I was reading something from a runner I followed online for a year or so, Tom at Mindhacks.com. He was talking about an experience he has while rock-climbing. I thought about it, and it actually relates well to other areas of life too.
Tom was saying that he frequently has an experience while rock-climbing in which he finds himself stuck in a situation that doesn’t offer any good hand holds to help him move forward. Nor backward even. In his mind – he’s stuck, there’s no real option that exists at that moment in time because his mind is limited to not seeing any options. Everything that he wants to advance toward is just out of reach by only a little bit. Enough that he knows if he tries to go for a big stretch he’s going to fall.
I’m no expert, but I climb some simple routes. Climbing rocks is strange because you really don’t have all that long to find your next hold and get there before you run out of strength. It’s always a matter of time… superman would run out of strength at some point if he was stuck.
As the mind searches – confidently at first and then frantically before the body runs out of energy to hold him where he is… something must happen.
What happens is he realizes he has feet. He stops looking for handholds – which might be two or three feet away and starts looking for a new foothold to support him. A new foothold means he can move just a little bit. Maybe it’s only an inch or so. That might be ALL IT TAKES to enable him to see new hand holds from that new vantage point.
One inch in any direction might the the key to getting the whole way up the mountain, ridge, whatever he’s climbing.
One inch in any direction starts the ball rolling and it brings to the surface new possibilities.
If you are truly stuck where you are – and you probably aren’t, you’re just blind to the possibilities that exist, you might need to move an inch in some direction. Doesn’t matter what direction – go backwards if you can’t go forward or parallel to where you are.
I was sitting here at my notebook computer thinking about how I should post something to Aim for Awesome because it’s been a few days. I have been smashed between some big SEO projects and I really want to give my clients the best I can so I’ve been consumed by them for the last week.
I didn’t have the slightest idea what to write about ten minutes ago. I was stuck. I stepped an inch by telling my friend what my problem was. Not expecting any answer, just wanting to share with her the strangeness of not being able to switch gears from SEO mode and optimizing websites for Google and being creative enough to write an article about something interesting for all of you.
She said immediately, “Don’t you have a stock of article’s you’ve already written that you could use?”
Initially I tried to play it off… “Yes, but I just don’t feel like editing one and making it live.”
Then I realized – wow, she gave me the answer… let me take the ball and run (or jog at least).
I said, “OK, let me open up the folder and see if anything jumps out at me.”
This article did. It reminded me of climbing, which I’m really starting to love… that was just enough to get me interested in reading Tom’s article again and then writing up this one for you.
Go an inch – any direction and see what happens.
If you’re ever stuck in any situation try it. Move an inch.
Moving an inch might equate to:
- Making one phone call.
- Talking to a friend about it.
- Taking one less sip of your bottle of scotch tonight.
- Trying a different style ad on your web site.
- Cutting your hair off.
- Picking up the next phone call instead of ignoring it.
- Giving a pregnant woman begging for money $10.00.
- Going outside to exercise instead of on your stationary bike.
It could mean anything, depending on the situation you find your self “stuck in”.
Frequently I think we’re not really stuck – we’re blinded to possibility. Possibility exists in every situation. Sometimes we’re just blind to it.
Open up your eyes by moving an inch any direction and see what happens…
Best of Life!