Have you ever worked on a project with someone who found it difficult to make up their mind and commit to any decisions? This can challenge all but the most patient people. At some point, in order for a project to be successful, the person or team must get down to the brass tacks and make things happen. What exactly does that mean? Read on for a little history on this familiar saying and some tips on how people go about doing it.
– Origin of the Saying
The saying “getting down to the brass tacks” translates into getting serious. Many years ago, in a different era, millinery and fabric shops used a measuring system of brass tacks, spaced 6 inches apart, set into their counters. When tailors came in to shop for fabric, the shop owner knew they were ready to make a purchase when they “got down to the brass tacks” and measured out the fabric amount that they intended to buy. Today, people use this expression when they refer to getting serious about something.
– Getting Serious
What do many people have in mind when they say they are getting serious? Usually, some kind of goal. New Year’s resolutions are a very well-known form of goal setting, but every day, people set smaller goals such as getting into work earlier, eating better, working more efficiently and on and on. Many goals are set each year, although most people find their success or completion rate quite low. This is due to many factors, one of which is a lack of strong commitment.
– Committing to Goals
In personal development circles, Steve Pavlina is well-known for his blog and book, Personal Development for Smart People. He talks about the meaning of real commitment, using water as an example. According to Pavlina, if you hold your head under water for a few minutes, you will soon realize that you have a 100% commitment to continuing to breathe. There won’t be any excuses, lack of motivation or need to try to pump up your desire. Your commitment to keep breathing will be pretty strong. Real commitment, or getting down to the brass tacks, is taking action without whining, worrying or over-analysing.
– Staying Focused
Once you have decided to put all delays aside and take action, there are many tips and techniques that can help keep you focused on your goals. The fundamental techniques involve clearly defining each of your important goals, using specific detail with measurable progress steps. Writing down your goals is a very popular method of keeping them in the forefront of your mind, and having completion deadlines for each step along the way to achieving your goals is also important. Taking at least one step each day towards your goals, including spending a few minutes visualizing them completed and how great you will feel, serve to intensify your commitment and increase your chances of really getting down to the brass tacks.
Now you know a bit more about this popular saying, and the intent behind it when you hear it used in conversation. Hopefully, this has provided you with some insights and triggered a desire for you to get down to the brass tacks on some of the more important or compelling issues that exist in your own life.
Abi writes for Principal Corp a leader in the consumer electronics, office refurbishment & managed printing solutions industries, Principal can ensure you have the right office and technology solutions for your business.