Goldsmith’s provocative book about behavioral triggers contends us that human being are geniuses at inventing reasons to avoid change. And we often sabotage lasting change by canceling out its possibility.
For example, one of the stories we tell ourselves in this area is that we have all the time in the world. That time is open ended and sufficiently spacious for us to get to all of our goals eventually.
Which sounds like a noble, phlegmatic and prosperous approach to doing our work. Clearly we trust the universe and believe in ourselves and allow life to unfold according to its natural plan.
But it is precisely this kind of faith in time’s infinite patience that triggers our procrastination. It becomes the soothing narrative, the convenient excuse, for why we haven’t moved our story forward.
Years ago, during the early iteration of one of my corporate training programs, my colleague suggested consulting with a trademark attorney before going public.
You’ve got to protect your intellectual property, he warned.
It felt like overkill to me, but it was worth a quick email to a lawyer friend of mine. Turns out, however, that the trademarking process would have taken six months and cost several thousand dollars.
Which would have been nice, but not necessary.
And considering the small scope of the project, going the whole legal hog would have only given me another valid reason to not ship my work.
Thanks but no thanks.
In the end, there was no trademarking. There was no paperwork. The program launched as originally scheduled. And within a year, several of my clients hired me to implement the new program at their companies. The work made me feel proud, satisfied, and made me money too. Clients raved about it. And in time, it contributed to my portfolio and prepared and positioned me for new and exciting work in the future.
The best part is, nearly ten years later, there have been exactly zero legal issues. Ever. Because it didn’t matter. Only shipping did. Meanwhile, the colleague who suggested trademarking in the first place, hasn’t created anything new or interesting in years.
Proving, that we don’t need to make a few more phone calls, we need to made a decision. We don’t need to make excuses to justify our procrastination, we need to make things and put them out into to the world.
May we all become more aware and less tolerant of our tendency to postpone what can and needs to be done now.
May we all be sensitive to points in our life that require us to take action.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you putting off action to a day that never arrives?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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