Keep Chipping Away

by Mark Forster

This chapter is a free excerpt from The Pathway to Awesomeness.

March 27, 2007

I’m sure we’ve all read articles and books about how to achieve major goals. Usually they talk about such things as breaking them down into steps and setting deadlines. This is all good advice, but to my mind they miss the most important factor in reaching a goal, which is simply to keep on working at it.

When I say “keep on working at it” I mean that you need to schedule a certain amount of time every day to work on that goal. If you ever started to learn the piano as a child I expect you remember your tutor saying to you that it’s far more important to practice a sensible amount every day than to miss it for days and then try to catch up in one huge session. Exactly the same applies to working at goals—whatever they are.


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March 27, 2007

I’m sure we’ve all read articles and books about how to achieve major goals. Usually they talk about such things as breaking them down into steps and setting deadlines. This is all good advice, but to my mind they miss the most important factor in reaching a goal, which is simply to keep on working at it.

When I say “keep on working at it” I mean that you need to schedule a certain amount of time every day to work on that goal. If you ever started to learn the piano as a child I expect you remember your tutor saying to you that it’s far more important to practice a sensible amount every day than to miss it for days and then try to catch up in one huge session. Exactly the same applies to working at goals—whatever they are.

Almost every problem in human life will respond to regular concentrated attention. As Liane Cardes wrote: “Continuous effort—not strength or intelligence—is the key to unlocking our potential.”

Forget doing it right. Results won’t come from waiting until you can do the job perfectly. It’s working at it that will bring results. So if you are a painter, paint. If you are a writer, write. If you are a poet, write poems. Don’t wait around for inspiration—inspiration is something that comes when you are working, not when you are waiting around.

Remember the artist’s prayer (and apply it to any area of life): “Dear God, if I provide the quantity, you will provide the quality.”

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