the World of Possibilities, New Members Are Always Welcome" I talked
about the difference between the people who live in the so-called Real World
and those of us who dwell in the far more enriching (and frankly more fun)
World of Possibilities. To make my case, I borrowed a
line from actor/director/ hip hop star Will Smith who said, "Being realistic
is the most commonly traveled road to mediocrity."
Okay I need to be fair here.
Even though they may end up living a mediocre life, some Real World-types
are actually quite creative. They are forever thinking up all kinds of ideas
for inventions or articles or businesses. Some even go so far as to jot
down exhaustive notes, outlines, and to-do lists. A few even go so far as to
design prototypes, develop detailed marketing plans, or write entire books.
There is only one
problem. Unless they make the leap to World of Possibilities, no one else
ever sees their handiwork, which leads me to the story of an inspiring dream
grower named Lynn Burkholder from Guelph, Canada. A few weeks ago Lynn sent
out an announcement about her new newsletter, "The Inner Genius." What's an
"inner genius"? I'll let Lynn explain:
I believe we are all born with a set of gifts, talents and
preferences that are "hard wired" into our DNA. I don't think it's an
accident or necessarily a result of our environment that we are naturally
drawn to certain tasks and areas of interest. Unfortunately, most of these
gifts are never developed because we are expected to live our lives fitting
into a construct that society has prescribed as the norm.
I also believe that it is never too late to excavate these
gifts and incorporate them into our lives. When I was in Grade One, I used to
write extra stories for my teacher. I even remember the sky blue pencil I
used to write about my sister's wedding. That love for writing has remained
dormant for 30 years. Why? I could give you a long list of reasons but it
all boils down to the fact that I didn't develop the skill because I didn't
believe it was possible. In the society I was shown growing up, people
didn't make money writing. Thankfully, I don't believe that anymore.
What seemingly small, insignificant past-time did you give
up because you were told you couldn't make a living at it? And further, who
lead you to believe that you had to make a living doing just one thing? Why
couldn't there be two or three or ten?
Quite naturally then, Lynn's new newsletter is aimed at
people who want to pursue their Inner Genius. (Who wouldn't?) But here's
where it got interesting. As I continued reading I learned that by signing
up I would not only receive the first issue of Find Your Inner Genius on
July 16th (remember that date) but that it would include a link
to a free Special Report called "12
Ways to Find Out What You Are ‘Supposed' To Be Doing!"
Commit, Then Do
Why am I telling you
this? Well, Lynn was a member of my 2006 Outside the Job Box Career
Certification program. The formal part of the training program ended in
March. Lynn's invitation arrived a few months later on July 9th
to be exact (remember this date too). I couldn't send a congratulatory email
Apparently my words of
encouragement came at the right time because as soon as she'd made this
public commitment, Lynn says she was feeling, "really vulnerable." And why
wouldn't she? After all, "Now I have to write a newsletter AND a special
report by Monday," adding, half jokingly, "Evidently, I like pressure. Ha
If I was proud of Lynn
before, I was positively beaming now. She had mastered an incredibly simple
but hugely important lesson about fast tracking any dream – commit, then
The first thing Lynn did
was to put a stake in the ground by setting a deadline. Remember those two
dates – announcing her new newsletter to the world on July 9th
and setting a due date of July 16th? Lynn had given herself
exactly seven days to write a newsletter and a special report.
Now obviously Lynn had
given both the newsletter and the special report a lot of thought. And she
no doubt had parts of both either written or at least sketched out in her
head. Wisely though, she employed THE absolute best technique for making a
more rapid leap from the mediocrity of the Real World to the world where
possibilities become realities... she made herself accountable.
It's one thing to come up
with one of those made up deadlines that are between "you and you." But to
make sure she stuck to her goal Lynn announced her intention to the world.
There is simply no better way to overcome procrastination than to employ the
Commit, Then Do technique.
If you want to teach a
seminar you haven't 100 percent designed yet, set a date and start signing
people up for your seminar. If you've spent the last year studying how to
import olive oil from Italy, take a small deposit on a few pre-orders. If
you want to write an eBook, promise a bunch of people that you'll send them a
free copy when it's done.
Will you make yourself
vulnerable this way? Absolutely! Yet "Unless you walk out
into the unknown," says Tom Peters, "the odds of making a profound
difference in your life are pretty low." The person who never
makes him or herself vulnerable will never fall in love, will never visit
long-dreamed-of destinations, will never share their gifts with the world,
and will certainly never live the life they want – and richly deserve. The
way I see it, it is far better to have to reschedule the workshop or return
the deposits or push off the due date to risk being vulnerable than it is to
leading a life of utter mediocrity.
Speaking of mediocrity -
or more precisely the all too common fear that if you do eventually write
your eBook or set up your import business or deliver your seminar that it
will turn out mediocre at best – there is another related concept that any
dreamer needs to master.
When "It's Good Enough"
In the software
development world, this concept even has a buzzword. It's called "Good
Enough Quality." In his article "Good
Enough Quality, Beyond the Buzzword," James Bach says, "Microsoft begins
every project with the certain knowledge that they will choose to ship with
known bugs." No big surprise to PC owners and yet, at the same time, rather
startling I'm sure to many.
The big Internet
marketing gurus have another, somewhat more descriptive, name for it. The
phrase they use to urge would-be entrepreneurs to just get your stuff out
there is: "Half a** is better than no a**." (Think Biblical name for donkey
Before I say another word,
I need to be 100 percent clear here. No one is talking about putting out
sub-par products or services. Bill Gates did not build the dominant software
company in the world with bad products. No one makes it long in the Internet
marketing world, never mind get to be multi-millionaires like the big gurus
have, by putting out schlocky stuff. As Bach is quick to add, "Good enough
has nothing to do with mediocrity."
The point is one of
biggest reasons why most ideas never see the light of day is because people
get so obsessed with making sure that every possible kink is worked out, every
word is perfect, every conceivable base is covered, that they never just get
their stuff out there.
Let's face it. It's
always "easier" to do nothing. It's always easier to endlessly research your
big idea. Never acting on your gifts may be depressing and soul-sucking, yes,
but still it really is easier. So I wish I could tell you there was such a
thing as effortless success. But as Lynn and others know, once you've
mastered the concepts of "Commit, Then Do" and the "It's Good Enough" you
still actually buckle down and DO it.
Do you know why Will
Smith says he never gets tired of pushing? It's because he says, "There is
no pain worse than not achieving a dream when it is your fault. If God did
not want you to have it, that is one thing. But if you do not get what you
desire because you are lazy, there is no pain worse than that." Amen.
If you're ready to go
after your dream, Lynn is holding a special "Summer Sale." For a limited time
only, Changing Course subscribers like you can receive a personal 90 -minute
"Outside the Job Box" career consultation for only $50 (normally $150). To
schedule a consultation or to get your free Special Report, go to
FindYourInnerGeniusNow.com and sign up for Lynn's more-than-good-enough