I recently watched this video during one of my YouTube binge sessions. This guy, Colin Furze, built a flying bike. It’s this kind of unrealistic futuristic stuff that is inspiring to me as an ex-engineer. Video can be found here.
My Immediate Reaction
My immediate thought was “That would be awesome to have. Bummer that I can’t get one of my own without spending a considerable amount of time, effort, and money.” Then, I became jealous of how lucky this guy is to own one. Later, while clicking through the rest of his YouTube channel, I realize that he has built dozens of neat toys like this over the years.
Most makers would be thrilled owning a handful of these to play with in our garage. I wondered, “Why does he keep building new toys even though he already has all this cool stuff?”
He Doesn’t Want the Cool Stuff
I think the answer is that he doesn’t create to have the cool stuff. It’s great that he gets to play with it, but more than just the end product enthralls him. He is mesmerized by the challenge of building them. That’s why, over time, he makes cooler and crazier gadgets. Not only does he continually succeed at creating them, but he also succeeds at increasing his online following.
I believe that this passion for building, improving, and learning is why he and so many others succeed. While others end up getting lost in the weeds of achieving their goals.
What’s Your Mindset?
I am rereading a book called Mindset by Carol Dweck, and it discusses the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset. A person with a fixed mindset roughly believes that characteristics are set in stone once we are born. On the other hand, a growth-minded person understands that they can improve their personal components over time.
Fixed mindset people tend to aim for a position or goal while growth mindset people engage with being challenged. Ironically, the growth mindset people have a more enjoyable time reaching their objective because they want to improve themselves to get there. Individuals with a fixed mindset hit obstacles between where they are and where they want to be. Along the way, they are continually beaten down and hindered by the distance between locations.
It’s All About the Journey
The adventure wouldn’t be half as fun if we just teleported from where we are to where we want to be. However, always dwelling on the gap between the two places isn’t beneficial either. How do you develop a growth mindset and stop concentrating on the space? I highly recommend you read the whole book Mindset, but these are the two abstract concepts I’ve gleaned from the book.
Love The Process
My friend recently told me, while studying German, that she wanted already to know how to speak the language. Knowing the language would save her from having to do all the work to get there. This sentiment was a red flag for me! I told her that if she is ever going to learn the language, she would need to love studying it. Since language is an infinitely complex subject, one will never know everything. By being a life long learner of the language, my friend will want to continue to improve over time.
Throughout the process of working towards your goals, you will face hindrances. If you love the process of getting over obstacles, then you are far more likely to succeed than those who only want the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. A desire to improve is far more valuable than seeking the result.
Acknowledge & Accept New Challenges
Secondly, search for experiences that are outside of your comfort zone. The only way to get better is to challenge yourself regularly. Play against tougher athletes, work on projects you’re not sure you’re qualified for, or write stories which make you uncomfortable. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone, and you will find, over time, you are better.
I am weak at applying this concept. My comfort zone is comfortable, after all, that’s why it’s there. I have found my stride in certain aspects of life, and I rarely venture out of them. To combat this issue, I write down objectives I want to conquer in the upcoming weeks. If/when I don’t pursue them I study why I didn’t. This process causes me to address the fear of failure and refocus on the challenges I want to face.
I believe if you understand this concept of mindsets, which sounds simple but has layers of complexity, you can achieve far more than those around you. Remember don’t write a book for the fame, don’t start a blog for the money, and don’t cut costs to save a lot. Write because you want to see your work in the world, blog because you want to reach an audience, and reduce costs to increase your happiness.
There is far more to life than just the goals we set. There is the path to the goal, and what comes after we reach it. The road is far more enjoyable and valuable than the destination.
When armed with a mindset enthralled with the process you can engage with the system of getting there. You no longer focus on the end goal but the steps along the way there. However, be careful because when focused on taking your next steps, you might find yourself walking past your original goals. 😉
Photo Credit: Kraken Fireball