“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth. Not going all the way, and not starting.” Siddhartha Gautama
As humans, we experience a wide range of emotions, see Plutchik’s wheel of emotions above, and one of them is FEAR. I have my share of fears and have written about some of them here (flying & grace) and on my Positive Kismet blog (childhood & writing). The fear of dying, public speaking and the fear of failing are probably three of the biggest fears that most humans grapple with. But there is another that we don’t quite call a fear and it is probably bigger or perhaps I should say, more common than the three mentioned earlier — the fear of starting – something new, something different, something out of the box, something against the norm or even innovative.
Even as bloggers, we come to our page everyday and have to make a decision about what we write; Is it safe? Is it controversial? Is it thought-provoking? Is it relevant to our niche/theme/group consciousness/karma quotient … and on and on? We weigh our options, check in with our barf meter and call the shot on what we deem news that’s fit to print. As humans, we worry about all kinds of things and even when we acknowledge our fears we still worry. But the bigger question remains: What are we afraid of starting and why? 🙂
Today, I took a moment to read through a new book by one of my favorite authors, Seth Godin, and it is this new book that inspired this post. The new book is called Poke The Box and it is a book that both challenges and encourages us to push past our reluctance to start things that matter to us; even in the face of enormous fear. It is “a book about taking initiative; a first step to creating change.”
Seth Godin is a bestselling author, has written 12 books, writes a daily blog, and recently made huge waves in the publishing industry when he left the traditional route and started his own imprint, The Domino Project. Poke the Box, is the first book published under his imprint and is available via The Domino Project. He also collaborated with Amazon to offer the book in two formats; hard copy and kindle also now available.
What I enjoyed about the book is that he challenges us with questions and insights that will make us think about why we truly hold back. For instance: if you were invited to give the talk of your life, as TED Talks invites one to do – What would it be about? or If you could build anything (without worrying about resources and stuff) what would it be? He asks other provocative questions. He offers real life examples of people who poked the box, took the initiative to try a new way, do a new thing and even if failure loomed, did it anyway.
Poke The Box is choc-a-bloc with inspiring, motivational tips, stories, questions, quotations and insights on the subject of starting and failing and starting and succeeding and doing it again and again anyway. But we have to decide first if we are ready to take that leap… or as Seth often says … ready to ship. Actually, the decision is not whether to take a leap and start but to just leap anyway. To just Go for it. The results will amaze us and we will be stronger, more resilient for having tried. I encourage you to poke the box and read Seth’s book. Following our dreams depend on it. What are we afraid of? What is holding you back? What are your thoughts? 🙂
Have you started a project and abandoned it because you were afraid of public opinion, reactions from your friends, colleagues, enemies? What are you doing about it? Do Share!
Positive Motivation Tip: Until we try, we never know how far we can go and grow. Even failure is a great teacher and motivator. Poke the box!
- Amazon.com: AK Stout’s Review of Seth Godin’s “Poke the Box” (sayingitsocial.wordpress.com)
- Poke the Box (familysynergy.wordpress.com)
- The Book List: ‘Poke the Box’ and ‘The Thank You Economy’ (successful-blog.com)
- My Life As A Domino – Poke The Box Review (jonburg.com)