There’s an old Seinfeld bit about people on treadmills who are only working out because they need to get in shape to be able to do the workout. It’s a funny bit about the futility of life, it’s mostly true, and it’s entirely wrong as well.
Usually, “living your best life” is preceded by “I’m out here” or “they’re out there”. It’s a really precious turn of phrase and very annoying, but I’ve learned to appreciate the spirit of it. The ‘out’ part is the key. It’s not about researching or thinking or planning or analyzing or all the of the things that come before doing, it’s the act itself. It’s “going outside” as a celebration of effort.
This is why I’m working on a keynote/program about small experiments. It’s also why there’s a new “What I Learned” section of this newsletter. The powers of trying and doing play a tremendous part in not just accomplishing our goals, but in establishing our habits, our systems, our appetites, and our skills. Past performance is not always the best indicator of future ability. What we do regularly – everyday, every week – is a pretty important indicator as well. You build up the ability to rise to a big challenge by tackling small challenges over and over.
My view of the “challenge mindset” isn’t that it needs to be the same challenge over and over. It just needs to be the compilation of any and all challenges. What if we were able to track this everyday? That would be a gateway to improving our ability to reflect, learn, and decide. So, yes, it means we’re getting in shape to do the workout, but it also means we want to forget it’s a “workout” in the first place. Develop the mindset and the skills will follow.
Or, as Orville says in the Money story: “I don’t do it because I can, I can because I do.”
Founder, The Idea Enthusiast. Speaker, Trainer, Facilitator, and writer about all things creative consulting. DC-based consultant to individuals who want to be more creative, teams who want to collaborate without fear, and anyone who wants to deliver the best pitches and presentations.