Thursday, July 02, 2015

Don’t Dig up in Doubt What You Planted in Faith

I can’t begin to count the number of times I thought of a great idea for a new product or a new way to solve a problem and then quickly shrug it off. Then, a couple years (and sometimes only a few months later) I discover that someone else who had that same idea and actually did something about it, turned it into reality. Has that ever happened to you? If so, you’re not alone. It is said that most people kill their dreams before they are even born. I’m definitely one of them. However, thanks to some inspiration from many people, I decided to pursue this idea of creating a coloring book. I had no valid excuses not to try. What’s the worst that could happen? I would be the only one who likes the book and I would gain experience from self publishing my first book. That’s not so bad. And what’s the best thing that could happen? On top of that, others would also be able to enjoy the benefits from coloring in a new book made by me. So I went on and produced it. I took a couple steps toward my goal and then, almost at the finish line, doubt started to creep in: Should I really do this? Steven Pressfield, in his book The War of Art, calls it the Resistance. In fact, he said that it’s at the finish line that Resistance is the strongest. I can attest to that. I felt it. Fortunately I found a way to overcome it. 
Our ideas are in such a fragile state at the beginning of their implementation that it’s best not to talk about them too much until they are strong enough to withstand criticism : criticism from ourselves and from others who cannot possibly see our vision. When you do something for the first time, it’s easy to find all kinds of reasons why you shouldn’t do it. Coincidentally, I came across this quote at the right time from Elisabeth Elliot which said “Don’t dig up in doubt what you planted in faith”. It really resonated to me and reminded me that we have to give our ideas a chance to grow. 
Our ideas are like seeds. These seeds can turn into plants that represent our vision, what we imagine will come out of those ideas. Once we’ve planted a seed, all we have to do is make sure we give it the right amount of water, sunlight and time to grow into the plant we envisioned. And just like a plant, our idea takes work, care and time. When we let doubt dictate our actions, we essentially start digging the seed out of the ground before it has a chance to grow. So I kept at it, and finished the book as planned. There’s still a lot of work for me to do, but I’m happy to say that the book is not only available on Amazon, but it’s already in the hands of people in Canada, the US and the UK!

What are some of the ideas you have that keep reoccurring in your life and that you keep killing before they get a chance to take root? How would your life change if you carved out 15-30 minutes a day until the end of the year to give that idea a chance to grow? Why don’t you give it a try?