I don’t know about you but I find it very easy to put things off. One of my favourite authors, Tom Peters, once said, “Intelligent people can always come up with intelligent reasons to do nothing.” Our minds are very powerful and are constantly working to maintain some sort of status quo. One of the ways that we grow is to dream, but our dreams have to be strong. This then creates tension, as the mind battles between our vision and current reality. In the end it will move us in the direction of whichever is the strongest. So if your dreams are not big and powerful the mind will always come up with reasons why you should maintain current reality.
Those comfort zones that we all occupy are often just that – too comfortable. I have recently set myself a deadline for the end of this month to finish one of my stories and enter it into a competition. My comfort zone however is sitting in my Studio and writing posts for this blog – nice and safe.
How many times do you hear people say, “Well I need a career change and as soon as I’ve finished this project I’m going to start looking. I can’t go yet, it wouldn’t be fair on my colleagues.” or “I want a job with more responsibility, but I’m not sure I’m quite ready yet. I’ll just carry on as I am for a while until I’ve learnt a bit more.” In other words that part of your mind that Seth Godin calls ‘The Resistance’ is winning, it’s keeping you safe and secure in your comfort zone – and the chances are that you will still be there 10 years from now.
Seth Godin in his book ‘Linchpin’ writes, “In every corporation in every country in the world, people are waiting to be told what to do. Sure, many of us pretend that we’d love to have control and authority and to bring our humanity to work/ But given half a chance, we give it up, in a heartbeat. Like scared civilians eager to do whatever a despot tells them, we give up our freedoms and responsibilities in exchange for the certainty that comes from being told what to do.”
So what are you waiting to do? What are you putting off? Seth Godin’s idea of ‘The Resistance’ will already be kicking in if you are reading this and planning a little trip outside your comfort zone. The Resistance, your mind, is afraid …. “Afraid what will happen to you (and to it) if the ideas get out, if your gifts are received, if the magic happens.” I plan to write a short story and enter it into a competition by the end of the month – what are you going to do?