5 Steps to making things happen
1. Find Great Problems
Weird way to start isn’t it? Who likes problems? Not even the troublemaker that just came to your mind doesn’t like problems. They like the thrill of breaking the rules and then frown when things get serious. I am pretty sure that everyone has at some point had a stern warning from their guardian,’ Don’t get into trouble.’ Well, I am here to release you from the shackles of this fear. Find good problems. We have been trained to expect only good and sparkly things out of life. What if I told you that this is the wrong way to live life. What if I told you that ‘negative’ emotions deserve as much time as good ones. The backward law states that the more we pursue something, the more we experience the opposite of what we desire. To live a fulfilled life, we must get off the hedonic treadmill and enjoy the simple things and experience good problems.
As long as the sun shines, we will always have problems. So why not choose to have better problems? This is by simply choosing what problem gets your attention and what doesn’t. Choose better problems. What are better problems? Have you ever listened to someone complain and wish you had their problems? If you think about it was never about the problem but the privilege behind the problem. For example, a jobless person listening to an employed person complaining about their boss will wish for a boss. This also applies to entrepreneurship. Every entrepreneurial journey starts with a problem even when it doesn’t look like it. At the heart of every start-up is the desire to solve a specific problem. Once there’s a solution to that problem, you need to solve the problem of remaining in business. When you conquer this market, you might have the problem of expanding your business. Find great problems.
2. Define your Success
In ‘The subtle art of not giving a F*ck”, Mark Manson mentions Hiroo Onada, a Japanese Soldier that continued fighting The World War long after Japan had been defeated. He was such a great soldier that all attempts to stop him were null and void until he chose to surrender in 1974. At face value, we could respect his commitment to his mission and his prowess, however, he wasted his years and strength fighting a non-existent war. Society has defined what success looks like; flashy cars, mansions, private jets to the Maldives, etc. Social media also makes sure to give a checklist of everything that you lack. You ought to sit with yourself and figure out what success looks like for you in your business and personal life. This way you know what you ought to be giving an f* about.
3. Keep Choosing
Whether you accept it or not you are always choosing. Each time you say yes to one thing, you say no to something else. Once you know what success looks like for you, you must keep choosing it. Choose problems that lead to your success. It is all about choice. I make it sound easy but it can be harder. In ‘The subtle art of not giving a fuck’, Mark Manson talks about the responsibility/fault fallacy where Most people equate being responsible for something with being at fault for something—and so they take responsibility for nothing in their lives. Sometimes some problems you will choose will not be your fault but will be your responsibility. For example, If an employee stole from you and crippled your business. It is not your fault but it is your responsibility to handle the situation. You chose this problem when you decided that you were going to hire someone. You couldn’t have predicted they would steal from you but the risk was your responsibility.
4. Stay Uncertain
Take time to think about crazy things that you believed to be true in the past five years and cringe at the number of times that you beat your chest stating them. This is the beauty of progress and evolution. Dare to believe that you don’t know it all. Dare to challenge your belief. In ‘The subtle art of not giving a fuck’, Mark Manson states that ‘ The more something threatens your identity the more you will avoid it.’ Find the courage to listen to topics that threaten your beliefs and identity. Ask questions like ‘What if I am wrong? What does it mean if I am wrong? Reimagine your existence for you will need more than you know to go where you have never been. Challenge yourself to have an open mindset, not just the things that you disagree with but also the things you believe about yourself. I mean things like ‘I am not good at Maths, Networking doesn’t work for me, I am the best at..’ This way you will always have room to grow, learn and progress.
5. Failure is the way to go
Babies are the most fearless creatures you will ever meet. Fascinated by fire, let’s touch it. Toy falls from the balcony, let’s chase after it. Can you believe that there was a time that nothing scared you? Do you know that when you were learning to walk, there was never a day that you stopped and decided that walking is not for you? Every fear you have in your bone was learned. Fear is good that is how we keep ourselves safe. However, sometimes step out in fear and faith and stand up for the problems that you care about. If you succeed, good! If you fail then you just found out one way it shouldn’t be done. Stand up dust yourself and do it again.