Talk about lucky. I shudder to think that but for the luck of the draw, I could have been born Garfield the Cat instead of a human being. I can’t tell you how happy I am that I have a human brain. Even more important, I have free will, and the only limitations on that free will are those that I choose to impose on it.
Good news: You, too, have been blessed with free will. And because of this unique human gift, you need not be stifled by “adversity,” “problems,” or “obstacles.” Each of these is, in fact, nothing more than a language-based way of referring to a fact or set of facts. Through free will, you have the capacity to intellectualize, plan, conceptualize, and find creative ways to negate adversity, solve problems, and overcome obstacles.
What I’m talking about here is resourcefulness. Resourcefulness is what I like to refer to as an “expansive mental paradigm.” All this fancy term means is that when you take action, particularly bold action, the boundaries of what you believe to be possible (your belief system) expand. Which, in turn, gives you the capacity to consider new ideas, new possibilities, and new concepts that you previously thought to be impossible (i.e., outside the boundaries of your mental paradigm).
The motor of resourcefulness is action, and what unleashes action is an individual’s willingness to make mistakes — even to look foolish or stupid. Remember the ad where Michael Jordan said that he missed something on the order of twenty-two game-winning shots? He then added, “I succeed because I fail.”
Or, as Robert Kiyosaki, author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, put it, “Winners are not afraid of losing. But losers are. Failure is part of the process of success. People who avoid failure also avoid success.”
I think a good definition of an entrepreneur might be “a person who makes a living finding ways to overcome problems and obstacles.” And a good definition of a successful entrepreneur could be “a person who becomes well off by finding ways to turn problems and obstacles into opportunities.”
When you take action, you don’t need to worry about making mistakes, because it’s already set in stone: You will make mistakes. And, guess what? You’ll also make them if you don’t take action.
The only difference is that when you take action, you’re on your way to accomplishing your objectives. I say on your way, because action puts you in a position to learn from, and correct, your mistakes as you go along. On the other hand, inaction is likely to flood your mind with stressful “what ifs” and have you scratching your head in confusion.
When you play the “what if” game, you demonstrate that you’re afraid of failure. That certainly was never Bill Gates’ problem when he ran Microsoft. His strategy was to get the company’s software out to the public as quickly as possible — bugs be damned — then, down the road, figure out how to deal with the bugs and the predictable customer backlash. The biggest Microsoft haters would have to admit that this strategy has worked out pretty well for the company and its shareholders.
If you succeed at converting action and resourcefulness into habits, the combination results in enormous personal power. These two habits can offset — even overwhelm — almost anything and everything you do wrong. They are so important that you might just want to pin the following formula on your wall — and make it a point to send me 10 percent of the earnings you reap by putting it to use in your daily life: ACTION + RESOURCEFULNESS = POWER