Are you perpetually preparing to be prepared? Preparation is the first step to pretty much any change we’re trying to make in our lives. And it’s energizing, as long as we don’t get stuck there.
For example, I wanted to start a raw vegan diet. So, I got a good blender, got all the produce for a week and I was all in. I was in the preparation phase and I was enthusiastically optimistic. Then a heavenly scent from my neighbor’s grill wafted over to my side of the fence. Suddenly, I didn’t feel like doing the vegan thing anymore.
Or the time I was finally going to get in shape! All I needed was the gym equipment I ordered off late night TV. It would be epic. Life-altering. That one piece of equipment was all I needed. I was convinced I’d look exactly like the model from the infomercial if I bought this machine. I was feeling pretty good about my weight loss goals. But the half-life of my excitement was very short. Not long after the equipment arrived, it sat in the corner collecting dust.
We all do this in one form or another. Not just in terms of diets and weight loss products but with everything.
I’ve met a few people who say they want to do voiceovers. They buy a decent microphone, take a few lessons and some even build a studio. Then I see them years later and they haven’t made a demo, a website, reached out to clients or agents, joined any voiceover auditioning sites or even opened the mic. Let me say this as a disclaimer: I’m NOT putting them down. They are doing the same thing I did with my juice fast and my Zumba DVDs. You can buy tools to help get you where you wanna go, but it is up to you to actually use them.
They, like me, are in a state of preparing to prepare. So how do we break this cycle?
What gets us from A to Z and not just A to F? I think dropping the notion that some tangible object is going to make everything fall into place is a good start.
When I started my business in 2006, there are several tools I thought I needed in my arsenal. Some of those tools worked for a while. Others are now obsolete and still others were never necessary at all. I have a $4,000 paper weight on my equipment rack (a Telos Zephyr Xstream ISDN Codec) which was in its hay day was (for me) an absolute necessity. It paid for itself multiple times over, but now it is selling for peanuts on ebay.
There’s nothing wrong with buying equipment if we use them to reach our goals. The problem lies in believing that the tool alone will get you there. My advice is to map out what you hope to accomplish before making those purchases. Then only get the tools you really need. Make darn good use of them once you have them. Discard or sell them when they are no longer helpful.
Anybody want to buy a used Telos Zephyr? Zumba DVDs? I’m kidding. But I have found that I work out more often now that I’ve decluttered my home of gym equipment. I think not having it here makes me go to the gym more often. I’ve shifted my thoughts surrounding my fitness goals. It’s still not perfect, but I’m no longer in preparation mode. I feel like I’m in doing mode. It takes effort, but we can all release the need to constantly prepare and make those goals happen by doing a little bit every day to get us there.