“The person determined to achieve maximum success learns the principle that progress is made one step at a time. A house is built a brick at a time. Football games are won a play at a time. Every big accomplishment is a series of little accomplishments.” David Joseph Schwartz, writer
“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Vincent Van Gogh
Interestingly, David Joseph Schwartz is author of the self-help classic, “The Magic of Thinking Big,” yet, here he is advising us to start small. And so is the remarkable Vincent Van Gogh. What’s going on?
Consider our boy Vincent’s extraordinary accomplishments: He began painting at 27 and ended his life at 37. In that short span of 10 years, he created some 2,000 paintings—many of which are considered among the world’s most vibrant, most extraordinary art treasures. That’s 200 paintings a year!
How did he do it? One stroke at a time. One splash of color at a time. One corner of a canvas at a time.
So often we obsess about the “big picture”—the end result of what we are aiming for as creatives. When we do, it’s easy to forget that whatever we are working on unfolds step by step. If we just do the next job at hand and keep doing that, we’ll get where we want to go.
To get where we want to go, all we have to do is take the next step. And the next. And the next. Slowly and surely, if we do this “series of small things,” then, as Vincent tells us, when they are “brought together,” we may find that we’ve created something great, something wonderful. Write on!
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