New Year's Challenge, Day 7

falling-glass.jpg

Picture this: From the corner of your eye you detect a glass is starting to tumble and will fall from a table onto the floor. Now freeze this image in your mind.

Sometime around 2001 Toshiba invented a tiny little miracle of technology that could store a lot of information in very small amount of physical space. It could both write and retrieve information very quickly, but who really cares? Digital storage had existed for decades. It is a technical and boring subject, and worse yet, Toshiba created this tiny storage device with no real use or project in mind. 

Sometime around 2001 the Apple team under the leadership of Steve Jobs set out to build a music device better than the ones available on the market at the time. Apple needed to find a business edge, but who really cares? Business development is a boring subject, and worse yet Apple did not own the technology to make such a plan happen.

Sometime around 2001 the teams at Apple and Toshiba got together, talked their boring technology and business development talk, put the tiny miraculous and orphan storage device together with the impossible idea from Apple, and created something that changed the world as we know it. The original iPod was born.

Our world is not defined by technology or by business visionaries. It is defined by people who are determined to act upon a goal without understanding its full picture, but with confidence they will get it done. The engineers at Toshiba pushed ahead not because the iPod was eminent. They didn't wait for a full plan from a client accompanied by a full risk analysis of the impact of developing a tiny storage device. They simply knew they were the best at what they did, and there was no other possible outcome for their action other than success. Apple designers, engineers and business staff didn't wait for technologies to show up at their doorstep to start working on the hundreds of pieces needed to build an iPod. They concentrated on action and went to work knowing success would follow.

Let me ask you a question: How many times have you said, “(fill blank here) already exists? I thought I had invented it and would make a million bucks selling it!” The reason this happens is because through evolution the world around us eventually makes every idea obvious. When an idea becomes obvious it is already too late to be considered innovation. Those who invent and act on anything before it is possible are usually those who reap the benefits of being called revolutionary innovators. 

Today I challenge you to live an action based day. Simply act. Execute. Don’t wait until you understand something in its entirety before pursuing it.

Return to the frozen image of glass falling from table for a moment. Unfreeze that image and allow the glass to fall. It is simply impossible not to reach for it and try saving the glass from breaking, right? You are naturally programmed to act, and once you have engaged in action based living, you will feel it is just as impossible not to act upon the goals you choose to adopt.

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