Let me tell you a story. One day I was thinking about how to reach more people. How to engage more people in conversations about change and overcoming obstacles. You see, I’m a big believer in the capacity of the human spirit to overcome obstacles and to achieve what can, at times, seem impossible. History is full of examples of people who have come from humble beginnings, risen above poverty, horrible circumstances, or impossible odds to achieve greatness. Look at Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, Winston Churchill, Martin Luther King Jr. and so many others.
So, I was pondering how to help people to see the seed of greatness that they have inside. The part of themselves that they may have abandoned, let go of, or forgotten about; dreams that have drifted by as people have forgotten that they are visionaries, explorers, warriors, artists, entrepreneurs, creators. I wrestled with this idea…How to reach more people? Then it hit me. The internet, the worldwide web which connects about 2 billion people together on this planet. So, I started to talk to people about my idea of blogging and reaching people through various social media channels and other technology platforms.
Here are some of the responses I received and my answers at the time:
- Do you know how to blog – No, but I’ll study people who are bloggers.
- Do you know how to setup a website? – No, but I’ll study how to do it.
- How about marketing? Do you you know how to market? – Well, I have had some experience with marketing, but I’ll study this too.
- What if people don’t read what you write? – Of course there will be people who won’t read what I write, in fact there will be some people who won’t like what I write. The larger and more well known something gets the more likely it is to be criticized. I’ve had experience with this before.
- How are you going to learn everything you need to learn to do what you want to accomplish? – I’ve spent years creating methods to accelerate my learning in subjects I’m interested in and have developed systems to absorb, retain and implement knowledge.
Some people were critical. Here’s what they said:
- There’s not enough time to do that.
- You won’t be able to have any time for fun.
- That sounds like too much work for me.
- What makes you think that you’ll be able to do that?
So, I honed my knowledge of building a website, blogging, creating images and content, direct marketing, search engine optimization, social media marketing and multiple other areas. I applied my accelerated learning strategies and have developed the website and blog that this post is on and will be launching a second website shortly which is oriented more towards marketing. While both websites are still being fine-tuned, I’ve built them while publishing a blog post five days per week, working full time and having an active social life.
Here are my three main points.
- You never know how to do anything new at first. So, just dive right in, be confused, be frustrated, be challenged and learn.
- Persistence pays off. People often quit when frustrated. Frustration is actually a great sign. It often means you are about to understand something. Develop an appreciation for frustration.
- People are not innately better than you, but they may use or have better strategies. So, learn better strategies. The best thing I ever did for myself was to master the meta-strategy of learning how to learn. It exponentially makes things easier. Not perfect, but easier and faster.
Here are two good sources that I think are useful on this topic:
Ryan Holiday and his book “The Obstacle Is The Way” – This will help you learn to see the opportunity in obstacles and uses the profound wisdom of the Greek stoic philosophers, who knew what they were talking about on this subject.
Tim Ferriss – His Blog and Books – He has three books, all of which are useful
Enjoy this 7 minute video clip summarizing The Obstacle Is The Way