"Start by doing what is necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." ~St. Francis of Assisi
I think we do ourselves a disservice when we look at a big project or goal as one thing. It's easy to get overwhelmed and think, "I could never write a book!" or "How could I ever start a new career?" or "An album/degree/nonprofit is just too hard!" When we look at a goal as one enormous thing, it simply looks impossible. Where do we start? How can we ever figure it out? It's too much.
The thing is, it's really NOT too much. Nothing is really one big project. Instead, everything (and I mean everything) is a series of little tiny achievable steps. That book is really a daily list of small challenges: research one fact, call one person, meditate for clarity, write for 20 minutes. I have a secret for you -- NOBODY sits down and just writes a book. Nobody just records an album. Every successful person I know has the same system. We all just figure out what is necessary and possible in any given day, and then we do it. (Read that last sentence again. It's key: We actually do the things. We don't think about the things. We don't make lists of the things. We do the things.) We are constantly making tiny movements toward the bigger goal, the higher dream.
When I think back on recording albums, sure, I have memories of being in the studio. But I have many, many, many more memories of songwriting sessions, trying to find that one chord, daily vocal exercises, guitar practice, songwriting classes, singing rehearsals, online research about CD manufacturing, updating the band web site, emails to the producers, re-editing the lyrics yet again to make them perfect. It's a million and one tiny things that literally anyone could do. You'll notice that many more of those "To Do" items are learning and practicing than performing or accomplishing. They are the necessary steps that slowly turn the impossible into the possible and then into the completed. It takes discipline and it takes Divine order, but those daily steps are what will get you there.