Don’t Give Up

To antithesize yesterday’s post a bit, you must not be too quick to surrender failed projects. Give obstacles their due perspective and time before you put your hands up and walk away. If you’re stringing a project along because you’re no longer interested in it, then mark it a failure and leave it be. But if you’re stringing a project along because of obstacles you cannot overcome, take an extra minute to consider the whole thing. What will it take to overcome this problem? Can you do it alone? Do you care enough to inspire the resources of others to help you? If you do not care enough to try and inspire the world with your work, walk away. If you do care, don’t give up and figure it out.

Quitters give up because they don’t care enough. Do not be a quitter. Pick projects you believe in and believe in them until the deeds are done. The second you stop believing, you lose.

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Don’t Believe in Constraints

The second you stop believing in the possibilities and start believing in the rules, you lose. You limit yourself to the things you’ve learned and make it that much more difficult to invent or imagine. Building an understanding of the world through education or otherwise is important to understanding the tools and canvases at your disposal. But growth and the human spirit should not end there. You must actually paint with the tools you’ve learned: break rules, make a mess and see what happens. Push the limits of the canvas. Or, better yet, ignore the boundaries of the canvas altogether. Invention has no boundaries and knows no rules. Sure, embrace the constraints of the tools themselves (budget, materials, people, etc.), for those limitations will focus your mission. Do not, however, embrace the rules of the game if they stand in your way to greatness and innovation.

“No” Is Not An Acceptable Answer

I’ve been blessed with momentum in my life, due largely to the fact that my parents never really said “no” to me. They never told me a cardboard spaceship couldn’t break orbit; I had to learn that the hard way. They let me make my own mistakes at my own pace and on my own accord. At a young age, I was allowed to dream, face the limitations of my dreams, and solve my way around them on my own. Nothing stopped me – unless I accepted failure as a lesson. As I got older, I continued to push the ball forward. The momentum continued to the point where “no” was never an acceptable answer.  I let nothing slow me down.

You are only as strong and resilient as your dreams. You only have one life; don’t take “no” for an answer.

The Perception of Obstacles

Track runners do not see hurdles as road blocks; they see hurdles as an extension of a normal step. Sure, it may take practice to build the confidence necessary to jump hurdles. Even to start practicing, you need to set aside any fears or trepidations you have about the road ahead. You need to ignore the fact that hurdles are obstacles. You need to see hurdles as a part of the game. If you signed up to play the game, learn to love the hurdles. Obstacles are only obstacles if you see and treat them as obstacles.

The Path of Greatest Resistance

Everyone has fear, but no one needs to be afraid. Fear is a powerful tool if used wisely, one that can guide you to great discovery. We fear obstacles, the bumps in the road on the way to accomplishing our goals. But don’t be afraid. Use that fear to measure and appreciate the value of your potential success. The greater the fear, the greater the obstacles, the greater the feat, the greater the reward. Avoid the path of least resistance – it is deceptive and will get you nowhere. Choose the path of greatest resistance – it will guide you to your dreams.