in life

Create. Learn. Improve. Repeat. (And Why We Get Hung Up On Step One)

Create. Learn. Improve. Repeat. This is the “mantra” of Karol Gajda, a fellow blogger, entrepreneur, and world-traveler. It’s simple, yet speaks volumes. It’s a four-step process that can be applied toward nearly every decision in your life. And yet, many of us can’t seem to make it to step one.

Learning. Improving. And of course, repeating. None of that can happen if you aren’t willing to focus on the step one: Creating.

Creating is scary. Creating is daunting. Creating is challenging. Creating is uncomfortable. Creating is a risk. Creating doesn’t happen overnight. Creating is broke. Creating is ambigious. Creating is change. Creating is uknown.

Creating involves us looking inward and tapping into something previously untapped.

I had three conversations this week related to this idea:

One, with a friend who might want to become a personal trainer but isn’t sure if it’s really what she wants to do.

Another, with a friend who desperately wants to write a book but is afraid of being “wrong”.

And lastly, with a friend who simply wants more for his life and career, but doesn’t know what that means, or where to begin.

All three are stuck in the limbo before step one. They aren’t sure how to begin the Create. Learn. Improve. Repeat. process because they don’t know what to create. Or how to create it.

When we talk about passion, we talk about pursuing those things that light us up. That fulfill us. That excite us and drive us. But the hardest part of passion isn’t following it, it’s figuring out where to begin.

Begin with creating. Begin by taking the first step.

In his recent TEDx talk, my partner and friend Sam uses an analogy about his daughter learning to walk. Recalling the day she took her first steps, he talks about her teetering along, trying to maintain her balance, but through it all, moving forward. 

Moving forward is what we need to do. Putting one foot in front of the other is all that matters. But first, you must take the first step.

If you’re not sure about becoming a personal trainer, go talk to someone who does it for a living and volunteer yourself to help and learn.

Not sure if anyone will read the book you desperately want to write? Well, no one will (I promise) if it never gets written. Open up a Word doc. and start writing.

And to those of you, all of you, who want something more but don’t know what it is, or where to begin. Start creating. Something. Anything.

My friend Amber breaks it down into “Why. How. What”. “Why” is a belief that drives you. “How” are the actions you take to get there. “What” are the tangible outcomes that prove your “why” and “how”.

More importantly, one of her “how’s” is to “experiment and see what sticks”. 

That, my friends, is what it all comes down to…

Create. So you can learn, improve, and repeat.

Move Forward. Take the first step, and then the next step, and then the next.

Experiment. See what sticks.

No one’s expecting you to know exactly what to do and how to do it. Don’t let me, or anyone else fool you into believing that they’ve got it all figured out. I don’t. They don’t.

The difference between people who want to be doing something and people who are doing what they want? Action. 

If you’re not creating something, you have nothing. Create. Experiment. Move forward. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll accomplish when you do.

(Photo credit)

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  1. Creating is scary, but creating isn’t the scariest part. I think that’s learning from the creation. When we look at something we’ve done analytically it kicks us the real deal and it’s not always pleasant.

    Thanks for the shout out and for making me think about this a little more.

  2. Hi Matt,

    This post really resonated with me. It’s something I see a lot in clients who have really audacious goals and big ideas that sometimes are stifled by fear of failure.

    Here’s a quote from a post I wrote about this last week;

    “There are no guarantees, no way of knowing one hundred percent if you’ve
    got the right answer. Will that idea that’s rattling around your head
    work? There’s only one way to know and that’s to press play, to hit
    publish, to set up your stall, to take your first feedback and that’s
    the opportunity. You have the chance to try and to fail, or to succeed
    if not this time, the next one, or the one after that.”

    Thanks for sharing the four steps.