The Deeply Unsatisfying Secret To Success

Take a look at the amazing physical transformations below.

These are before and after photos from people who have lost weight, gained muscle and completely changed their health and appearance.

Amazing Before and After Photos

Amazing Before and After Photos

How did they do it?

Was it a paleo diet?

Did they go vegan?

Was CrossFit the answer?

Maybe they did yoga?

The answer is yes.

All four examples were incredibly successful, and they each achieved their success in entirely different ways.

The couple in the first photo did it with paleo, the woman in the second went vegan, the third guy started CrossFit and the fourth did yoga.

Instead of spending years and years debating over which approach they should choose, they simply picked one, did the hard work and got the results.

What’s The Secret To Success?

We all want to know “the secret.”

The one magic bullet that will solve a deep burning problem for us.

“What’s the secret to being more productive?

“What’s the secret to losing weight?”

“What’s the secret to making more money?”

The trouble is…well, magic bullets don’t really exist.

But it’s worse than that.

Not only do they not exist, but the very idea of magic bullets hurts us. The hope that we can find a way to achieve our goals with minimal effort if we simply think and research hard enough to find the best approach is insidious. It keeps us from achieving those very results — in our health, in our productivity, in our careers, in our family lives — that we long for.

Why do we do it?

Why do people get into vicious debates about which diet is best? Which exercises? Which tools?

Because it’s so damn easy.

The term for the phenomenon here is Parkinson’s Law of Triviality (also known as bikeshedding).

Parkinson observed and illustrated that a committee whose job was to approve plans for a nuclear power plant spent the majority of its time with pointless discussions on relatively trivial and unimportant but easy-to-grasp issues, such as what materials to use for the staff bike-shed, while neglecting the less-trivial proposed design of the nuclear power plant itself, which is far more important but also a far more difficult and complex task to criticise constructively.

An example of something that's not important. Not even a little bit.

An example of something that’s not important. Not even a little bit.

When we look to make changes in our lives, rather than focusing on the important things like how to get ourselves to take action, we spend hours, days, weeks and months debating the best productivity system, diet or business idea, never once taking an actual step closer to our goals.

The Most Important Mindset Shift You Can Make Right Now: Action Over Analysis

Acting right now — even taking a tiny step towards your goal, regardless of what it may be — is going to bring you far greater returns than spending another hour thinking about what you’re going to do someday.

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.
– Mark Twain

No matter what you’ve been bikeshedding on, here’s how to overcome your analysis paralysis right now:

  1. Take 5 minutes (set a timer and don’t give yourself an extra second) and pick the approach you’re going to use to achieve your goal.
  2. Determine the very first step you need to take to put your approach into action. It should be small: creating a to-do list document in a note-taking app, working out for ten minutes, building a bare-bones outline for that post you’ve been wanting to write, etc…
  3. That’s it! By finally choosing your action plan, you’ve already made actual progress. Tomorrow, take action on that first step, and then figure out the second step.
  4. Repeat until you’ve accomplished your goal.

Tomorrow, you could be one day closer to achieving what you want, or not.

It’s up to you.

Want (free) email updates on productivity, work/life balance and happiness?