When my son was a baby he didn’t sleep well, as many babies do (or should I say don’t) so my wife and I spent many a long evening rocking back and forwards against the agony of a full bladder because going upstairs to the bathroom would mean another sleepless night.
We have a very old house and the exposed floorboards in the bathroom sound like a Vincent Price film if you even breathe on them. Standing on them to get to the toilet would surely cause the little chap to wake up and keep us awake until 4 in the morning.
One evening I’d settled him down to sleep and was looking forward to a glass of wine, some supper and a bit of quality time with my wife. It was a lovely summer evening and all was well with the world.
We settled down on our huge comfy sofa and turned on the baby monitor.
He was sleeping peacefully – drawing long contented baby breaths and making those little murmurs that only babies can when they’re dreaming of baby things. I felt my muscles in my ass unclench as the cares of the day lifted from me.
Then all Hell broke loose as one of the birds nesting in the wall directly outside my son’s bedroom began to chirp and cheep like a canary in a mine full of coal gas. I never knew anything with feathers could make that much noise.
Of course it woke him up – he started crying – I jumped to my feet and knocked my wine into my supper and …well it was all very stressful.
Once my wife had settled him down again – about 2o minutes later, she found me in the garden pacing up and down and staring at the bird’s nest. I wanted my revenge!
It was at that point I realised I needed a little perspective. Tiredness and frustration had got the better of me.
It’s not that things go wrong – they go wrong every day in to some degree – it’s that they go wrong at the wrong time.
Take Ebay making the decision to ban downloadable products. I think it has been coming for a while, but I’m also positive that some poor sod somewhere had just started making a full time living online selling downloadable products when they dropped that particular bombshell on him.
He must have thought that either the world was out to get him or he’d run over a Gypsy on the way to McDonalds the day before.
Bad timing – nothing else.
But I’ve not yet heard of a SINGLE internet marketer whose business has been finished off in this way. People adapt and make the best of situations, change strategies, products and ideas an somehow manage to keep their business going.
But when a dark scenario is playing out in your head it never works like that – how many things have you NOT tried to acheive because something might go wrong? Your wonderfully creative mind plays and replays the horrible things that surely will befall you if you even try to get your business going, quit your job or launch a new product.
Perhaps you won’t be able to pay your mortgage and the house will be repossessed?
Your spouse will lose faith in you and leave you, taking the kids, and the only time you’ll see them is every two weeks for half a day on Sunday??!!
It just doesn’t happen except in the deepest pits of your mind (and the tabloid press).
What does happen is that lack of perpspective, fear and doubt stop you being the person you could be – stop you even attempting to change your life for the better and leave you with the horrible empty feeling of ‘what if….’ that most people feel.
The worst possible outcome of any decision is far LESS likely to happen than the negative consequences of not even trying. And let’s face it – if things DO go wrong, you can probably put them right again in a few years.
On the other hand if you DON’T attempt to quit your job or build your business you’re going to be in the same miserable situation for the rest of your life.
Fear of the unknown is a terrible thing – often much much worse than the ‘devil you know’ who is slowly breaking your back and your spirit with a day after day, year after year situation that you just don’t want to be in.
So do a Don Quixote and tilt at some windmills – take on the fear – in little ways to start with – get some perspective on what MIGHT happen but probably WON’T.
….before you find yourself about to commit a horrible crime against a House Martin.
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I do enjoy your analogies, Tony. And you certainly have a way with words…
“I felt my muscles in my ass unclench”
Great motivational post, thank you
Thanks Paula – I’m sure they said that about Jack Kerouac – especially the bit about the ass muscles.
Thanks for posting.
A good post, but what is your problem with Martins? Steve Martin? Martin Short? I mean, if they invaded your house they’d be funny, but hardly disasterous. I mean, unless you’ve got your bum tucked in, as it were. Oh well. Anyway…