Starting trouble?

By Geoff Kelly
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It’s time to cure the curse of ambiguity, says Geoff Kelly

Our world is increasingly complex. And this is making many less certain in crucial decisions.

More and more we are seeing critical delays and avoidance by people at all levels just not sure enough about what to do next about their most pressing issues.

It seems that we have less time to think, but more to think about. And this is part of the problem. We are allowing complexity to destroy our momentum. Too often we aren’t even starting.

“…until we are committed, we are hesitant. But once we do commit the world moves to support us in our quest. Things happen we could never have anticipated. We see things and get resources that make our task easier. Everything seems to fall into place.”

And not starting until we know more is perhaps the most toxic behaviour that cripples careers, organisations and essential strategies of all kinds. If we don’t start we won’t finish, so not deciding to start and getting on with it is effectively a decision not to finish.

So whatever ambiguity we feel, our most important action is to start now even if we feel we don’t know enough. Because clarity comes not from figuring everything out on a complex project. It comes once we have made a decision to start, a commitment to get on with it. Then we start to see more than we ever did.

German Philosopher Johann Wolfgang Von Gothe has a stream of famous quotations about this. Part of this in outline is that until we are committed, we are hesitant. But once we do commit the world moves to support us in our quest. Things happen we could never have anticipated. We see things and get resources that make our task easier. Everything seems to fall into place. We miss all of this when we don’t commit.

So one solution is to decide that every challenge isn’t equal. Relatively few things make the most difference to reaching any outcome we want. Therefore we can choose to sacrifice lower order priorities to ensure we put the time and focus into achieving the outcomes that are the most important to us.

Then commit to start, with what we have and where we are. That’s when magic happens.

Pick something important and get it started today. And let me know how you did.

 

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