I’m a big fan of Columbia Sportswear Company in Portland Oregon. They have great clothes for outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, snow shoeing, or just for wearing around town. If you need clothes for the great outdoors, Columbia has got you covered
Fortunately for me, I’m relatively close to several Columbia outlet stores. These stores are great! They sell Columbia gear (obviously) at prices far lower than you’d pay at a full retail sore. If I’m anywhere near a Columbia outlet, I am instantly drawn to the parking lot and into the store. I can’t help it. It’s like the mother ship is calling me home.
Every time I enter a Columbia store, my first several seconds are spent in a state, where I’m overwhelmed by all the choices in the store, and don’t know where to start looking first. I usually begin by halfheartedly looking at one section, and then quickly jumping to another, before I finally calm down and think about what I need, or want, and then start looking around with focus and purpose.
It can be like that when deciding on a big goal or challenge we’d like to pursue. We’re motivated and fired up at the thought of a new endeavor. However, we quickly become overwhelmed, or even immobilized, by the scope of our undertaking and don’t know where to begin “causing something to happen”. If we stay in this state too long, our motivation and enthusiasm will soon leave the scene, and our desire or goal will be relegated to the domain of wishful thinking.
So how do we avoid this? What can we do to gain clarity in our thoughts and direction so we can determine what we need to do to get started, on whatever pursuit we set for ourselves? I believe there are 3 simple steps we can take to move us forward.
Step 1: Decide where it is you want to go.
It may sound obvious, but if we don’t know where it is we want to go, or what it is we want to achieve, we’ll become unclear as to what actions we should take, causing confusion, frustration, and discouragement on how we should move forward.
I have applied these steps in my own life. In 2012 I decided that I wanted to get into doing voice overs professionally. This was clearly the goal I had set for myself and the direction I wanted to go. Step 1 had been decided. I knew where I wanted to go.
Step 2: Determine where you are currently, in relation to where you want to go.
This step is important because it helps determine the starting point of the journey. It’s like planning a road trip. Everything begins with your starting point, right? You determine how long the trip will take based on how far your destination is from the starting point. The potential route you’re going to take is all predicated on where trip begins. It’s no different with a goal or desired achievement. The planning begins with determining your starting point.
After I had set my goal of doing voice overs professionally, I took stock of where I was. It didn’t take long to realize that I was as far away from doing voice overs as I could get. I didn’t know anything about the industry or how it worked. I had no knowledge of how voice over artists operated or how a person goes about becoming a voice over talent. All I had were some decent public speaking skills, an eagerness to learn, and a good attitude. I knew where I currently was.
Step 3: Take the next (or first) step.
This is where you cause something to happen. Once you know where you are and where you want to go, it’s time to determine what that next small step is that will move you toward your goal. Once you know that next step, TAKE IT!
For my voice over pursuit, I realized that I needed to learn how people get started in the voice over industry. So I took the next step of researching how people get started. Once I learned that people got started by getting trained in voice over techniques, I took the next step of researching trainers and coaches. I again took stock of where I was, and knew I needed to get trained by a voice over coach. The next step was to find a voice over coach and sign up for training, so that’s what I did. I am currently in the process of completing my initial voice over training, but I’ve already begun looking ahead at what my next step will be.
These 3 simple steps keep our focus on what we should be doing right now. As we move toward a specific goal, we should constantly ask ourselves:
- What do I want?
- Where am I right now?
- What’s my next step?
This simple process eliminates confusion and frustration that come from a lack of clear focus and direction. It’s a simple process, and it works.
What about you? Where are you right now and where would you like to go? What’s the next step you need to take today, to cause something to happen that will move you closer toward your goal?