In Brendon Burchard’s bestseller “The Motivation Manifesto” he talks about us having the means to succeed but not applying it for fear of hard work. He uses the metaphor of having a fire extinguisher in our hands as our home burns, but not using it because we would have to aim it.
But I suspect there is a little more than simple laziness at play here. Because we worry that we do not have the right knowledge and expertise to know where to aim the extinguisher, and because we fear that getting it wrong will mean that we have wasted our only resource, we watch, feeling frustrated and helpless, as the flames take hold. Until the blaze is so great that our little extinguisher is no longer any use anyway.
In reality, taking some action, letting off the extinguisher in roughly the right direction, will quite possibly either do enough to put out the fire, or at the very least damp the flames enough for us to call for help or to find another way to deal with the problem.
In our work and business, too, it is rare for any action we take to be a complete waste of time, or to completely ruin our chances of success. Most will move us along in the general direction of our goal, even if not in a direct straight line towards it. We will at least have made progress.
We have a choice: dither about, anxiously wondering exactly where to apply the ‘extinguisher’ that is our time, money, effort and resources – and watch our dreams get consumed by the voracious flames of time and of the market. Or we can take action to deal with the threat (or indeed to take advantage of an opportunity), trusting that even if we don’t get it 100% right, we will still have created enough progress and time to work out the next step, to keep the dream alive, to take control of our own destiny.
Where are you delaying taking action, and letting your dreams go up in smoke?