No matter where you are in the world and regardless of what you are working on, you can achieve great things in your daily growth. Start now, what ever your goal, new business, weight loss or first 5km. Successful people start before they feel that they are ready.
James Clear is a writer and researcher on behavioral psychology, habit formation, and performance improvement. In this article he gives you insight on the success story of Sir Richard Branson, and why it is so important to start now, even if you feel you are not ready.
Start before you feel ready
"I was in my late twenties, so I had a business, but nobody knew who I was at the time. I was headed to the Virgin Islands and I had a very pretty girl waiting for me, so I was, umm, determined to get there on time. At the airport, my final flight to the Virgin Islands was cancelled because of maintenance or something. It was the last flight out that night. I thought this was ridiculous, so I went and chartered a private airplane to take me to the Virgin Islands, which I did not have the money to do. Then, I picked up a small blackboard, wrote “Virgin Airlines. $29.” on it, and went over to the group of people who had been on the flight that was cancelled. I sold tickets for the rest of the seats on the plane, used their money to pay for the chartered plane, and we all went to the Virgin Islands that night." —Richard Branson
The habits of successful people
After speaking with our group, Branson sat on a panel with industry experts to talk about the future of business. As everyone around him was filling the air with business buzzwords and talking about complex ideas for mapping out our future, Branson was saying things like: “Screw it, just get on and do it.” Which was closely followed by: “Why can’t we mine asteroids?”
As I looked up at that panel, I realized that the person who sounded the most simplistic was also the only one who was a billionaire. Which prompted me to wonder, “What’s the difference between Branson and everyone else in the room?”
Here’s what James Clear thinks makes all the difference:
Branson doesn’t merely say things like, “Screw it, just get on and do it.” He actually lives his life that way. He drops out of school and starts a business. He signs the Sex Pistols to his record label when everyone else says they are too controversial. He charters a plane when he doesn’t have the money.
When everyone else balks or comes up with a good reason for why the time isn’t right, Branson gets started. He figures out how to stop procrastinating and take the first step — even if it seems outlandish.
There is a certain truth in that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is in times like these that we propelled by our discomfort instead of being brought to a standstill. In times like these we are compelled to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers. Become a better person by overcoming adversity.
The time is now
Branson is an extreme example, but we could all learn something from his approach.
If you want to summarize the habits of successful people into one phrase, it’s this: successful people start before they feel ready.
If there was ever someone who embodied the idea of starting before they felt ready to do so, it’s Branson. The very name of his business empire, Virgin, was chosen because when Branson and his partners started they were “virgins” when it came to business.
Branson has started so many businesses, ventures, charities, and expeditions that it’s simply not possible for him to have felt prepared, qualified, and ready to start all of them. In fact, it’s unlikely that he was qualified or prepared to start any of them. He had never flown a plane and didn’t know anything about the engineering of planes, but he started an airline company anyway. He is a perfect example of why the “chosen ones” choose themselves.
If you’re working on something important, then you’ll never feel ready. A side effect of doing challenging work is that you’re pulled by excitement and pushed by confusion at the same time.
You’re bound to feel uncertain, unprepared, and unqualified. But let me assure you of this: what you have right now is enough. You can plan, delay, and revise all you want, but trust me, what you have now is enough to start. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to start a business, lose weight, write a book, or achieve any number of goals… who you are, what you have, and what you know right now is good enough to get going.
We all start in the same place: no money, no resources, no contacts, no experience. The difference is that some people — the winners — choose to start anyway.
No matter where you are in the world and regardless of what you’re working on, I hope you’ll start before you feel ready.
We are what we repeatedly do. Take control of your habits and before you know it you will be start before you feel ready. Now is the time, find out what habits you have that will prevent you from achieving your goals in 2016.
Habits are necessary, they free up your mind so you can concentrate on how to survive day to day. You don't have to think about how to drive your car so you can be on the lookout for danger while you are driving. You don't have to think about how to walk so you can concentrate on where you're going.