Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Let’s get started part 1: Two jugs

Yesterday I was talking to my mother and she suggested I write a post about getting started. This is something I have been meaning to touch on for a while so I figured I might as well do it. Curiously this has been one of the hardest posts in a while to actually get started on, go figure. The main problem I have encountered in getting started is there are so many reasons that we do not get started, each one is different and quite worthy of discussion in its own right.

At first I thought I would just do a simple list post about the things that stop us from starting. However the subject is deeper than that and deserves more attention because if we do not begin we will not succeed. Without action the best laid plans of mice and men do not have a chance to go astray, instead they sit at the back of the cupboard and grow mold. There are a lot of stories that we tell our selves, some true and some false, about why we do not begin.

Picture two jars setting on the counter side by side. The first one contains clear liquid, this is our motivation. The second has various liquids, layered like oil on water, these are the stories we create, the excuses that keep us from starting. We only begin to act when the volume of our motivation overcome the volume of our excuses. There are two ways we can make this happen increase our motivation or decrease our excuses.

The truly productive way to get started comes from overcoming the excuses and this will be the focus of the series. Just because something is an excuse does not make it a lie. There are two types of excuses we must consider before we go any farther: conscious and unconscious. The first the conscious excuse has no real place in this discussion these are the reasons we give other people for not doing the things they want us to do. We think about them or go looking for them or create them to serve our needs. Our unconscious excuses are the ones we tell ourselves without realizing it. They do not have a place in this discussion either. They are just the pretty face, the models trying to sell you on not starting for the real bad guys, the reasons.

We have many motivations for not doing things. Once we have recognized those motivations, tracked back the excuses to their sources so to speak we can empty them out of the jug. Every reason must be approached differently but fortunately there are not that many of them. In the days ahead we will be looking at how to overcome fear, laziness, lack of motivation, being unprepared, peer pressure, and lack of confidence.

Editing project: The personal compass Part 3: Passion


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