The title of this blog is a phrase that is older than I am but it still rings true most days for each of us. I was listening to the good ol’ fashioned radio the other day and they were discussing things they’ve been putting off. They made it a contest of sorts to see who between each of the radio hosts as well as any listeners was willing to call/text/email in their own personal stories in an attempt to see who had put something off the longest. Much of what they referenced had to do with an array of large home improvement projects to minor tasks around the house. Nonetheless, it got me thinking.
I heard examples ranging from someone needing to simply change a light bulb above their pool table, yet the new light bulb remains on the pool table as it has for 6 months. Another story was of a wife who tore out the carpet in the main level of their home, in hopes that her husband would replace the flooring, all supplies had been purchased and the man speaking even made mention to having the time to dedicate to the job, but years have gone by where they live with the sub-flooring exposed. The story of a husband who remodeled the entire kitchen for his wife 2+ years ago but there is one drawer that is missing the hardware. The same hardware that sits inside the drawer waiting to be installed.
The reason I am bringing these examples up is, while these were all funny and made light of on the radio, we each have our own stories we could contribute, of things in our lives we’re putting off…I’ll enlighten you with a couple of my own. A few months ago, we upgraded our WIFI router to one that I refer to as the spaceship, six people in a family with multiple devices warrants the “need” for a higher quality router than the one provided by the company from whom we purchase our internet. My husband and I pay $5.00 a month for the previous router and yet neither one of us makes the time to call and return said router to the company. I realize $5.00 isn’t a lot of money, to some people, but it’s still a waste of money for something collecting dust in our home.
On a professional note, there are days that I should make phone calls to new and existing clients, some days I make sure to reach out to folks and when I do, I’m always happy I did, but other days the thought of “cold calling” or picking up the phone can be daunting…
Right now I’m re-reading a book I’ve read a few times. That book is The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John C. Maxwell. In the very first Law, The Law of Intentionality, John references there being these Growth Gap Traps and this chat on the radio station brought them to the forefront of my mind. Those stories seem silly but each one of us struggles with one or more of the Growth Gap Traps. To highlight a couple that I personally struggle with, even though all eight of them have been on my list at different points of my life, The Perfection Gap and The Inspiration Gap are two at the top most recently.
The Perfection Gap: This is described as making sure we find the absolute best way to do something before we do it. Logically, we all know no one and no thing is perfect and yet we allow this to slow us down or all but stop us from moving forward. My husband and I are working on something that I think is going to be huge for us and all the people we come into contact with. It’ll really launch his career forward and kick mine off on the right foot. But I am a person who pays attention to detail, sometimes to a fault, and I have let this slow me down in my pursuit of something larger. Don’t do this, folks. We have to get our feet wet before we can fully submerse in the lake. If we make a mistake, that’s ok! Warren Bennis says that “A mistake is simply another way of doing things.” After all, Thomas Edison didn’t know how to make a light bulb work until he found out 10,000 ways it didn’t.
This now brings me to the other struggle I have had lately;
The Inspiration Gap: Let’s be honest, as I write this it’s December… it’s cold, we live in Michigan, it’s been gray most of November and a lot of December…some days I just don’t feel like doing life. Does anyone else ever feel this way? I know you do as I’ve heard people speak of lacking motivation. I’ve also heard the line “you cannot motivate another person, you can inspire them, but true motivation comes from within”… what do you do when there is no motivation coming from within? You do it anyway.
John Maxwell says “Motivation is not going to strike you like lightning. The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation. Just do it.”
“I don’t feel like working out” Do It Anyway – you’ll be grateful you did;
“I don’t feel like making cold calls” Do It Anyway – your business will grow if you constantly reach out to new and existing clients;
“I don’t feel like meal prepping” Do It Anyway – your waistline, energy level and budget will thank you!
These are just a few examples..
I don’t come to you here with all the answers, I come to you as I’m on my own growth journey and constantly being made aware of where I need to grow. I read this book for the first time, 7 years ago and again last year and am now picking it back up again. I find each time I read it, I am taught new concepts and ideas, some I’ve thought of before and honestly, just not implemented into my life, and some are newly realized after having gained some perspective… Ask yourself, “what am I putting off today?” While you think of that, I’ll go return the WIFI router. Like Nike says, Just do it.
Be well my friends, Leigh