Today’s art: G.G.’s Favorite, 20 x 16, Oil on Canvas. Sold
Today’s Soundtrack: Framed by Death, Brown Out
“All great changes are preceded by chaos.” ~Deepak Chopra
Here’s how I think success goes: Dream > Goal + Effort + Chaos = Achievement!
No one seems to talk about the chaos part of an achievement. That’s what I want to talk about today.
I think if there was one piece of advice that I could have received throughout the course of my life that would have helped me be more successful, this is would be it. We need to teach our children this. It’s about being prepared for chaos.
I first learned of this concept while reading the book Switch by brothers, Dan Heath and Chip Heath. As they do throughout the book for most of the concepts within, they broke this down simply and eloquently. I’m paraphrasing, but it’s basically this:
Every project has the original vision, that would be a beginning point, and it has the final end product. It is a fallacy that the line from the vision to the end is a straight one. That’s often how we look at it. And why shouldn’t we? We’ve made plans, sketches, blueprints. We’ve plotted, schemed, and figured how it will be paid for.
The problem with that particular business model is that it makes no preparation for the inevitable chaos. And if you don’t know that this is coming, you may very well panic when it arrives. Maybe panic isn’t the right word. Maybe you might feel discouraged, or overwhelmed.
So, the Heath brothers, gave a visual to this concept. Simply put, every project is shaped like a “U.” The top representing the beginning and the end, and the bottom of the U representing the chaos.
Oh, the bottom of the U!
Maybe you know someone that has half finished projects everywhere. Perhaps I just described you. 🙂 I can think of two real life scenarios as examples. The first is, whenever I am painting a subject that requires precision, there is a point in which I want to take the painting and fling it like a Frisbee across the room. That’s because I’m at the bottom of the U. Things have not come together yet. I haven’t achieved my final result yet. But I’m getting tired. I’ve lost some momentum. And I’m getting impatient. I may have incorporated some negative self talk.
The second example is remodeling. Take a kitchen remodel. The new kitchen expands it’s size by removing a wall, the sink will be completely moved, and all cabinets and flooring replaced. If you walked into that kitchen, the moment after all the cabinets, the sink, and the flooring had been removed, and the wall had just been demo’d, rumble and dust everywhere, it might take your breath away.
In order to create something new, sometimes the old model has to be completely destroyed.
So, here’s the preparation for the bottom of the U.
- Keep a picture of the projected end result in view and look at it frequently. After all, this is the prize.
- Expect some emotion about the project. Reject negative thoughts. Replace with positive ones.
- Be patient.
- Have a deadline and honor it.
- Do not give up! The moment you want to give up is usually the moment you are beginning the ascent!
So, this is what I recommend. Take a look at one of your unfinished projects. Could it be you’re simply at the bottom of the U?
It’s your day. Go get it.