“There are two mistakes onecan make along the road of truth. Not going all the way, andnot starting.” ~ Siddhartha Gautama In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published hispioneering book, ThePrincipia: Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, which outlined histhree laws of motion. One of the laws Newton outlined has application acrossthe landscape of your life: It’s the first law of motion: An objecteither remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unlessacted upon by an external force.
(i.e., Objects in motion tend to stay inmotion. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest.
) Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. The most important thing is to find a way to getstarted. Just start.
When can you start? Soon is not as good as now. Get used tostarting. Starting can behard.
Making a difference can be hard. A while ago I suggested to someone who wanted to writea book to start by setting up a blog and starting to write. He responded, “Iwant to make sure I have enough content before I start writing.” Four years later. Nothing. Nada.I can illustrate that scenario in other areas (work out more, become a betterphotographer, get certified in project management) many times over.
Translation. We would rather dream about doing something than actually take action.Don’t let that describe you. In short: Start.Start now! Author SethGodin says risk is avoided because we’ve been trained to avoid failure. Hedefines anxiety as experiencing failure in advance.
Consider thestate of the rest of the world. If your project doesn’t have forward movement,then compared to the rest of the world, you’re actually moving backward. AsGodin says, “Like a rock in a flowingriver, you might be standing still, but given the movement around you,collisions are inevitable.” Godin suggeststhat the paradox for the person who favors no movement is that there’s far lessinstability around the log floating down the same river.
It’s moving forward,it’s changing, but related to the river around it, it’s comparatively calm. You could be wrong One of thevoices, lines of dialogue, that fear uses is the word “no.” Or another go-tophrase that fear enjoys so much is the phrase “you could be wrong.” Fear is like thecharacter that keeps stumbling into the play of your life. Fear keeps barginginto the door onto the stage. (Even though the character, fear, isn’t includedin the plot.
) Characters in the play are trying to move the plot forward. Andfear tries to interrupt the play and say, “You could be wrong,” thusinterrupting the narrative, causing the plot not to unfold as it should. That is correct.
You could be wrong. Silence fear and acknowledge “Yes, that is correct. I couldbe wrong. And if I am, I will have the opportunity to learn something.” It turns outthat the original Starbucks didn’t sell brewed coffee. That’s right. They soldcoffee beans and tea leaves and even spices. Starbucks waswrong.
Some believethat the original owners of Starbucks made a blunder. They were more focused onselling beans and didn’t sell brewed coffee. Had they just continued down thepath of selling beans, Starbucks would not have succeeded. It took HowardSchultz, a trip to Italy, and his absolute fascination and obsession withespresso to turn Starbucks into what we know of it today.
Now there are morethan 20,000 Starbucks around the world. Here’s thepoint. Can you imagine if the wrongStarbucks had never been designed and constructed? What if they said, “Well,we’re not sure if this bean thing is going to work, so let’s sit on our handsand do NOTHING”? Starbucks isn’talone:· WilliamWrigley Jr. sold soap and baking powder and stumbled on the value of gum whilegiving it away for free.
The gum proved to be more popular than his actualproduct. Wrigley went on to manufacture his own chewing gum brand and today thecompany makes billions in revenue and is one of the most recognizable brands inAmerica.· Instagram originally started as Burbn, acheck-in app that included gaming and photo elements. The creators of Burbnwere concerned that there was too much clutter and they’d never gain tractionin the marketplace so they tookaway all the elements except photos. They built an app that focused solely on photographyand it’s been growing in popularity steadilysince it first debuted in 2010.· Twitter startedas Odeo, which was a network where people could find and subscribe to podcasts; however, they ended upmoving toward a drastic change focused on a micro-blogging platform. It’s now one of the most popular mobilesocial networking apps in the United States. Initiative andstarting are about “let’s see” and “I’ll try.
” Perhaps thething you should do is something new, especially if there’s no clear rightanswer. Something new is often the right path when the world is complex. And…you could bewrong, but start anyway.