If I can tell you the truth, the truth is you gotta fail a lot to succeed massively. “The Truth.” is published by Moo Vendhan.
Though mostly silent to us, the birth of an idea sets off alarm bells somewhere in our head. In that moment three grey men awaken from their slumber and begin patrolling the perimeter of our mind. Formidable, agile and endlessly resourceful, they set about blocking all routes to the outside world — each determinedly playing his role in preventing our fledgling thought from making it out into the world.
Deep down, we know that creation is the only way to be fulfilled — to make progress, learn from mistakes, get feedback, get better and fully engage in a creative life.
But the grey men don’t want us to succeed.
The grey men know that a mind-bound idea’s non-existent existence is pregnant with delicious, unspoiled potential. An amorphous fantasy rendered in shimmery resolution, the idea between our ears is hard to see, yet vividly perfect — it has magical properties on which these grey men can feast and sustain their grey existence.
And the longer the idea stays in our mind, the more perfect it gets, and the less real it gets, until we reach the point where trying to make it real seems impossible because we’ll never match its unbelievable perfectness and potential with our — now comparably — meager abilities.
This is what the grey men want. This is how they win. They imprison our precious, imagined morsel — endlessly devouring untested possibility.
I hate those grey men. I hate how good they are at their job. I hate how they make me feel.
But, I also know they can be defeated. I’ve seen it happen. I know that, like all demons, when we see them for what they are we drain them of their power.
So, let’s look. Let’s see them for what they really are.
First of the three is Bad Guy: a doom monger skilled in the spreading of fear and failure. This one delights in finding our weak spots and convincing us we can’t do something. At his most powerful, he can stop us from making marks on a blank page only we will ever see. Whatever the question, whatever the challenge, he knows how we’ll fail, be humiliated and end up defeated.
Then there’s “Good Guy”: the perfectionist. At first he seems cool and kind of sexy. He’s got high standards and impeccable taste — plus, he wants our idea to be perfect! He smooths and spins and delays and worries and excuses and adjusts and overthinks until whatever magic was there is diluted, lost, broken or too precious to touch. If we’re looking for reasons not to share, he’s right there with a list.
Finally, there’s Oh-What’s-The-Point Guy: the champion of comparison. A mercurial detective unbound by space or time, he specializes in identifying people who’ve done the very thing we’re doing — only cooler, better, first or more meaningfully. Tempting us to obsess over what we can’t do until we forget what we can — he convinces us that because we’re not a peerless genius there’s no point in trying at all.
Take a long hard look at the shadowy figures who hold your ideas hostage. Remember that they aren’t formidable foes; they’re jealous, parasitic losers.
Remember that Bad Guy’s answer will always be no; that “Good Guy” is a cowardly fraud; and that Oh-What’s-The-Point Guy is himself tediously unoriginal.
Look them in the eye and march your ideas right out of your head — do it so many times and with such conviction that they cower under the sheets when the idea alarm sounds.
And whatever you think, do.
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