You Never Win by Dabbling
I was fascinated by a story recounted by Michael Hyatt on his This is Your Life podcast a few weeks ago. He shared a story about a Tony Robbins seminar he attended where Tony challenged a member of the audience to “try.” Tony asked the woman to try and pick up a pencil at her chair. She reached down to pick it up. Tony scolded her, “No, I said try to pick it up, I didn’t say pick it up.”
The lady stared back at Tony confused, then she reached over to pick it up. Again, Tony stopped her, “No, I said try to pick it up.”
Embarrassed, the woman sat in her chair and did nothing. Tony remarked, “Now you’re doing nothing. I didn’t ask you to do nothing, I asked you to try and pick up that pencil.”
“I don’t know what you want me to do?” The woman threw up her hands.
“Exactly!” Tony responded. “It’s impossible to try to do anything. You either do it or you’re don’t!”
Have you ever tried to do something? Have you dabbled in something before? I have, and it never ends well. Many of us have unfulfilled dreams because we make the common mistake almost everyone makes when we desire to pursue something new in our lives. We dabble. We try something new, but we never fully put ourselves out there, because we may fail and people will notice.
Dabbling gets us nowhere and only confuses us and those around us. If we desire something and want to enhance our lives then we must make a choice. Do it or don’t do it, there’s no “in between” status that will lead to a path of success.
I enjoy writing. I thought I wanted to write a novel and for several years I dabbled with a few stories and spent a few months writing and then a few months doing nothing. A few years ago, I made a decision to complete an entire novel and spent the bulk of the year creating a story and actually finishing it. Then, I sat it aside and started this blog, why?
I had to face the reality of my situation and phase of my life. I’m the sole income earner in my house with a young family. Now was not the time for me to breakout into a career as a novelist, but I still could be a writer, so I shifted my focus. I had to discern how I could write and still earn a decent income to support my family’s future.
I started a blog and began to express myself in weekly posts, like this one. I began to pursue projects that allowed me to write and express my thoughts in conjunction with my work life and so I wrote my first book, nonfiction, which aligned with my current career. I felt fantastic!
I wanted to be more than just a writer, I wanted to expand my reach and elevate myself as a communicator, which meant becoming a public speaker. I enjoy adding value to people through writing and speaking so again I had to make a choice. Become a full time public speaker and take on the risk of going out on my own or align my desires with my current career.
I began offering to speak for free at conferences I was already attending. A few organizations took me up on my offer and I gained experience. I started to speak publicly on a regularly basis and built some momentum to the point one day someone asked me, “How much do you charge?” so I made up a figure and they asked me to come speak to their organization and actually paid me to deliver a message. At that moment, I became a professional public speaker.
Today, I continue to work hard for my employer and I also communicate through my writing and speaking. I study the art of writing and learn all I can about public speaking while continuing to provide for my family. I’ve had to give up things in my life to pursue these efforts, but I’m satisfied with the arc of my life and take comfort that I stopped dabbling and began doing. How about you? Are you dabbling in something? Why? Make a decision to do it or move on with your life, but stop dabbling and make a decision!