Humans have been blessed and cursed by our Creator.
We’ve been blessed with the most gifted and fully functioning mind. Its capacity for thought, creativity, and innovation goes far beyond any other animal on the planet Earth. As a species, we are the only ones who can harness what’s lying about us and make tools and devices, energy sources, shelter, and so forth, to overcome the environment in which we live. Humans are now living in some of the most inhospitable environments, in places where only 200 years ago we would perish from the cold or heat. We can travel around the world in less time today than we were once able to in a lifetime. We can communicate and share ideas with others on the opposite side of the planet. We’ve made light when the rest of the world is dark. It’s amazing!
While undoubtedly, this is our greatest blessing, it is also our greatest curse. Our mind oftentimes holds us back from action. It prevents us from being all that we could be. Our mind is innately focused on what can go wrong, not on the potential of what can go right. And for this reason, most of us choose not to strike out on our own and try new things. We fear rejection. We fear failure. We feel inadequate to the challenge because our mind tells us so. Most of the time, our mind is pre-occupied with protecting us rather than pushing us to do what we really want to do.
How have some people managed to be so successful while the rest of us struggle at getting ahead? What’s their secret?
Was it luck? To some degree, probably. You do have to be at the right place at the right time to be able to meet a need that wasn’t there before. You do have to meet the right person to help you make a dream a reality. But luck alone doesn’t make success; it just helps.
Was it ability? That probably has a lot to do with it, too. But just think about all the people you know who are smart and capable that haven’t “made it.” It’s not talent alone that makes some people succeed and others fail.
Was it passion? Yes, being passionate about something will compel you to push forward. But there are plenty of people who are passionate about the things they are doing, but still don’t go “all-in.” They believe in what they are doing, but they don’t totally believe in themselves.
What sets the movers and shakers of the world apart from everyone else is that they choose not to listen to the little voice in their head. When they reach the cliff, and must decide whether to make a leap of faith in themselves, they choose to jump, disregarding what their mind is telling them. I can assure you, their mind is telling them they are crazy. Their mind is telling them they are fool-hardy. Their mind is telling them that they won’t succeed. Their mind is telling them to protect themselves and the people that rely on them. Their mind, just like yours, is giving them honest advice. But they choose to just listen to the advice, not follow it. They choose to give things a go and see what happens.
People who can listen to the little voice in their head, but not be driven by it sometimes fail. Not every great idea has great results. But sometimes they succeed far beyond their wildest expectations. People who bet on themselves rarely lose, ultimately. When things don’t go as they hope, they learn, they evolve, and they do better next time.
And so it is for you. Here’s my advice: get out of your head and live in the present while you look toward your future. Listen to your little voice, but don’t let your little voice dictate you. It’s your adviser.
It isn’t you.