Posted by kari.petroschmidt
Success is a matter of being able to overcome these psychological barriers because everyone, and I mean absolutely everyone, has moments of doubt, loneliness and vulnerability. If we ‘fail’ as a result of these sentiments that is entirely human and understandable. No one is infallible. But undoubtedly success is largely a matter of who can overcome them most efficiently.
Psychological tricks can be helpful. Not tricks really, more understandings. For example, and as Graham again asserts, perhaps it’s better not to focus too much on your ambition/vision, as doing so too easily leads to you feeling overwhelmed by the task at hand. Kind of like, you can’t see the trees for the forest. As Graham states,
“I think the way to use these big ideas is not to try to identify a precise point in the future and then ask yourself how to get from here to there, like the popular image of a visionary. You’ll be better off if you operate like Columbus and just head in a general westerly direction.”
This says something too about embracing the unknown, the ambiguous nature of the world we live in and the ultimate impossibility of ‘control’. As Jobs states, “you can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”
So too, we can put things in perspective. We have some pretty basic, shared fears. The Buddhists list them as follows:
1. Fear of death
2. Fear of loss of livelihood
3. Fear of unusual states of consciousness
4. Fear of loss of reputation
5. Fear of public speaking
True, fears 2-5 can be scary as hell. But they pale in comparison to fear #1. But if we conceptualize it correctly, it can be more liberating than anything. Bringing it back to Steve Jobs; “Almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.”
As human beings we are our greatest obsession and we constantly compare our insides to other peoples’ outsides. But what are we in the face of our ultimate extinction and in relation to the rest of the universe? Whether we fail or not is really irrelevant. What matters is doing it anyway.