What stops us most often from doing what we want? My educated guess is that the primary reason we don’t do what we want to do is that we don’t know what we want. That’s a whole post in itself, but personally I think the best way of solving this problem is to manage a list of things you want to do that you revise, edit, and add to weekly (here’s a post I wrote about creating achievable goals a while ago).
The second most challenging hurdle to doing what we want is not feeling prepared or ready to do it yet. Needing more time, needing more money, needing more opportunity, needing more smarts, needing more general motivation.
When you think about it, feeling unprepared is really just another way of saying you’re scared.
This is why I’ve become a fan of creating the occasional exercise of doing something I’m not prepared for. For example, back in 2006, I decided to run a half-marathon without training for it. You’d be surprised at the responses I got to this idea. It being dangerous, it being crazy, it being masochistic, etc. Fear is a very interesting thing, and I experienced it firsthand the day before the race when I felt like I had to call my own bluff about running the race. In the end, I did run it, even though it was miserably cold and I was very sore the next day.
Doing something that I wasn’t prepared for, in a strange way, actually prepares you for a huge number of things. Imagine the benefit of being prepared for everything you’re unprepared for. It’s like a loophole of logic that in the end gives you something that can truly counteract the effects of fear: confidence.
I’m running the half-marathon again in 10 days with 7 or so of my friends. We are universally not runners, and we’re doing it as another hat-tip towards being unprepared. We’re raising money for a highschool class in Burien so they can afford SAT prep materials, college admission fees, so if you have a moment and can spare a buck or two to support our ragtag crew, check it out our promo video below, and donate here.