At my place of employment, there are a couple of my co-workers who started a quick daily fitness activity. A general call went out for participants, and I declined to join. A few weeks ago they were walking down the hall and asking me why I did not participate. Before I thought too much about it, I responded, “because you never asked me.” They proceeded to ask me on the spot if I would join. Now I am enthusiastic about participating each day (well, most days!).
It is amazing to realize that all I needed to overcome the resistance I felt towards participating was such a basic personal invitation. Just a few words were needed to encourage me to take part in something that is good for me. I wonder what else I am missing out on because I have not engaged in the battle to just start?
It is easy to not try something new. The path of least resistance is usually to maintain the status quo. Inaction is normal unless overcome by a stronger motivation, but what is the cost of not deciding? What exactly are we waiting for?
- Begin moving. I am an active runner, but whenever I plan to head out on a run the first step is always the hardest. It is hard to overcome the easy choice to not run. Sometimes it takes my wife saying, “get out there!” for me to get started. You know what? I am always glad I accomplished the task once I finish my run! I will not realize that sense of accomplishment without overcoming the resistance and begin to move.
- When headed the wrong direction, turn around and start again. A passage from Creativity, Inc. by one of the founders of Pixar, Ed Catmull, sums this up very well. (For reference, Andrew Stanton is one of the first animators that joined Pixar.)
“Andrew is fond of saying that people need to be wrong as fast as they can. In a battle, if you’re faced with two hills and you’re unsure of which one to attack, he says, the right course of action is to hurry up and choose. If you find out it’s the wrong hill, turn around and attack the other one. In that scenario, the only unacceptable course of action is running between the hills.”
I love the sentiment expressed in this passage! If we are going to be wrong, let’s do it quickly so we can move on to something else!
- There is never going to be a perfect time to start. For several years I thought about starting…something. I had difficulty figuring out what it should be. I thought about an insurance agency. I considered a technology business. I read books. I followed people online. However, life is busy and there are always financial constraints. Earlier this year I came to the place of realizing that I either needed to act or just stop talking about it. Very rarely will all the stars align in such a way for us to feel safe in acting. Often, the best choice is to take all the information available and just make a decision.
Resolving the frustration that comes from waiting can be a challenge. I started participating in the daily fitness activity at work simply because my friends asked. Sometimes, a simple question is all it takes to broaden our horizons and motivate us to act.
Question: What is it that you are waiting on today? Is it time to take action? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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