are too easy or inconsequential you risk not making any progress toward your goal. If they are too difficult or overwhelming, you risk not doing them at all.
The key according to the Seinfeld Strategy…
… is to choose a task that is simple enough to be sustainable. At the same time, you have to make sure that your actions are meaningful enough to matter.
For example, researching good jokes each day is simple, but you’re never going to write a joke by merely researching. That’s why the process of writing is a better choice. Writing can actually produce a meaningful result, even when it’s done in small doses.
Similarly, doing 10 pushups per day could be simple and meaningful depending on your level of fitness. It will actually make you stronger. Meanwhile, reading a fitness book each day is simple, but it won’t actually get you in better shape.
Choose tasks that are simple to maintain and capable of producing the outcome you want.
Another way of saying this is to focus on actions and not motions…
So as you evaluate all the possible actions that will build your path to your wish, be sure to craft the action steps so they are “simple enough” that you can do them again & again” while also “meaningful enough that they matter” toward your desired outcome.
Remember, you can always break down your action steps to make them simpler but you are the one who decides how much one action step contributes compared to all the other possible action steps. Take ACTION NOW !