The Lie of the Moment

I love how when we see other people’s stories, we make excuses for them about how easy it was.

What’s hilarious about this is that, for ourselves, we don’t look at the advantages– just the obstacles.

“Oh, but it was easy for him, because X, Y, and Z,” we say. “You and I don’t have those advantages anymore, though– it’s harder for us.”

For ourselves, it’s like “Oh but I can’t because,” and for others, it’s “That was easy for them because.”

Pretty hypocritical, right? (Unintentionally, of course.)

Reminds me of Hugh McLeod’s phrase, “Don’t compare your inside with somebody else’s outside.”

It doesn’t help that everything is mythologized from far away. We see only a fraction of someone’s life in their bio, or hear about it from others, or read it in the history books. We assume it was this perfect, instant moment of success. But it never was.

It’s usually a slow process, tons of perseverance, and lots of moments of quiet doubt. Yes, for everyone.

During those moments, many people quit. They say they aren’t cut out for this, or that the time isn’t right. But that isn’t the case at all. Just like courage– the conquering of fear– is often mistaken for its absence, success is more about persevering through doubt, over and over again.

“That just isn’t possible is this economic climate.”

“This is just too much work, for too long.”

“I can’t handle this, I just can’t do this anymore.”

But the truth is: Yes, you can.

They did. So can you.





5 responses to “The Lie of the Moment”

  1. Kevan Avatar

    Great post! I spend large parts of each day thinking about much the same thing. My problem is not one of lacking potential or creative ability, but one of laziness and lack of confidence. There are always countless reasons not to do something, but when measured up to the reasons for doing it, they vaporize. Its difficult to remember that most of the time. I am beginning a very conscious and intended psychological shift in my thinking. It has become a virtual reflex to automatically take the back seat and coast through life waiting for change to splatter itself on the windshield. No more! As you put it in an earlier post, structure and self-motivation are essential. In class I used to often feel frustrated reading great books and learning of great people – why is there no class to help me become one of these great people in my own eyes? Suffice to say, the profs never really had much of an answer other than “good question”.

    I’ve been reading/listening since 2006, and I’ve seen you come a long way in those years. Congratulations on your book success. You’re a great positive force, thank you for putting yourself out there. Cheers!

  2. Whitney Avatar

    Every time you say you can’t, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. What we need is more people who hear “You can’t” and say to themselves, “Why? That’s crap- Watch this!” and go out and use that hurdle as a springboard to something even better- the audacity of of be willing to try and to show up the doubters and naysayers.

    That’s how you level up.

  3. Bryan Entzminger Avatar

    Thank you for posting. I appreciate your insight and the Hugh MacLeod quote.

  4. Christine Avatar

    Nice. But for a minute there I thought I was on Tony Robbins’s blog 😉

  5. Tracy Lee Carroll Avatar

    There was a reason I didn’t read this until today — Timing is everything.

    Funny, when I used to teach art classes I had one rule, no one was allowed to use the word “can’t”. They could substitute it with, “I’m having trouble,” or “I need help,” but they couldn’t outright just give up and excuse it all away.

    In the famed words of Nike, Just Do It!

    Thanks for a good nudge.

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