Let me introduce you to two very intriguing characters.
The Philosopher and The Practitioner.
The Philosopher will:
- explain the problem,
- weight the possibilities,
- analyze the probabilities,
- intellectualize the motives,
- present possible paths,
- give enough solid reasons to not try it out himself and
- leave it for the Practitioner.
Whereas the Practitioner will:
- find the first decent plan of action,
- will do the work, put in the hours,
- invoke the sacred practice of trials and errors,
- get results,
- tweak and tinker on that feedback and
- win (regardless the project fails or succeeds, the experience will be real, almost-quantifiable, highly-valuable knowledge).
For many philosophers – the good ones at least – action means “doing” the thinking, that’s why their thinking is sometimes so advanced, and is downright annoying to us mere mortals.
And for many Practitioners – the good ones at least – philosophy means the feedback that they get from their actions, and the facts they observe while “out in the trenches”, and that’s why for many “armchair critics”, the Practitioner’s ideas are too “far-fetched” etc.
The Classroom Vs the Trenches
For example, Steve Jobs or Richard Branson may not be “Philosophers” per se but their philosophy is evident not in their treatise but in their seemingly ridiculous ability to keep taking new and different action. They are Practitioners to the core! And guess what, most of their advice flies in the face of what we are usually told.
Consider the following:
“An opportunity is like a bus. If you miss one, there is another one coming” – Richard Branson.
and the classic:
“Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” – Steve Jobs.
Both quotes fly in the face of the supposedly conventional wisdom we are taught in the classrooms and our homes.
- “Opportunity knocks but only once” is plain wrong as per Branson’s observations.
- “Curiosity kills the cat” is possibly only for cats, because according to Steve Jobs, one should always remain curious and more importantly, unafraid of failure.
For all intents and purposes, we need to be Practitioners. That’s where the action is. Literally.
Instead of “armchair philosophy”, let’s go out in the field and get some work done, shall we? So let’s become a Practitioner. Action takers. Doers. And let’s start by learning directly from them.
The Mighty Protocol of Superior Beings
Practitioners (entrepreneurs, adventurers, achievers, whatever) have this way of working, this Mighty Protocol that they follow.
All successful people, in any field, may it be business, spiritual, physical, anything, follow this protocol. They all follow this methodology.
The Mighty Protocol of Superior Beings is to embrace Trial & Error.
The secret is to take consistent action. Be dheet (stubborn) and be smart about it. Perseverance is being stubborn (dheet) without the tantrums i.e. tactfully stubborn. Perseverance Commands Success.
But how do you take consistent action? What does that mean, in real life? A lot of people try once. And as any Practitioner will testify, one try is not enough. You need to keep at it. Keep trying. If you fail, try something else; if you succeed, they move on to better things. Trial and error.
If the Might Protocol of Superior Beings means that you get comfortable with Trial and Error, then how do you handle the weight of failure?
Experiments and Adventure
Considering everything an experiment gives you the distance you require. It sets your mind up to treat failure as nothing but a result of an experiment.
- Edison famously said, after FAILING a 1000 times to invent the light bulb, that he now knows 1000 ways to not make a light bulb.
- The book Chicken Soup for the Soul (which I haven’t read) was rejected more than 140 times before getting published. Now that book has spawned a million dollar industry in itself.
- Harry Potter fans will appreciate the fact the J. K. Rowlings was rejected 9 times before a publisher accepted to publish the first book. We now know what happened to the Harry Potter franchise.
- Colonel Sanders was rejected hundreds of times for his silly chicken recipe before someone bought his idea and we now have KFC all over the world.
These are stories of people who tried many times before they found success. When would they have stopped, I used to wonder?
What would have happened, had JK Rowling stopped taking action on, say, the eighth rejection slip? But then again, the Mighty Protocol of Superior Beings makes the answer plain: one more failure is just another result of the experiment. You simple try again. Change one or two variables, and try again. And again. Change something again, tweak here, fix there, and try again.
This is the strategy. This is the attitude that you need. Everything else are details – tactics- that you can – and eventually will – figure out. But DECIDE to give this dream of yours a SERIOUS TRY through the wonderful, chaotic, joyous approach of Trial and Error.
Is this easy? Obviously not. But one of the easier ways is to be the scientist, the adventurer. To experiment and to enjoy the process.
I know for a fact that this Mighty Protocol of Superior Beings applies to EVERYTHING I do. Will you join me in reminding ourselves that we need to keep trying, keep adjusting and keep winning? God willing. Will you remind others to follow this Mighty Protocol of Not Giving Up On Your Dreams?
This is YOUR life. You are entirely responsible for it. Decide that from this day forth, you will take action to be closer to your dream.