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Jun 28 2012

The Nerd Couch: Motivated When I Stopped Caring

Sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it?   How can you be motivated about doing something when you stop caring?  Well, it’s not that I’m saying to stop caring about doing the thing you want to do, but stop caring if you mess up doing it.  Or even stop caring how it will turn out.

Walter Bishop is a prime example.  This mad scientist of FRINGE constantly tries experiments that he doesn’t know if they will work or not.  And most of the time, somebody’s life is at risk as he tries it.  But the reason he doesn’t hesitate is that he isn’t afraid of failure.  Not that he doesn’t fail, but he knows he will just have to try something else, if the person survives the first time that is.

I just want to be clear, I’m not talking about building a house or some financial matters.  Nothing too risky. I’m talking about personal projects and plans that you might hesitate starting because you feel that you have to plan them out perfectly.

DON’T CARE IF IT’S PERFECT, IT WILL GET BETTER.

The problem with wanting something perfect is that you go through all these plans and calculations, trying to set things up so when you FINALLY start the project, it will be smooth sailing.  Guess what?  You’re not a psychic (probably not).  You won’t know all the different variables that can change in your project until you start it.  And a basic law of the universe is not many projects are smooth sailing.

Most of this hyper-planning comes from the fear of the project failing.  Actually, it comes from the fear of YOU failing.  That’s a common mistake I think we all make, thinking our projects and goals are actually US.  That’s not true at all, even though people try to make you think like that… “Aww Man, you totally failed”.  Well no, the project failed, and you can learn from it.  And don’t feel like you would be wasting your time if you don’t plan things exactly right.  That false mindset that will make you hesitate also.  Perfection is more of a philosophy, not a result.

DON’T CARE IF YOU LOOK BAD, YOU WON’T DIE.

I’ll use myself as an example of the mindset I had when I started Geek Soul Brother.  Many times in the past, I would plan something extensively, and then have trouble starting it.  Not the blog though.  I did some preliminary research, designed my logo, and started a wordpress.com account.  Why the change?  Because I found myself starting to hesitate again, and I decided that I wasn’t going to worry if the blog didn’t come out right.  Or if people didn’t want to read it.  Or if my grammar would get in the way.  I decided to see what would happen, and not be concerned what people thought.  The phrase that helped me with many of my fears was “What’s the worst that could happen?” People would see a few spelling errors, or some commas out of place.  Big whoop.

DON’T CARE IF YOU DON’T KNOW EVERYTHING, YOU WILL LEARN.

“Learn as you go.”  Some people do it naturally.  They just jump right in and learn to swim.  But others don’t feel comfortable with that.  Some people feel they have to plan out stuff to the utmost so they know where they are going.  Taking a trip across country?  Yeah, you should plan it out.  Building a big personal  project?  Just plan the major stuff.  Because, as you start doing what it is you want to do, you will learn things along the way that you would not have learned until you started… doing.  I couldn’t have learned all the things I did for my blog just studying some instruction site.  There were too many decisions to make, and too many directions to go after I completed each step.  When I knew where I was headed, then I planned out the next steps.

When you find yourself taking too long planning something and not starting, follow these three steps:

  1. Tell yourself it doesn’t have to be perfect, just a little research and, as long as it’s not truly risky, jump in.
  2. Don’t worry if it doesn’t turn out right, or what people will think.  They won’t burn you at the stake, and you can always start over.  It’s not a waste of time either.
  3. Your project will probably get better because you will learn as you go.

 

 

About the author

Geek Soul Brother

Puttin' the Funk in the Final Frontier! A Christian time-travelin' brother from the 70s. Loves Scifi, Fantasy, Horror.

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