So, what are we looking at here? Procrastination? Bipolar disorder? Fear of success? Disinterest? All four? And does the label really matter at the heart of it?
Before I dive into my thoughts on this one, here’s a little background. I am an incredibly fortunate person in that I pick up skills both mental and physical pretty quickly and with a moderate amount of success (thanks mom and dad). Nope, I’m not a genius by any stretch of the imagination. It really comes down to obsessions, whether short or long-term, they are the vehicles that get me where I want to go. (Ok, sometimes the obsessions actually take over but we will talk about that another time and Ireland will be involved.)
Herein lies my challenge. I get deeply excited about any new skill and quickly decide to apply it to a project of some sort. Before I can even get to the beginning of that project requiring my fancy new skill, I find I have to drag myself kicking and screaming to the actual starting line. Why is that? It is as if I have fallen into space and everything floats just out of my grasp. I find this incredibly frustrating and well, just downright stupid. I have faith in my ability to complete the project. I have never had a disaster yet that I couldn’t fix. I am generally successful right out of the gate (not to say there isn’t always room for improvement). So why, why, why!
I will tell you why. I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop in life. As ridiculous as that sounds, I am not alone in that subconscious state. The pervasive thought goes something like this. “If I don’t start it, I won’t fail at it.” If I don’t start it, I won’t have to deal with success (because there are as many consequences with success as failure).” If I don’t start it, it will remain perfect.” And on and on. Well, guess what. Everything and anything will happen and nothing is ever perfect. So what! Was it an enjoyable experience? Great – because that is really the point of learning and using any new skill.
Recently I have been dragging myself to that line sooner and sooner but it has also become more like dancing than dragging. So, I invite you to dance to that line right alongside of me. I suspect you will be shocked at how well it works out. Not only will your project start sooner but you will also be able to wallow around in mindless project-joy. See that’s the thing. I am happiest when in the middle of one of my obsession-led projects and I suspect you are as well. And guess what, I am also generally pleased with the outcome.
My friends, I haven’t seen that other shoe around and I sure haven’t heard it drop. If it does, maybe it will be a pair and they will be Jimmy Choos. I hope I see you at the line.