Ahhh, what happened to the high hopes from January?

In the dog days of Summer, we're hot and tired. You're not alone if you're thinking, "Keeping up a personal development practice? That’s way too much effort."

Understood. But hang on - there has to be something in between letting our soul fall asleep or leaping into the overdrive that will hit in September.

What's the antidote? Backing away from perfection and concentrating on essentials.

In the August series, Traveling Light, we’ll keep going, but we’ll take life one deliberate step at a time. We’ll choose a single thing, and then do it with excellence.

Barbara Corcoran built a multi-million dollar New York real estate company from scratch, and now gives advice to entrepreneurs on the popular series, “Shark Tank.” If you're thinking that she's had a lot of lucky breaks, you'd be right.

And wrong.

She rented her first office space after her boyfriend gave her a $1,000 loan. Lucky break!

But that happened after she washed out of 22 other jobs. Her window to make her first commission or vacate? Two weeks.

Corcoran hustled for one sale after another, eventually hiring a staff. Lucky break!

OK, there were a few problems. She didn't have an endless pile of venture capital to write off losses from bad deals. Or unlimited introductions to big name, big number clients. For many years, every sale counted.

Then there was the time she came close to closing the business. New York real estate prices continued to soar, but the economy fell into a crippling recession. She made deep cuts, even laying off the file clerk, who just happened to be her mother. The leftover staff frantically pulled together and she kept the doors open. Lucky break!

Corcoran’s master plan was simple: be the queen of New York real estate. Getting there? That was a big improv.

What was out? Planning every decision. Mapping every contingency. Following a meticulous model.

What was in? Thinking on her feet. Emergencies could distract but never derail her.

Sometimes traveling light happens by looking only at what is directly ahead. Think of it this way – the pressure you’ve been putting on yourself to have your future perfectly mapped out before you take any action may be what’s keeping you from success.

So take a week off from that big problem. You know - the one that stalks you, like a horror movie. Where you feel like you’re constantly carrying a backpack of rocks.

Instead, take time to experiment. Lose your expectation about whether it will work, and give the results a quick “yes” or “no”, rather than obsessing over the outcome. Applaud yourself for trying and call it Good. Then start fresh tomorrow.

Mapping out your life like a military invasion? Yeah - you'll want to leave that for another day.

Excellent decisions, no matter how small, are a force multiplier. They add up to all kinds of goodness. And that's a lucky break.

Published by Michelle Mains