We have to start life somewhere.
When we do, our relationship with the future is, well, complicated.
Kate O’Neill, founder and principal of KO Insights, discussed this idea in a May 11, 2014, column in The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville.
O’Neill discussed a project she had worked on for a large firm. One of the executives asked her how long a particular feature would take. She told him eight months. He asked how sure she was in that projection. She answered, “70 percent.” He told her that the longer it takes to get something done, the more risk there is and the less certain we can be about it.
The lesson: “Every day could be your last,” O’Neill writes. “Whether it is or not, you can take intentional, meaningful risks today to build the future you might get to enjoy.”
We hear a lot of talk today about uncertainty, as if forgetting the old adage that the only things certain are death and taxes. Part of the uncertainty talk is about taxes, and the fear of rising taxes is keeping some potential employers from expanding, so they say.
No one can know what will come next, but it should never stop us from acting. If you know you have something good, go for it. If you are unsure that what you have is good, then it may be best to stop, think and evaluate. How can I make this idea that I THINK might be good a little clearer to me?
Fear, sometimes irrational fear, can sometimes prevent us from doing something that would be good for us. Don’t let fear, particularly irrational fear, stop you.
Don’t blow something off because you THINK you know it may hurt you, before determining for certain that it will. In other words, standing in front of a moving train certainly could hurt you, so don’t do it. But examining a new business venture, or interviewing for a job that you may not think you can do may benefit you. The worst that can happen is failure that you are certain to learn from. The best that could happen is a very positive life-changing experience.
You feel great when you’re “in the zone.” But if that zone is a comfort zone, be wary. The comfort could disappear, then what?
O’Neill writes that our complicated relationship with the future can make us live our days in a balance of hope and impatience. Have you ever told your (pick one: parents, spouse, teachers) that you are onto something big, and they ask you when you expect to achieve success? Though you would like it to be tomorrow, success often doesn’t come quickly. You may have an idea of a perfect time, but that perfect time may come and go. If you know what you have, and what you are doing, are good, don’t give up because your predicted timing has come and gone. As O’Neill says: “try, fail, learn adjust. Try, succeed, learn, adjust. Then, try, fail, learn, adjust” etc.
If you are open to looking for something that could give you the future you want, visit www.bign.com/pbilodeau. You will see how others are living their dreams, and how you could, too.
If you fear uncertainty, learn that uncertainty is a way of life. But don’t avoid positive action because you fear the uncertainty. Take, as O’Neill calls them, meaningful risks. Step outside the comfort zone if the comfort has disappeared. You will survive. You could thrive, if you maintain the drive. Forget the fret. It wastes energy.
You may not know the perfect time, but it is out there if you keep looking for it.