Massive Action vs The Bare Minimum? How to Thrive by Doing the Bare Minimum.


Some schools of thought would have you believe that achieving success requires a great amount of effort.  Don't get me wrong, hard work will most certainly amplify your results.  But I also want to highlight that you can also enjoy positive results by doing the least.

I know that sounds crazy but I believe that doing the bare minimum might be one of the most effective strategies for success

Let me explain...

When I first became interested in the topic of personal development and motivation, I'd often hear stories of people achieving significant results by incorporating incredible amounts of hard work as their main strategy.  One LOA teacher talked about how he achieved success in real estate by making 100 cold calls daily before noon.  Millionaire, Grant Cardone encourages us to 10X our efforts if we really want powerful results.  Gary Vaynerchuk's advice to budding entrepreneurs is to out-hustle your competition. 

The idea of grinding our way to success is valid, but I want to also highlight that doing the least can also move you forward.  

Moving forward is probably the most powerful thing you can do if you're trying to achieve a goal.  No matter how far the finish line, the most important thing you can accomplish today is to move one step closer.  

What moves us closer? 


How do we achieve progress?

By doing something....anything. 

How you define that something is up to you.  Some days, this might mean an 18 hour day of dedicated work.  On other days, you might allocate only a few minutes of activity towards something that impacts your goal.  A few minutes of activity might not sound like much but any action is always better than zero action.  

Doing the Bare Minimum Will Prevent Negative Consequences from Taking Over. 

Let's say your goal is to get healthier and your ideal is to go to the gym for an hour a day, you might consider a 15-minute workout on YouTube as doing the bare minimum.  Fifteen minutes compared to an hour may not sound like a lot until you consider how a few minutes of activity each day has the power to improve your health.  

Doing anything for 15 minutes a day will make an impact because all of your actions will compound over time. 

Doing the bare minimum is the genesis of Habit Creation.

The reason why doing the bare minimum matters is because it's the opposite of doing nothing.  Neglecting your goals completely will cause you to lose any and all progress that you've made so far.  Imagine someone who wants to build the brand of her new business.  She puts up a lot of effort in the beginning and starts to gain some traction.  But she comes discouraged by the speed of her progress and gives up on her project.  For days or weeks, she does nothing to related her business....not even the bare minimum.  When she finally decides to return and try again, she finds that the progress she made, in the beginning, has nearly gone away.  Frustrated, she has to start the process all over again.

Doing the bare minimum is a powerful concept because it allows us to maintain the progress we've already made without having to put in a ton of effort.  Another positive aspect of doing the minimum is that it doesn't require as much internal motivation as someone who's trying to focus on taking massive action.   When you do something related to your goals every day, you are essentially training your habit muscle.  Once the habit muscle is activated, you will encounter less resistance each day.  

While doing the bare minimum, think negatively about whether your bare minimum activities are making an impact.  There will be days where you have the motivation to take massive action.  When that happens, you don't have to start from the beginning again.   Taking massive action is futile when you've gone days or weeks without doing anything at all.  

If you're intentional, you can figure out a "bare minimum" strategy that also helps move your progress forward.  I'll never forget listening to an interview over a decade ago by the guy who wrote the "Chicken Soup of the Soul" series.  The author reached the status of writing the top-selling book series of all time.   When asked what he did to achieve such massive success, he said that "every day, they had to do 5 marketing actions."  In his case, he did 5 interviews talking about his book every single day.  He established a bare minimum that still produced incredible results.  

For every goal on your list, write down the minimum set of activities that will create progress, or at least, keep the progress you've made so far.  Identifying your bare minimum activities can really be a game-changer.     No matter what you do decide, just make sure you aren't doing nothing. 

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