Only One Way to Make Progress

We want things to happen. We know what we need to do solve our problems or overcome our obstacles. We’ve got it all figured out. And then we mostly proceed to sit and do nothing.

And the most insidious and disingenuous part is that when we check in on our “progress,” weeks or months later, we’re shocked—SHOCKED—that we haven’t made any.

Of course our wordcount, usercount, cashflow, or understanding are exactly the same. Of course we’re still stuck. We didn’t do shit.

This isn’t to say it’s all about throwing yourself against a wall. Thinking is an action tooand if done right, waiting can be as well. So long as you’re pressing forward, alternating between ideas and exertion until you finally break through.

The breakthrough isn’t coming because you sat back and thought about it a lot. It’s coming because you got up and then stayed at it. Because you took risks and tried things. Because you persisted (and resisted) the impulse to give up.

Let’s ask an honest question: could you be doing more? You probably could, there’s always more. At minimum, you could be trying harder. You might have gotten started, but your full effort isn’t in it—and that shows.

Is that going to get you the results you want? Obviously not.

So get moving. Give it everything.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.