I was recently talking with someone pondering a life transition. I’m thinking of starting a business, she mused. I hear you need to have four income streams to really make it work… She furrowed her brow and looked at me for validation.
No, I told her. You need to dream.
Now is not the time to fix problems you don’t have. Now is the time to envision what you want, or even think you might like. Tomorrow will be there to tweak and tinker.
Later I was talking with my daughter, who wants to travel. Now that she has a steadier job with paid time off, she can afford to take a trip once in a while. She was looking at train packages, but wasn’t sure whether to book a 3- or 7-day trip.
I wanted to tell her, it doesn’t matter.
See, here’s the thing. If you aren’t certain what “it” is, there are no income streams. If you don’t know which direction you’re headed, it doesn’t matter how long the trip is.
Dream before plan. Decisions first, then details.
That’s hard to do, though. Details make us comfortable. They make us feel certain. But sometimes we’re just not at the point of certainty yet. We’re sailing around Uncertainland trying to drop an anchor. How ‘bout picking a harbor first?
If you’re feeling this, please know that I get it. I’ve been going through my own change in direction lately. Something is shifting in my creative work, and I don’t know exactly what it will look like when it’s all said and done. Something has to give, and right now it’s me. I’m craving certainty with the best of them.
But that’s not the Order of Operations.
When solving a problem, whether algebra or life: simple before complex; dream before plan; big picture before details. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it feels uncertain. And that’s exactly why you should do it.
So if you’re in a point of transition, take some time. Do some browsing or brainstorming. Mull it over or talk it through. See what feels right. There’ll be plenty of time for details later.