Think of a successful life as being one in which someone can continually turn thoughts into successful actions.
We all have a lot of thoughts, but how many of them slip away before we take any action on them?
A key step in between having a thought and taking successful action is bringing a thought from inside yourself to the outside. You can do this by writing it down, which turns it from subjective into objective.
Box it up.
The process is simple and will often take less than a minute. You just need to draw two boxes on a piece of paper:
- In one box, write down the goal that arises out of the thought. Forget about everything other than what you’d like to see happen. It could be just five or six words. Make sure to set a deadline for reaching this goal.
- In the second box, write down what the biggest obstacle is that’s standing between you and achieving your goal.
Once you’ve isolated your goal and the obstacle by taking them out of the soup of your thoughts and writing them down in these boxes, you’ll have the thought right where you want it. Separated from all of your other associations and thoughts, the actual goal and obstacle can now get your full attention.
The benefits of writing things down.
As soon as you write down an idea, your brain really takes it seriously. There are a number of benefits to this simple process of writing down your thoughts:
- Your thinking about the idea will likely benefit from a little distance, and now that it’s written down, you can step away for a while without the possibility of the thought getting lost. Also, the act of writing something down by hand will cement it in your brain.
- You can consider the goal and the obstacle clearly now, separate from the emotions they were tangled up in before you wrote them down.
- You can now see if the situation is similar to something you’ve faced in the past. If so, you can use that previous experience to tackle this obstacle.
- You can now access your full intellect when approaching the task at hand.
- When you first had the thought, you might have seen it as a dilemma due to potential hurdles that your brain came up with. Now, you’re able to use your creative mind to approach it.
To go from having a thought to taking successful action and achieving the results you want, you have to have a conversation with yourself about the situation. To do that effectively requires actually taking the thought out of your head and putting it down somewhere. For this, grabbing a pen and paper is the best thing you can do.