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When you have a task, the first thing you normally do is to start working on Step One. But there’s a step before Step One, and it’s more important: the step where you decide which task you should work on in the first place.
Step Zero is obvious the same way your blind spot is obvious: always front and center, but never quite in focus.
When you skip Step Zero, you end up on whatever default path is for people in your situation. You become a doctor because that’s what people in your family, ethnicity, or in-group do. You go to grad school because that’s what people with your academic background do.
You are a follower, not having any space to decide what you really want to do.
Successful people are unusually good at Step Zero, even though not many of them start out that way.
We usually understand that we’re supposed to work hard to be successful. That makes sense: successful people work hard. But how did those successful people decide what they should be working on? That is never shown, and that is the Step Zero.
Someone once said that a thousand-mile journey begins with a single step. But in reality, a thousand-mile journey begins when you decide on where you’re going.
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