The fundamentals are the basics. They’re not always the most exciting thing to learn or do, but they’re usually the most important. We like the complicated stuff. We like to figure things out. Mastering the fundamentals of anything is hard and boring work.
But the fundamentals are the things that matter the most. You’re limiting your progress if you’re worrying about the details.
Keep these ideas in mind to stick to the basics, spend less time on the details, and enjoy greater success:
1. We like to get bogged down in the details. We’re addicted to wanting to figure it all out. We search for the perfect diet, the perfect exercise routine, or the perfect car. The truth is, the fundamentals are all you need to be quite successful. For example, if you eat fewer calories, you’ll lose weight.
● The difference in results of one diet or another is minimal compared to the fact that you must consistently eat less to lose weight.
● The fundamentals of baseball are more important than the ability to dive eight feet and make a backhanded catch over your right shoulder.
● Sending out 100 resumes is more important than perfecting your business card if you want to find a new job.
● Basic sales skills are more important than finding the perfect shirt to wear during sales visits.
2. The fundamentals come into play more frequently than the details. The fundamentals are common – that’s what makes them fundamental. Everything builds off the fundamentals. Without good fundamentals, every other thing you do is built on shaky ground.
3. People fear becoming great at the fundamentals. It takes a lot of courage to truly master the fundamentals. It’s boring and challenging at the same time. If you want to get bigger and stronger, you need to do the bench press, squat, deadlift, and pullups. Most people would prefer to do curls while balancing on a stability ball.
● It’s easier to hide behind the details than to focus on mastering the fundamentals. Avoid being this person. Commit yourself to the fundamentals.
4. The details are time-wasters for most people. Why spend all your time tweaking your webpage when you don’t even have your first customer? Why worry about finding the perfect running shoes when you can’t run a mile yet?
● Why concern yourself with PayPal fees when you only generate $83 a month in revenue?
● Why buy a better piano if you still can’t get yourself to practice each day?
5. The details only matter after the fundamentals are in place. Britain has recently become a powerhouse in cycling. They did studies on the best pillow and blanket to use at night, the optimal massage oil, the precise amount of carbohydrates in each meal, and so on.
● Can you imagine a beginning competitive cyclist worrying about those things? A beginner needs to add miles of seat time, find the proper body weight, and find a reasonable diet. It could be years before the above details would matter even the smallest amount.
● Mastering the details is only wise after you’ve exhausted all of your other options.
It’s not exciting to count calories or to do squats in the gym. Saving 10% of your salary doesn’t make for exciting conversation. But these are the things that matter.
Getting to the gym each day is more important than spending days trying to figure out the perfect workout routine. Picking up the phone and making your cold calls is more important than worrying about the perfect time and day to make those calls.
Get the fundamentals in order before worrying about the details and you’ll find greater success – sooner than you thought!