Never Waste a Good Problem
“That’s impossible.” I don’t know how many times I’ve heard those words. I don’t know how many times I’ve told myself that. “I don’t have enough money.” “I don’t have enough time.” “I lack experience.” “The competition is too big.” These are just some of the doubts that play through my head. But here’s what I’ve realized, while all those statements are true, it is NOT true that something is impossible just because there are hurdles. In fact, whenever people ask me the key to creativity or how I’m able to be prolific at the different things I’m into, I tell them that I don’t waste two catalysts of creativity: Limitations and Problems. I’ve seen more creative people come from contexts of limitations and problems than I have from unlimited abundance and complete security. One limitation is time. I only have 24 hours, so I meticulously plan each hour, and end up getting better at productivity per hour over time – though I still have a long way to go. Another limitation was my lack experience. It’s true. So I read a lot of books. A lot. And I read them because these pages share different experiences with me, and in a few hours a day I learn from the experiences of others. I also don’t have a lot of money, at least not the kind of money I’m planning to deploy to achieve our objectives, so we look for free things, we look for efficient things, we look for alternatives, and in the process we innovate. I don’t have as sharp a mind as I would like or the minds of people around me, so I simplify and simplify and distill. This has helped me grasp difficult ideas in bite size pieces and share them in ways relevant to normal people like me. My point is this: Don’t waste a good problem or limitation. Don’t waste them by accepting them as permanent or impossible to defeat. Don’t waste them by quitting, by not learning lessons, or by learning the wrong lessons (I’ll write about this next). Wrong lessons include learning fearfulness, bitterness, or unbelief. Instead, take your problems and limitations like an artist can take black and white yet make a beautiful illustration. Use them to force you to become creative, resourceful, innovative, and inventive. Again, never waste a good problem or limitation. Most people are complaining and whining and being defeated by their problems and limitations. By harnessing them instead to push you forward, you’ll discover that much of the things you believed you needed to succeed you don’t need at all. Best of all, when you can make beautiful things with black and white, imagine what you’ll paint when you’ve earned the spectrum of the rainbow.