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Publish365 015: What if?

One of the most potent pieces of advice I ever heard came from the Godfather of Making, Jimmy Diresta. In a discussion on his podcast Making It about people who fail to launch in various ways, he said something interesting: people’s default way of thinking is usually “What if everything goes wrong?” That question can be paralyzing to the average person and cause them to do nothing just to avoid the potential for failure, but a question that could motivate you to move in a certain direction is “What if everything goes right?”

If you think about it, the difference is huge. Asking what if everything goes right is clearly an optimistic question, but it’s also a question that drags you forward, assuming that there is a potential for major positive upside. Even if some things go poorly, you’re still going to end up in a better position than you started in (or if you did nothing). I try to apply this one regularly because I’ve learned, if nothing else, that often your own mind is your worst enemy and can talk you out of things or shatter your confidence with ease. For me, I like to call it the ”c*ntvoice.” It’s the nasty voice in your head whose only goal it is is to paralyze you with fear, indecision, and uncertainty. If you want to dismantle it, shut it down, and go on with your life it’s super-easy: just do it.

The c*ntvoice is only powerful when you allow it to influence you. Merely whispering in your ear is a useless act if the recipient, you, aren’t doing anything with the things you’re hearing.

If you want to do an experiment of your own, I highly recommend you take this as advice. In your planning process you will undoubtedly game out all the outcomes. Try to lean toward the rational positives rather than the irrational (or even the rational) negatives and see where you end up. My guess is you’ll end up in a better place, having started something you wouldn’t have, and happier for having done so.

And that’s when you win.

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