If you’ve ever tried to tackle any kind of large task before, you know that the best way to accomplish your goal is to start small and work in small increments. After all, the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time, right?
When it comes to creativity, you need to approach things the same way. If you really want to “create big,” then you are going to have to start small.
It’s Ok To Think Big
Now don’t get me wrong- it’s great to think big! Some of the best ideas come from thinking big! But if you are only focused on the “big” end result, you are going to easily lose track of how to get there. And this can lead to a lot of running around and wasting time on things that won’t help you get to where you want to be.
So what’s the best way to get there, you ask? Simple: Start Small.
One Step At A Time
In my last post, I talked a little bit about the training method of marathon runners. They start by running short distances, then gradually add more distance with each training session, until they reach their goal.
If you want to write a novel, you wouldn’t try to write the whole thing in one sitting – especially if you have never written a novel before! Instead, you would start by writing a paragraph or two at a time. From there, you could work your way up to a page or two at a time, then a chapter or two, and before you know it you have your novel!
The same is true for any creative undertaking. Don’t try to do it all in one attempt. This is not the time to “Go Big or Go Home.” Take your time. Start with small, manageable tasks that, when combined with one another, will help you reach your end goal.
Maybe you want to learn how to draw. Are you going to attempt to produce a wall sized mural of a herd of wild horses running through a field, capturing every intricate detail of the scene…all on your first go at it? Probably not. Start with some simple exercises, like quick doodles. As you progress, then you can challenge yourself by making your drawings more detailed and difficult.
Painting, photography, sculpting, cooking, dancing…anything that you want to try your hand at, can be accomplished if you take baby steps to get there.
Accomplished Tasks Give You Confidence
Depending on the task you decide to take on, there may be a LOT of steps that you will need to take to reach the end. This is just one more reason that breaking tasks down into smaller steps is so beneficial.
Yes, those small steps do allow you to build your skills, which is important… but it also gives you a confidence boost!
If you tried to write that whole novel all at once, chances are you would get stuck numerous times along the way. You’d most likely end up throwing in the towel and telling yourself you just can’t do it.
But if you sat down simply with the goal of writing one or two paragraphs, once you hit that mark you could celebrate a goal being met! Then once you complete your next small step, you can celebrate another accomplishment! This effect will continue to snowball and will give you the confidence you need to complete your task.
Patience Is Key
I’ve previously talked about the making mistakes, and by now you can see that fully uncovering your creative side doesn’t happen overnight. It take patience, practice, and persistence.
Even when things do go right, you might look ahead and feel like you will never reach your goal. When this happens, try to just keep pushing through with each small step, and know that you WILL get there!
Remember, this creative journey truly is a marathon, NOT a race. If you try to do it all at once, you will get burned out and discouraged. Don’t be afraid to think big, but don’t forget to start small.
You can eat a whole elephant, if you just take one bite at a time.