I’m a little more than halfway through Seth Godin’s new book “Poke the Box” and I’m duly intrigued. It’s funny because it’s a pretty short book and the text is not densely packed onto each page, but it would be a terrible mistake to think this implies the thoughts contained therein are as thin as the book itself. OK granted, I read it on a Kindle so there is no thickness to the book to begin with, but you get my meaning. Sheesh… cut me some slack! OK, where was I again? Oh yes… Mr. Godin.
The driving concept behind the book is summed up in one word: initiative. The secret sauce that makes things go and people stop their hand-wringing to actually START something. The magic of the book is how Godin goes far beyond just blandly discussing initiative and why it’s important to more of a call to action. Huh… it’s like an initiative for initiative in a way. I think I just blew my own mind right there.
I am going to get back to reading the book some more tonight, but 4 little words he stresses in the book really jumped out at me: “This might not work.”
What’s the power of such a simple sentence? The fact that it’s a pivotal idea you need to get comfortable with… or at least more comfortable with… so you can fully immerse yourself in a mindset of being a starter.
We all tend to want perfect and we want it now and on the first try, damn it. And if we cannot have it? Well then hell, we better wait and plan and scheme and spend oodles of time creating charts on how when we finally get around to starting… ohh at that glorious moment, all will be PERFECTION.
Except it never is.
This all calls to mind one of my favorite quotes from General George S. Patton: “A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.”
Therein lies the truth of it all… that it’s a very rare time where inaction is better than action of some kind, shape or sort. This clearly assumes at least a modicum of reasoned thought about what action to take, but certainly not the kind of endless procrastination masquerading as deep reflection that a lot of people do… and I clearly place myself into that big ugly mess.
Tomorrow I begin using the season of Lent as my own way to spur on the action I’ve avoided. I’m giving up Facebook. I’m spending more time in person with friends and family. I will struggle mightily to get this damn blog in order. Heck, I even had my very first blog post go up today on my new work blog, about which I am endlessly excited, especially because I decided to just push it forward and see what happens.
Here’s to a good 40 day run, made up of what I hope to be a string of single day mini-runs. It might not work, but I’m starting to get comfortable with that… or at least as comfortable as I can be.