[ Note: I stole "Big Hairy Audacious" from Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies. Buy it. ]
I’m days from leaving Michigan. The plan, from the beginning (like a year ago), was to hop on my bike and drive away.
Said plan has been delayed repeatedly because said motorcycle is broken.
I’ve been busting my ass to get it sorted ←
Reason Excuse for lack of blog posts lately.
But, all that to say what my the real problem is, why you’re also going to encounter it, and how you can push through it.
The Problem With Big Hairy Audacious Goals
(Like riding your Motorcycle to South America)
You will encounter resistance. Like, a shit ton of it.
I wasn’t expecting this little journey to be easy, I knew there would be hard parts. But, I figured after quitting my job I’d hop on my bike and ride away. The hard stuff was supposed to come later.
Problem after problem keeps cropping up, delaying my departure by yet another day. It’s frustrating as hell as I wanted to be on the road YESTERDAY (literally). But, here’s the deal:
How This Applies to You
Seth Godin calls it the resistance, or, the Dip. Right before the lofty dream is realized, is when your efforts will seem most futile and your work least effective. It is the moment in which you are most likely to quit. What’s the cause?
According to him, the Lizard Brain.
Your Lizard Brain is actually your Amygdala. Two little almond like structures in the back of your brain (near your brain stem) that control your instinctual responses to things.
I’m not going to get into serious depth on this. But, in short, your Lizard Brain tries to keep you safe. In our not too distant past (as humans), this helped us avoid predators and pursue mates. It still serves a purpose, but it can also hamper your creativity and ambitions by causing you not to take risks.
Failure to avoid Lions could result in your death, failure have a successful book launch just hurts your ego – but the two risks feel the same. Unfortunately, you have to risk failure in order to do work that is extraordinary.
“You become a winner because you’re good at losing. The hard part about losing is that you might permit it to give strength to the resistance, that you might believe that you don’t deserve to win, that you might, in some dark corner of your soul, give up.
My own examples of the resistance the last few weeks:
- Trying to buy and find motorcycle luggage and racks that cost less than $600. (Too much cash, this thing is happening on a super small budget – to the tune of 3K) I got so frustrated with this process that I just stopped looking for stuff. I had this weird sense of pressure to get my shit (so I could pack my stuff and leave), while simultaneously feeling like I just wanted to do nothing.
- Almost hit a car and totalled my truck (a day before I was going to sell it. I seriously needed that money!).
- Sold my truck to a crook who ended up stealing my license plate, my tools and my registration. Which wasted a bunch of my time getting things sorted with the State of Michigan. Long story (partly my fault).
Not only was this stuff inconvenient and frustrating to deal with (as I have a list about 6 miles long of things to get done before leaving), it made me feel like a jackass. It made me feel like throwing in the towel and quitting before I even left.
I’m not going to do that.
You Will Encounter the Resistance
You know how it feels. You sit down to write that song, craft that blog post, train for that race, or build that website – and you just can’t bring yourself to do it. The inspiration and motivation isn’t there.
Listen, you’re sabotaging yourself. And it’s totally normal.
How to Hit The Road, Write The Song, and Launch the Business
(How to Beat The Resistance)
Show up and plow forward. Not with grim determination (that will frustrate you), but with acceptance of the fact that the very reason this shit is hard is BECAUSE it’s important. Your Lizard Brain wants you to stay safe, to do it the easy way. It wants you to quit so you can go back to what you know and never fail or do anything spectacular.
This is why your ambitious goal is like launching a Space Shuttle. If the rocket propulsion stops, at any point, the Shuttle falls to the ground and never makes orbit. There can be no let-up, it must plow forward until it breaks Earth’s gravitational pull.
And that is exactly what you have to do.
It’s not like a bobsled. I.E., push it hard for a quick sec and then enjoy the ride. If you do that, you won’t make it. Get out the bobsled (not a typo), you’re flying the Shuttle, bitch.
Seriously, you have to keep going, because you have a choice.
You can either embrace the resistance, accept it totally, for what it is. Or, you can be angry and frustrated (which will only cause further anger and frustration).
The resistance is here because you’re on the edge. The edge of making it.