I can’t even count the number of times there’s been an interesting topic that I want to write about in a blog, or make into a video post. But no sooner do I get that spark of excitement that I start thinking of all the other little things I would have to do first – I’d have to verify this or go get a link to that, or compare it with something else.
But the biggest killer of my excitement is a bogus notion that it’s already been done before, done better, or that what I have to say is not really that important.
Is any of this familiar to you? I mean really, I’m just speaking into a camera, but if you’re watching this, then there’s a good chance that it resonates with you, too.
There’s a paper about The Power of Not Knowing by Bob Dunham. It says that rather than waiting to KNOW before we act, we should TAKE ACTION as a way to figure things out.
This is more than just ‘a bias toward action’ – it’s about things we simply cannot master until after we take action.
Our desire to understand or master something before we act is a form of perpetual inaction.
Let me tell you a story. Decades ago, I was an instructor for the North Carolina Outward Bound school. We’d take groups of adolescents into the woods for 21 days, get them good and lost and confused, and teach them skills to take care of themselves in the backcountry. It sounds harsh, but it’s really not.
Anyway, there would always come some point where the entire crew was on a mountain and they had no earthly clue where they were. (There were no GPS cell phones at the time).
They knew where they started in the morning, and they knew where they wanted to go, but “right here, right now”? That was an utter mystery to them. Sometimes, they weren’t even sure if they were pointed North, and let me tell you, by lunch time? these kids were starting to get pissed!
They were angry because they wanted the instructors to just tell them where they were, what to do, and where to go. But we refused to do it because we knew they actually had the skills and experience they needed to figure it out… they just didn’t know it yet.
You see, they were staring at a map, and they knew how to read it, but it was useless to them without knowing where on the map they were actually standing. We taught them something called ridge-aerobics to help them connect the land to the map, but they thought it wasn’t enough. They still thought they needed to know more before they could act – before they could choose where they should go, lest they get even further lost. And what we told them to do was MOVE!
Pick a direction on the compass – any direction – walk 200 yards and do more ridge aerobics, then add that to the information on the map until they could figure it out.
The point is that no amount of study, planning, creativity, or guess work was going to get them to their destination until they got moving to get the information they needed.
So for you and me, the information we need is not on some other website. It’s not in another book. It’s not in another course. It’s not on top of a mountain of deep, meditative reflection either.
You already know enough to get started and to build the foundation of whatever your dream is.
Start writing and posting your blogs – if you don’t have a site, then put them on linked in, or a Word document until you put up a site on WordPress.com as a placeholder. But start writing!
Start shooting videos! If you’ve got a cell phone, you’ve already got a camera, and start putting them on YouTube.
My point here is that you ALREADY know enough to start taking care of your dream. And if you think you don’t, then take action anyway – something publicly visible.
Your desire to learn more before you act is not going to move you closer to your goal nearly as fast as taking action.
Just like you, I thought I needed to know more too… but we’re here together now because I took action. So can you!
The Power of Not Knowing by Bob Dunham