Saturday, December 25, 2010

What are you avoiding? Ok. Get it done.

Whether this is a hill or a wall is up to you.

Get up in the morning. Follow the script. Do what's expected. Attract no attention. Attention is dangerous. Might get in trouble. Follow all instructions. Don't make waves. The reward will come. That's a good cog.
Warning: If you're comfortable doing what you do, you will want to skip the rest of this column. It's pretty scary.
It's scary because you have a choice. You can choose to be safe or you can choose to matter. You can't have both.
Anything that puts you out on the edge is going to get shouted down. You're going to find excuses not to do the things that really matter. Those excuses will sound like the sweetest sounds you'll ever hear.
Don't listen to them. In trying to keep you safe those voices are keeping you stuck. Ignore the voices and finish what you started.
If you don't have much on the go then that resistance is even more important. That's what tells you where uphill is, and that's where the work will be the scariest, but also the most rewarding. (Who was the first person to walk around Mount Everest? - Who cares.)
When you discover what you're resisting, ask yourself these questions:
What if I fail? Failing is scary because you will have to accept that you came up short in some way.
What if I succeed? Succeeding, counterintuitively, is scary because it means that something in your life will fundamentally change. You won't be able to go back or hide anymore. 
What if I never really try? This is the easiest option, but also the scariest by far. You could languish in obscurity, never really making anything of yourself. You could have been a contender. And you didn't do it.
Start now. Follow your fear up the hill. Recognize the resistance, use it to set your compass, but do not let it stop you. It's hard. Desperately hard at times, but any other path is a cop-out.
Merry Christmas. See you on the hill. 
This column was inspired by Seth Godin's book Linchpin. More gamechanging ideas per chapter than most entire books. 
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