There is a secret to solving any problem. You may have learned it in school, but you didn’t know it at the time. It’s not always explicitly stated in solutions to problems, and you may have done it by accident once or twice. It is elusive, but seems obvious when you’re aware of it. If you know how to use it properly, you can turn any impossible task into something doable.
The secret is to break things down. To take any problem, as impossibly huge as it is, and split it into smaller chunks, manageable steps, and workable pieces. Doing this, any task can be accomplished, no matter how impossible it may seem from the get go. Even if you have a deadline to meet, you can break a problem into smaller but equal chunks to stay on track and make steady progress toward your goal.
As an example, let’s look at building a house. Most people have never built a house before, myself included. It requires a lot of planning, knowledge, skills, and experience. It seems like an impossible task if you imagine yourself having to build a house. But the thing that makes it manageable is the one resource you have a lot of: Time.
So let’s break the home down into a few big chunks:
- Purchasing land
- Purchasing materials and supplies
- Laying foundations
- Framing and windows
- Utilities – Power and Water
- Walls and lighting
- Paint and touch ups
I may have missed a few key steps, but like I said, I’ve never built a house. Does the project seem a bit more manageable already? Now let’s take one of these big chunks and break it down further. I’ll choose framing and windows.
Framing and Windows:
- Learning to work with wood / hammer / saws
- Measuring and Building the Base
- Building the wall frames
- Putting up the walls
- Covering outer walls
- Buying Windows
- Installing Windows
Again I’ve probably missed a few key steps, but you get the idea. Each of these tasks seems a lot more doable. We’re even getting into the realm of a beginner being able to do a few of these things. The beginner may have to add a couple extra steps for learning how to do certain things, but with video tutorials across the web, this is easy to do in a short time.
If we had 7 sub-steps for each major step, building the house would be a 63 step process. Again this seems huge, but if you have a lot of time, or no deadline, you can slowly work at each step and check them off as they are done. Eventually all the steps are completed and you have built a house!
This method works with any problem, and is truly the secret to achieving incredible things. We often see people reaching incredible milestones, whether it’s physical, mental, artistic, etc. In every case we see them at the end of the long journey, but they have spent years perfecting their work step by step.
If it’s fitness, each step could be working out 30 minutes per day. If it’s artistic, it could be drawing for 30 minutes a day. If you want faster results, do it for an hour a day. The point is that it doesn’t matter how much time you have or don’t have in a day, it’s the time you make. Let’s say you only have 30 minutes a week. It will take you a lot longer to accomplish a goal than someone who works at it 30 minutes a day, but think of how far ahead you are getting of the countless people who devote zero time to it!
This is the secret to accomplishing any task, building any skill, or reaching any goal. It’s a lesson from nature really. The Colorado river has spent hundreds of millions of years running and slowly moving sediment grain by grain, carving out the grand canyon. There was no canyon when the river started flowing, and it was a painstaking process, but it ended with an incredible result.
So find that thing you want to do. Know that it’s possible, even if it looks insurmountable. Break it into steps that are as simple as you need them to be to work on it. Complete each step at a manageable pace, and down the road you’ll see an incredible result.