Fire and Motion

Developer Joel Spolsky talks about progress and moving forward:

For me, just getting started is the only hard thing. An object at rest tends to remain at rest. There’s something incredible heavy in my brain that is extremely hard to get up to speed, but once it’s rolling at full speed, it takes no effort to keep it going.

(…)

It took me another fifteen years to realize that the principle of Fire and Motion is how you get things done in life. You have to move forward a little bit, every day. It doesn’t matter if your code is lame and buggy and nobody wants it. If you are moving forward, writing code and fixing bugs constantly, time is on your side.

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Progress

Tony Robbins:

If you want to be happy, it’s one word: progress.

If you can make progress — and if your progress is not only within yourself, but it’s actually doing something of value for more than yourself — you’re going to be a damn fulfilled person.

Pete Michaud:

The factor that divides the successful from the average is not greatness.

It’s consistency.

No matter how busy or distracted or distraught you are, if you show up every day and do what you do, and you do it and do it and do it and do it, you will win.

Go do it.

Joel Spolsky:

You have to move forward a little bit, every day. It doesn’t matter if your code is lame and buggy and nobody wants it. If you are moving forward, writing code and fixing bugs constantly, time is on your side.

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Just Start

Pete Michaud:

You will never figure “everything” out. You will never be able to make everything perfect before you start. Just make a decision and run with it. Figure it out as you go along.

You will never live the life you want by wandering aimlessly through hypothetical scenarios. I’ve tried it, it doesn’t work. I’ve also tried just doing something. That worked.

I implore you: find a quiet place in your mind, identify your desires free of caveats, and make a plan to move toward those desires. Don’t try to plan for all eventualities. That will just prevent action.

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Be Obsessed

James Altucher on asking the right questions:

Someone told me a story about Amy Schumer, one of my favorite comedians. She videotapes all her performances. Then she goes back to her room and studies the performance second by second. “I should have paused another quarter-second here,” she might say. She wants to be the best at comedy. She studies her every performance.

(…)

If you aren’t obsessed with your mistakes then you don’t love the field enough to get better. You ask lousy questions: “Why am I no good?” Instead of good questions: “What did I do wrong and how can I improve?” When you consistently ask good questions about your own work, you become better than the people who freeze themselves with lousy questions.

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Success Takes Time

Steve Pavlina on 5-year commitments:

People commonly overestimate how far they can get in a year, but grossly underestimate how far they can get in 5 years.

If you actually want results, make a 5-year commitment to a particular path, like building an online business, developing your social skills, becoming a world traveler, etc. A lesser commitment is largely pointless.

And on time horizons:

Think about what you can achieve between now and 2025 if you commit to it. You can lose any amount of weight and develop any kind of physique you want. You can start your own business and make it profitable. You can meet the mate of your dreams and start a family. You can relocate to anywhere in the world.

(…)

You have an enormous degree of control and power when you think with a time horizon of 5 years. Don’t let that potential go to waste. Set a course now and get moving.

Jeff Atwood has similar thoughts on success and time:

…success takes years. And when I say years, I really mean it! Not as some cliched regurgitation of “work smarter, not harder.” I’m talking actual calendar years. You know, of the 12 months, 365 days variety. You will literally have to spend multiple years of your life grinding away at this stuff, waking up every day and doing it over and over, practicing and gathering feedback each day to continually get better. It might be unpleasant at times and even downright un-fun occasionally, but it’s necessary.

(…)

Obviously we want to succeed. But on some level, success is irrelevant, because the process is inherently satisfying. Waking up every day and doing something you love — even better, surrounded by a community who loves it too — is its own reward. Despite being a metric ton of work.

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