What do you stand to gain by attempting to right this wrong?

When you work to change people’s lives, you are eventually going to come across those who do not want to be changed. Even if the work you produce is better, it isn’t what most are used to.

The status-quo is rooted deep in our culture, making it is easy (and even popular) to tear apart people’s work.

The thing is, some wrongs don’t need to be made right. If someone is insisting that your work isn’t good enough, we have to have the courage to say, “Thank you. It’s not for you.”

Critics, trolls and haters all starve for the same thing: Your attention.

Don’t just give it away by engaging with someone who refuses to change. No need to waste our time and energy into convincing those who refused to be convinced.

There are plenty of people out there waiting to be touched by your generosity. Those are the ones we seek to serve.

Spending our time creating the perfect email response or visualizing the perfect comeback, what is it for? What are we hoping to accomplish by stepping into the argument room?

Are we justified? Sure. But is it going to make us feel better?

Revenge is a zero sum game–in order for me to win, you have to lose. No one is going to change their mind in a state of anger.

Far better to use that time to make things better than to right every single wrong that is made in our lives.

Next time someone throws garbage your way–let it lie, let it die.

What is the worst that can happen?

Take the thing you are most of afraid of doing–that blog post you refused to ship, your business proposal you’ve spent months preparing, getting ready to take the Bar or MCAT’s–if you were to fail, what is the worst that could happen?

Write it down, in great detail everything that could possibly go wrong. On paper with purpose.

Chances are it isn’t as bad as you originally thought. Yeah, you might be fired or have to start over. Money, time, resources might be spent.

But when we take the emotion out of it, when we decide to dance with our fears, it turns out that the worst that could actually happen is not as bad as what we imagined.

And then we get to do it again

There is a space, a void that is only momentarily filled when we create something worth sharing. We fill satisfaction when we change the recipient.

But just like that, it’s gone.

Because no one is forever changed by one blog post. No one is changed after one public speaking engagement.

If we are lucky though, and if we can build enough trust, they will be inspired to read another blog post, to listen to another talk.

Soon enough, real change begins to happen.

Send it. Click it. Ship it. Make better art. Capture us again, if only for a few moments.

Start at the end

Figure out what it is you want to accomplish, where it is you want to go.

Now work backwards from there, all the way to where it is you stand today.

There are no maps to follow but this is closest thing to making one.

What kind of scarcity do you create?

In the 1400’s, being a Scribe meant you had a rare skill–you could read and write–skills that only a fraction of the population possessed. Often, scrolls and manuscripts would decay, be misplaced or be destroyed; creating more scarcity. Being a Scribe was a lucrative profession.

Until one day, it wasn’t.

When Johannes Gutenberg invented the Printing Press, he transformed the way we duplicate information and provided new access to literature for the masses. You could now copy a book faster than you could read it. The skills that Scribes possessed were no longer a valuable commodity.

Fast forward 600 years to today, are the skills you possess scarce?

If so, how long is it before they become commodities?

How long before they are no longer valuable?

The world of commodities is shrinking. Fast. It is no longer good enough to have a competent skill. Because the world continues to change. Progress continues to step forward.

If you are going to insist that the world stays the same for your livelihood, you are going to be left behind with the Scribes. The few that could see the Printing Press as an opportunity to create a new scarcity flourished.

The question is no longer, What kind of scarcity do I rely on? But rather, What kind of scarcity do I create?

What is it for?

Your Facebook post that you are about to share, what is it for?

The Monday morning meeting where everyone gathers around to talk about what they are going to accomplish, what is it for?

That policy and procedure that no one seems to understand, what is it for?

Writing an angry email to the customer service manager to explain how wrongly we have been treated, what is it for?

If what you are doing is going to help you reach the top of the mountain, the goal you are trying to accomplish, please take one-step forward.

If not, it’s okay to say this isn’t for me and move on to the important work we have been delaying.

Talent

It is easy to chalk up someone as talented, a gift this individual is naturally born with.

By doing so, we separate ourselves into believing they have something we don’t, that we can never be like them.

We’re wrong.

It turns out when we put in the daily work that is needed to be good at something, we will soon discover that we have many of the same gifts as other professionals.

We just needed to remove a bit of dirt in order to discover these gems.

Self-limiting believes

“You are not good enough.”

“Who do you think you are?”

“You are just like your Father (or Mother).”

“You will never amount to anything.”

“You are a failure.”

“You are not worthy for love or forgiveness.”

“You are alone.”

“You deserve this.”

“No one can stand you.”

“You are worthless.”

“You should be ashamed of yourself.”

This vicious tape recorder that plays over and over in our head is shame talking. It isn’t who we are. We are more than any one mistake we make.

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

What would you be able to accomplish?

What business or project could you start?

How much more love / purpose / meaning / joy could you bring to yourself and others?

The thing is, fear will never go away. Fear has what kept us alive for thousands of years. Survival is in our instincts.

But if you are fortunate enough to have your temporal needs covered (food, water, shelter, clothing) and have access to tools that level the playing field (a laptop and a connection to the internet), you have a chance to do something that most human beings never have had.

A chance to make things better.

A chance to build something remarkable. Something you can be proud of. Something you can put your name on.

Yes, the fear will never go away.

The question is: What are we really afraid of?

Because fear of rejection, stepping into the unknown, leaping, being judged, standing alone, vulnerability, the risk of being exposed, not feeling good enough, shame–these outcomes are not going to be the end of us. Failure doesn’t mean game over.

The choice then is to dance with that fear–our discursive thoughts, our false limits we put on ourselves.

Yesterday would have been the best time to start. Today is the next best thing.