You know the pile I’m talking about. It’s the one that comes from the giant box of Lego blocks and pieces you can buy that comes with no instructions, no picture on the box to copy, it’s just hundreds (thousands?) of pieces. When you pour that bad boy out on the floor, it’s a healthy pile of intimidation for sure.
Why is that so scary though? Shouldn’t this be the most liberating bit of Lego building? “I WANT TO BE ABLE TO DO WHATEVER I WANT” is something we hear from each other all the time, and yet when given the chance we don’t know what to do with it. It’s like a dog chasing a car—what would they even do if they caught it? The paralysis that sets in when we’re left to choose our own destiny can be scary because we’ve never truly thought deep enough about what we would do if we had the chance. What would I do if had the chance to do anything and new I couldn’t fail? Can you answer that questions truthfully?
The truth is, we can’t know what we want without trying to know. In the Lego building example, we have all the pieces at our fingertips and yet we’re waiting around for someone to hand us the instruction book, or worse yet, a Millennium Falcon that’s already been built for us.
That’s not how it works.
You’ve got to start building, you’ve got to learn—fail—learn more—fail again—learn even more—repeat forever. When you can ramp into the understanding that the future is unknown and it’s yours to create, the pressure of failure melts away. A failure is only a failure if you don’t apply what you learned from it. So how do you begin? Where do you start?
You just start.
Go ahead, start. Go, do it. Do something. Do anything. Anything is better than nothing. Nothing kickstarts creative discovery like starting to mine in your brain for what could be possible. If you can get to work and get out as many ideas as you possibly can, amazing things will begin to unfurl before you.
A lot of people believe they should be able to find the gems on the surface, where anyone should be able to stumble into them. The reality is if you want to find the real gems, you’ve got to dig. You’ve got to put in the work and really mine for that idea that no one else was willing to put in the effort to get to. Work hard, then work harder. It’s the one thing that *always* pays off.
So if you’re trying to figure out your dream, your next step, your purpose in this life . . . start. Any direction is better than a lack of direction. You have everything you need to start. All the Lego bricks are just laying there and it’s up to you to figure out how they all go together to build something. Don’t wait for the instructions, or someone to help you, just start.
Believe me when I say the destination isn’t as critical when you discover the journey is the part you really were looking forward to all along.