Monday, January 11, 2010

Imagined Obstacles Can Hold You Back

My first landing
Image by shainelee via Flickr
One problem with having a vivid imagination and being able to grasp the totalities of ideas easily is the immediate realization of all the details involved, real or imagined. Sometimes, you may be 100% correct that a problem will crop up and give you all kinds of headaches on a project.

More often, however, the possible problems are mostly imagined and never come to happen. In fact, you may find that you avoided doing something for so long, and then, when you can't avoid it any longer, what you feared would happen doesn't happen.

This sort of thing happens to all smart people at some point. There is some freedom in not knowing any better because you can go right on ahead and make things work when all the experts told you it wouldn't.

There are several books which illustrate the point. One of my favorites is The Millionaire Next Door. The author cites examples of some of the habits of many of the people who retire as millionaires. They are quite often down to earth people with small businesses. They plug away at their job every day, don't spend too much on lavish things, and mostly have mediocre educations. Compared to other, better-educated people, you would not think they would have become millionaires. Somebody forgot to tell them that.

Compared to other people who make every effort to follow every rule and business practice, crossing every t and dotting every i. They often start a business, and fail. Because, they were so caught up in protecting themselves from imagined threats that they never did what they set out to do, make money.

There are even examples in sports. For example, when you are mountain biking, you need to look ahead at your goal rather than every rock and hole right ahead of you. You learn quickly that wherever your gaze goes, your front tire goes. This includes going straight into things you want to avoid.

Sometimes you have to let go of your fears and go for it. In new media terms, we often say, "just do it".

Don't let your imagined fear stop you from accomplishing great things. While your fear may be imagined, your lack of accomplishment is real. Yes, you may achieve great things and fail; but, at least you'll have a road map to do it again, or at the very least have been somewhere that those with fear never will. So, what's stopping you?

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