Ever feel like you’re working all the time, but not making any forward progress?
I’d like to quickly talk about a dangerous trap that gets promoted a lot these days — the trap of massive action.
A Common Misconception
I’m a big fan of Tony Robbins. I’ve been following his work for many years. And one of the things Tony talks about in terms of generating success, is this concept of massive action.
In several of his programs, he advises us to identify what we want and set goals — then take massive action to achieve those goals.
I agree with him 100%.
But I also think that many people misunderstand the context for “massive action.”
A Recipe for Paralysis
For many of the so-called influencers online today, there’s a trend towards promoting hustle and the grind. You know the rant: “Always be getting things done. Always be working it.”
And again, I do think there’s a lot of value in putting your nose to the grindstone — I’m a firm believer that there’s no such thing as something for nothing. So working hard makes sense.
But what I see happening — especially in the business world — is people twisting things up a bit. They start to think that busy equals success and busy equals profit.
The problem is…at the end of the day, busy really equals stress. And stress stiphels our ability to create, because our minds get too focused on the stuff we’re busy with.
So this concept of massive action can actually hold us up, because it allows our brains to convince us that we need to do everything.
And trying to do everything leads straight to overwhelm.
Which by, overwhelm frequently leads to paralysis.
The Brain Playing Tricks on Us
So the desire to take massive action can cause our brains to think: “OK, what’s everything I need to do?”
Which causes us to create a gigantic list — either by writing it down or keeping it in our minds — of every little thing we think we need to get done.
And of course, that long list freezes up the brain: “I don’t know where to start. I don’t have time to do all this. So I’m not going do anything. I’m going to gather more information.”
So we end up doing nothing.
“Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.”
Our drive to to take massive action often ends with us doing absolutely nothing.
Which is — to say the least — counterproductive.
The Cure for Paralysis
In the project management world, there is a concept of the critical path. This is the bare minimum sequence of tasks necessary to complete a particular project. In other words, the fastest path to meet the objective.
With this in mind, the solution to our overwhelm problem is to take massive action on the minimum number of things.
That’s a very important distinction.
And if you can make this distinction on your path success — if you can abide by it, live by it — you will be significantly happier and more productive — and way more successful, in the short term and long term.