As I unlocked my dark office this morning with a Monster Rehab in hand, exactly 7 hours after I left last night, I realized that the way I felt seemed oddly familiar.

I was tired and foggy-headed, overwhelmed at the task in front of me. I read back through my notes from the evening before, struggling to recall exactly what I needed to do.

And then it hit me:

I don’t have to figure it all out right now. Just take the next step.

I can handle that.

I made minor edits to a spreadsheet. Then, I started an outline for our presentation slides. Then, I keyed data into Excel, knowing it was the foundation for the charts that were stumping me.

Soon, I was in a groove.

The outline came together. The charts snapped into place. I was nearly finished eating the elephant, and only two hours had passed.

I realized that my long distance runs had been the perfect training for this.

There comes a point in nearly every run where I enter the fog. I realize that the finish line is still far away, and I begin to question exactly how I’ll get there. The conditions are never perfect. I worry about what might happen when I encounter the next obstacle.

Twice, I’ve given in and quit. Something really was wrong.

All the other times, my mind has settled down. It runs through a checklist with the rest of my body, confirming that there’s no reason for alarm. And then it does what it’s been trained to do – put one foot in front of the other, over and over again.

The same is true for financial projects.  I needed to let my training take over, focusing on only the next step.

The anxiety wasn’t necessary. Once I got started, it was all downhill.


What’s your next step? How soon can you take it?