When I was in the residential real estate business, we had guru that taught agents how to be successful. He once said that every wall has a door. If we knew that about life, would we fear tacking situations before we could see this door?
The trick I have learned is the door becomes apparent once you are fully engaged. If we could see the door every time we had a great idea, who would ever hesitate? The small difference between those entrepreneurs and adventurers that jump often and people who never take risks, is that entrepreneurs are confident they will see the door once they are engaged.
I read a description of entrepreneurs in which one said it is like jumping from an airplane and then putting on the parachute. I jumped from an airplane once with a parachute that would not open until the chord attached to the plane pulled it open. I would never do that again.
When I teach beginner surf students to jump from the lying down position on the surf board to the perfect standing up position, there is a second when you don’t know what is going to happen. If you don’t land it just right you fall in the water. A lot of people won’t let go of the board to stand up. They ride with their feet on the board, but there hands still firmly attached in a bent over position. There is a moment where faith is needed that the process demonstrated on the beach actually works. Until you release your hands and stand up, you are not stable and you are not surfing.
Life is like this. There is that moment of courage often needed to begin. That which we dream about probably needs us to take the first step. I didn’t give medical school much thought because I felt I couldn’t pass nor would I enjoy the science classes. The two go hand in hand. Sometimes if we have too much fear about how we will do, we don’t want to begin.
I have jumped into many ventures because I wanted the result. My strong drive to achieve the result inspired me to engage or practice. Every time I engaged I got better. As I improved my skills and familiarity with my activities, they became more fun. I have often developed passions which increase my commitment and dedication. Improvement leads to mastery.
One of the secrets extreme athletes have learned is that practice toward mastery leads to a state of flow while engaged. Flow is the engagement in skills in which we have competence and after barring distractions, we enter a state of bliss and peak performance. The brain pumps dopamine as our reward. This may be the state in which man achieves his peak potential.
Flow is not restricted to extreme athletes. I seek flow states. Engagement without distraction in an activity I like and have basic competence is the only requirement. I can get into flow while writing, riding my bike, cooking, reading, and surfing. Flow is the state of passing through the door. The secret to finding the door is developing mastery in activities we like or for which we have passion.
Successful people. entrepreneurs, athletes, professionals, and artists all know that there is a door in that wall and there may be lots of walls in which you have to keep finding the doors. This is why they don’t hesitate to engage in their vision. An entrepreneur that gets a new idea knows there will be challenges and he won’t see them all until he engages.
Fear becomes an emotion that often tells us we are facing the right challenge.