How To Open A Door
Dearest door openers,
I’m writing to you from my favorite local coffee shop early on a Monday morning. Since arriving about 20 minutes ago, I’ve just about reached my daily coffee limit (which, if you’re wondering is approximately half of a single cup) and have had total of -3 (yeah, like less than zero) good ideas.
As an entrepreneur (and just like…a human being in general), I’ve come to trust this predictable occurrence as part of the creative process. So–what do I do to pass the time?
I’d like to tell you that I do something cool and/or productive, but most of the time, I honestly just end up becoming a living, breathing host of everyone’s favorite expression, “the blank stare”–you know, the one that’s a mix between creepy, sleepy, and “is she okay??” Yeah, that one.
My door observations
Anywho, today I cast this less than cute gaze towards the heavily trafficked doorway of the shop (probably not the best first impression for new patrons, but oh well). This door, like most doors, has to be opened to get in or out. However, unlike most doors, this door is very old and it really likes to stick–which, you can imagine, poses a big problem for those with hands full of lidless hot coffee and precious plates of baked goods.
So, what does my blank stare observe countless people doing as they approach the door? They stop about two feet in front of the door and silently craft a strategy on how they plan to open said door without tragically donating their snacks to the floor.
Everybody is successful with the task at hand in their own unique way. Surprisingly, I’ve yet to see anyone fail the mission. But what do each of these successful, door opening people have in common? (hint: it’s the reason why I’m writing you this…)
The lesson behind the door…
Each person says three things to her or himself:
- “I have to stop because I can’t walk through a closed door.”
- “I want to open this door, but my hands are too full to do that right now.”
- “Okay, I’m going to have to shift the contents of my hands a little bit so I can open the door without spilling my snackiepoos.”
In other words:
- They pause.
- Then, they realize that, in order to get where they want to go, they’re going to have to change something about what they’re currently doing.
- Finally, they course correct.
After observing this a few dozen times over, I’ve come to realize that this simple example holds three irrefutable truths for making progress and moving forward in any realm of life: pausing, admitting the need for change, taking the steps necessary to make that change happen.
It’s time for some self-reflection
Today I use this simple example to challenge you to ask yourself…are you honoring each of these three truths as you decide what you want from your own life?
Are you pausing to ask yourself what you want or where you want to go in life? Are you regularly auditing your daily life to determine what habits and/or activities are preventing you from getting where you want to go? If so, are you working towards making the change(s) needed to move these obstacles out of the way?
If not, I’m here to let you know (ever so kindly and gently), that you’re probably not going to get very far from where you are at this very moment in time.
Simply put, in the words of two of my favorite sayings…
If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results.
Pretty powerful, huh? It’s amazing the realizations that come from 20 minutes of blank stare mode (which, I guess, turned into something productive after all…)
In what ways can you use these three simple truths to clarify and direct your own life right now? Click here to connect & share them with me. I’d love to support you, help open doors for you (both literally & figuratively), and most importantly, ensure that you don’t spill your snackiepoos on the floor.
P.S. Right as I finished writing this post, a little girl approached the door. A few seconds, audible grunts, and unsuccessful twists of the handle later, she shouted across the shop to her mom “how do you open this?!?!”
I silently thanked her because she reminded me of an important #4. If you try to course correct and realize you don’t quite know how and/or keep failing on your own, reach out for help!
Asking for help and, consequently, making progress, is a WAY more efficient and less frustrating use of time than spinning your wheels and feeling stuck on your own. Don’t you agree?