by Tallent Show, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
The movie series, “Lethal Weapon” started when I was in high school. Through the last of the movies, released long after I finished college, one of the themes between Riggs and Murtaugh was when to do whatever ridiculous thing they planned to do. The discussion was always, “We go on 3. OK, but do we say 1-2-3 and then go, or do we say 1-2 and go instead of saying 3?” Sure, it became old over the 11 years from the first movie to the fourth movie, but it is a good question. When do you go?
There’s an interesting article online from Ben Casnocha, which reached me through Linked In, called “Leap when you’re almost ready.” I don’t know him. From what I can tell, he’s a business guru who writes in the field of what I would call Industrial/Organizational Psychology, but what he probably calls management. He’s an entrepreneur. I Googled him and skimmed 15 pages of results without finding anything unpleasant.
Mr. Casnocha makes an interesting argument. He recommends making major changes, committing to serious new endeavors, when you feel “almost ready.” He says that you will never feel fully ready, so start the new adventure – the new business, the marriage, the baby – when you feel almost ready to do it. In other words, don’t wait for “3” because you will never feel completely ready. Go on 2.
It’s a good idea. How would you know if you are ready, or not, to do something that you have never done before? We’re not talking about something stupid, like buying a new house when your company is planning layoffs. Instead, we’re talking about situations when we can see most of the variables, have asked the questions and obtained the answers that we can get, and the move looks reasonable, the expected outcome is realistic and positive, but we are just not 100% sure.
We can prepare for what is certain and ignore what is impossible. Those things that seem possible, good or bad, are what scare us. We are not acting on faith when we are certain, any more than we have courage without danger and fear. Readiness is that time when we have what need for the next big step, even if we do not know that we do, and we some small measure of willingness to take that step.
It reminds me of one of the funniest passages in Scripture, God’s call to Moses in Exodus 3-4. Moses is properly scared and argues with God, “I’m not good enough/I don’t know what to say/What if they don’t believe me/I’m not good at public speaking/Please send someone else?” If you’ve ever had one of those, “Guess what? I’m calling you and it’s going to shake up your whole world, but it will be good in the end,” calls from God then this passage is hilarious. I hear you, Moses.
He, and we, are called to a new challenge, one that we do not know if we can meet simply because we have not seen it before. We don’t know what resources we will find in that new place, or what we will find in ourselves, to overcome the challenge.
This topic also reminds me of a great song from DavidWilcox, “Hold it up to the light,”
and two good quotes:
“Leap, and the net will appear.” - John Burroughs
“Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.” Basil King
You’re never going to be certain in foresight, only in hindsight. You may never get to or hear 3 and the questions will answer themselves, so go on 2.
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