By: Ethan Maurice
You know that rare moment of clarity you get every once in a long while? That 30 seconds of brilliance, many times beyond the ordinary capacity of your brain, where you undeniably know you should do something. Maybe you just fully grasped a situation, can see beyond your fears, have an idea to create something great, realize a untouched niche in which you could start a business, or know you need to change a certain aspect of your life.
I had the brilliant idea one day to ride a bicycle across the United States to raise money for a non-profit children's hospital that saved my life. I had no idea what to do or how to do any of this (besides ride a bicycle). That same day, I just decided I was going to do it and kept progressing towards my goal. By the time I finished, I was an expert at bicycle touring, charity fundraising, conversing with strangers, TV interviews, and bicycle maintenance. I won a $10,000 scholarship, wrote a featured journal, had my photography published, raised nearly, $100,000 for my cause, inspired others, gained so much confidence, and altered the entire course of my life. Did I have any idea what was going to happen? Nope, I mostly feared getting hit by a car or my efforts going unnoticed.
When that moment of brilliance hits, scramble to write it down, text it to yourself, or find some other way to remember what it was and why you should do it. Moments of clarity like this usually don't last. Societal pressures reemerge and your fear of failure returns. As you continue to mentally chew on the thought, you will naturally come up with excuses and reasons why it would be too difficult, why it might not work, and what would happen if you didn't succeed.
Unfortunately, this is where most people get stuck. They play the “What if...” game, make excuses, and ultimately decide to put it off until later.
“What if it doesn't work out?”
“Now's not the right time in my life to do it.”
“I'm too busy.”
“Someday I'll get around to it!”
Sadly, more often than not, acting upon your brilliance is put off indefinitely until “someday” comes around and all the conditions are finally prime for action. The problem is “someday” doesn't exist. Someday never comes. Your idea never becomes reality and instead the thought of what could have been haunts your mind. Think about it, everyone has those opportunities they missed. That person you never asked out, the stock you knew you should have invested in, but decided to wait, the great idea you had and one day saw someone else profiting from it.
You must make a leap of faith. To decide to start now, despite the unknown and the fear of failure. Tell a friend about it, plan out what steps would need to be taken, and dammit, START TODAY!!!
Every day, do at least one thing to get closer to what you want. Whether you walk or run in the same direction, you will eventually end up where you're going. As you get closer, your unwarranted fears will fade and unknowns will become known, boosting your confidence and allowing you to pick up the pace.
So follow that dream. Take the first small step towards it today and tomorrow take another. When you get that rare moment of brilliance or that great idea, don't let it escape. Follow it. You'd be amazed where it can take you.