"With lies you may get ahead in the world — but you can never go back." ~Russian proverb
It's likely that the Russian who coined the phrase above was thinking about lies people tell one another to get ahead - in business, in relationships, in life in general. When I read it, I considered the lies we tell ourselves and how they distort our perception because if we lie long enough, we actually begin to believe the lies are true. And not only can you never go back; you also may have a very difficult time moving forward. Through lies, we get stuck.
Jim Collins has said that if we want to get great, first we have to get real. So how do we start on this path to real that will lead us to great? I try to start with a vision of where I want to be, regardless of where I am right now. And little by little I work my way back from the vision to my current situation, one very small step at a time. If I want to own my own business, I have to consider the actual tasks I'd be doing when owning the business, and then I'd have to envision what kind of people I want to work with, and then I'd have to think about what kind of service or product I'm supplying and how it's being supplied, and on and on, until I get to my current work situation.
Getting real is much easier to handle when we break down reality into bite-sized pieces. And when we aggregate all of those small pieces together, we're able to build a road that leads us exactly to where we want to be.