A Trifecta of Life Lessons
1. There are no obstacles: only opportunities to learn and grow.
2. There is nothing I need that I don’t have.
3. Everything that must get done will get done.
Some people choose the field of Accounting because of their love of numbers. I had chosen it because of my fear of words. Truth be told, I barely passed 10th grade because of a D- in English. When I was 38, I discovered I was a writer, and my journey since then has been one of trying to reconcile and integrate this “inconvenient truth”.
I’m 45 now, and as a single mother with two active girls, a full-time job, physical therapy for a severe herniated disc, and a new consulting business I’m trying to get off the ground, there is little time to just sit and write anymore.
And as I found myself torn this morning between wanting to write a post for you today and needing to do therapeutic exercises, get my girls ready for school, and get myself ready for work, I found myself thinking, “I have no time to write today.” There was sadness as that sentiment rolled through me.
One lesson I’ve learned well over these past six years is that there are no obstacles: only opportunities to learn and grow. Listening to my inner dialogue this morning I realized I was just making an excuse, and in that excuse, I was turning away from the writer that I am.
Two other lessons arrived hot on the heels of this winning truth: there is nothing I need that I don’t have, and everything that must get done will get done. Over the past six years, this trifecta of life lessons has empowered me to transform my life from one of deep despair to one of thriving adventure. When something is important to me, I know I can either make an excuse or I can take action.
Granted, there are some fairly immovable factors of my life that I choose to honor in order to keep the wheels greased. But there are many other factors that can shift, shrink, or fall away all together if I am bold enough to be who I am.
As I look at my morning from the other side of having written this post, I see clearly that my busy schedule is not what stands in the way of writing: it actually drives me to write. If I had all the time in the world, there is a chance I wouldn’t write much at all, and a chance that the things I would write might be more “soft” and less practical.
These very distinct boundaries don’t stand in the way of creativity: they help me get clear quickly about what to write. These boundaries also set the stage for writing and give me material to write about. Even more, they prod me to share what I’ve written before I have a chance to judge it as pure garbage and rework it to death or not post it at all.
There are no ostacles: only opportunities to learn and grow. There is nothing I need that I don’t have. Everything that must get done will get done. So now let me ask you: what’s standing in the way of you being most fully yourself?
Advice is a Poor Substitute for Insight
So you want to start a business, but you don’t know which of your many brilliant ideas to commit to. You ask friends, family, successful entrepreneurs, gurus, coaches, and really anyone who will listen (aka: random cashiers who seem genuinely sincere when they ask how your day is going). You run through all your different ideas, weighing the pros and cons of each, hoping that someone will reveal some angle that will tip the scale unquestioningly in favor of one idea over all the rest.
To even be contemplating starting a business indicates that you have experienced some degree of mastery with the jobs, projects, and assignments that others have entrusted you with. You have also felt stifled by the lack of opportunity to take that experience to the next level or express your own vision within that environment.
Starting a business is your opportunity to take full responsibility for the direction of your life. Only you know which idea you are willing to fully commit to. Relying on other people’s advice is an ill-advised shortcut: then you have them to blame when it fails. Then you are right back where you are right now, faced with the decision of committing your own vision or committing to someone else’s. As long as you are looking to others to choose your path for you, your experience of success as an entrepreneur will be limited.
The hard news is that your first attempt will most likely fail to some degree, but you will learn a tremendous amount in the process that you can successfully leverage on your next attempt. Ask yourself, “what idea am I ready to commit to and see fail?”
- Ideas are not the determinant of success: commitment and persistence are.
- An entrepreneur who waits for the right idea at the right time for the least money dies without ever starting a business.
- Ideas are worthless unless you can execute them. Pick one idea that feels achievable, and learn the art of execution.
- Ideas are harder to execute on than you can even know at this point. Commit to one idea, and learn that lesson.
- If it were easy and cheap, everyone would be running their own business. You have to be willing to do what 96% of other people wouldn’t do.
- Clarity and confidence are a result of action, not a prerequisite.
- True success is an inner phenomenon, not a worldly statistic.
- If you are unwilling to invest in yourself (even if that means going further into debt), then you are adding significant time to your journey and missing out on unknown opportunities.
- Money is not an obstacle, it’s an excuse. Time is truly your most precious resource. Get started!
More than anything, stop asking “what should I do?” and ask instead “how do I want to be?”, then do that from the time you get up to the time you go to bed. Your need for a the “right answer” is blocking the original insight you need most. Relax, and trust. Realize you are complete even if you can’t completely see all of yourself. When you do that, you will discover the diamond in your pocket. From that space, you cannot fail.