Friday, November 18, 2016

FAILURE TO LAUNCH

      Why is that some people get an idea, and they’re off and running, while others sit on the idea for months, even years, wondering whether it would work? They do nothing. I suggest that these people suffer from “Failure to Launch.” If you can’t move on an idea, get started on a project, there just might be an element of fear involved—fear of failure, fear to risk, fear of the project consuming you, fear that you don’t know the magnitude of the project’s demands, so you just stay paralyzed even though you really want to begin.

     I am an idea person. I may discover the idea through a stimulating conversation with a friend, or an inspiration might just emerge from a beautiful painting I see or a piece of music
I hear. It may come from watching an old lady pay her bill at the grocery store or a young woman sitting at a table alone in a restaurant. The idea might inspire a topic for my blog or a new slant on my stage performance. I am already launching before I define the project. Others may feel the same motivation, but they can’t get past the launch pad.

     The obvious difference is fear of risk. Many people are afraid to shake things up. They don’t welcome change. They fear the unknown. They are afraid to waste time worrying that the end will not produce a sure thing. I embrace the process; not the result. If I spend months on a project that never reaches its completion, I determine its value by how much I enjoyed the process. For me it’s a win/win. I have learned, enjoyed, grown by trying something new and perhaps unconventional, and if I succeed, that’s a bonus. If I don’t, I’ve had fun all the way.

     According to a highly-respected medical doctor who specializes in brain research, the Republican brain embraces tradition. These people will fight to their death for what they feel is “the way things should be.” The Democratic brain is more likely to embrace change. Consider the slogans, “Let’s make America great again.” The word “again” implies the way it was when we were all happy with the way things were traditionally. As Democrats have fought for gay rights, women’s rights, equality for minorities, they have embraced change. The latter group is risk tolerant; the former risk averse. Simplified, of course, but food for thought.

      How about you? Do you embrace change? Are you afraid to try new things for any of the above reasons? Do you sometimes feel bored or stuck as a result? Do you rationalize failing to launch because you’re “too busy,” “too tired,” “too preoccupied?” What would you “launch” today if you knew the process would be so much fun that the end result wouldn’t matter?