Friday, July 16, 2010

At Least Try!

Not much drives me crazier than when someone says: “I don't want to do it because it is too hard.” Worse, is the phrase “I can't”. Are you kidding me? Are you that lazy? At the very least, TRY!

Where would we be if the Pilgrims had decided that life in the New World was too hard, gave up, and let themselves die? Or what if during the American Revolution, the Revolutionary Army thought that beating England was too hard? What if the World thought it was too hard to stop Hitler? It seems on the surface that the people involved in these situations had no choice; that it was a matter of life and death; they had to try. Wrong, they still had a choice. The Pilgrims could have given up and died that first winter. The Revolutionaries could have succumbed to British rule, and the World could have let Hitler become its leader. I know that these are extremes, and maybe you don't think they are practical examples; but, it's a matter of scale.

At work, I am currently changing the way that we create and translate our manuals. The changes I am initiating take a lot of set up. This is an extremely difficult process. One that could catastrophically fail. Sometimes when I stop to think about it, I get nervous and wonder, what will happen if this fails. Would I lose my job? Probably not. Would it look really bad for me? Absolutely. But, I can't think this way. That kind of fear can cripple you. It destroys the creative process. So, I don't dwell on what will happen if I fail, but what will happen when this works? When these changes succeed, our documents will be more standardized, we will save money on translations, and most importantly the documents will be more accessible to our customers.

Regardless, the outcome isn't the important thing. It's the journey that makes the person. I can't remember if I first heard that from Zig Ziglar or Jim Rohn. It really doesn't matter. I just know that if you try something and it doesn't turn out as planned, you will still gain from it. You just have to open your eyes to see what that IT is that you are gaining. I've had my share of things go awry and learned a great deal from those experiences. I will be sure to let you know the results of the changes I am implementing at work and what I have learned in the process.