I have been somewhat obsessed these last two weeks with the idea that initiating action, however small, can reliably produce surprisingly positive results.
In his tragic masterpiece, Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe captures this truth as beautifully as anyone:
Are you in earnest? seize this very minute—
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Only engage, and then the mind grows heated—
Begin it, and then the work will be completed.
(John Alster, Translator)
But what to do when, despite initial efforts, the work is not magically completed? What if the work is hard? Continue reading
You have prepared to act. The time for thinking and planning and evaluating has either passed or it has not yet arrived. Your desk is clean. Your computer, open. The page, blank. Your phone is poised to connect you to wherever and whomever you want. You are on your way to showing up. And you have sent the tiny gremlin in your head out for groceries.
Or so you thought. Continue reading
There is value in envisioning and sketching out a plan. There are times and places for thinking, contemplating, and even losing track of time in aimless wondering. But what is the cost of thinking before we act?
You cannot think your way into a new way of acting, but you can act your way into a new way of thinking.
In the past two years, I have given a lot of thought to how I can add value to people’s careers and lives. I have devoted hours upon hours to the contemplation of what an authentic, values-based business might look like. I have wondered about (and internally debated) the merits of writing and blogging to educate, connect with, and promote my business to the kind of person who would most benefit from my help. I have subscribed to podcasts and newsletters, read books and articles, and studied the ways that other difference makers have impacted the lives of their clients and audience.
But when it comes to accomplishing a goal, creating something new or positively impacting another person’s life, I have found that thinking about my intended action not only fails as a proxy for the action, it reliably delays it. Continue reading
I am afraid. Terrified, really.
I am afraid that I’m failing. Afraid that my business will not grow, and that it’s my fault. I am afraid that the people in the best position to help me succeed don’t really understand what I do. And how could they? I have not explained it to them very well, if at all. I certainly have not endeavored to show them what I do. I am afraid to show them.
I am afraid to ask for help. Afraid to ask people I care about to Continue reading