Imaginary Barriers

Think of all the stories we tell ourselves that hold us back. “I’m too old”, “I didn’t go the right school”, “I’m too short”, “I’m not good-looking enough”, “I can’t take the risk”, “I don’t have the right connections”, “I’m not creative”.

We all have fears and doubts. Even Ghandi. Even Steve Jobs. Even Barack Obama. One of the key differences between those that do extraordinary things and those that don’t is the courage to move ahead even in the face of adversity. They have the same imaginary limits that we all do. The difference is that they recognize these fallacies for what they are – imaginary demons that can be confronted and conquered.

“That’s all good, but I didn’t go to Harvard”, you might say. Well neither did Joseph Hudicka . Not only hasn’t he gotten into the “right” college, he hasn’t even made it to middle school yet. That’s because Joseph turned eight years old in January, and is already a high-tech businessman. Dubbed “The Little Entrepreneur”, Joseph created a new video game (a fusion between checkers and hockey) called Puckz. With a little help from his parents, he built an iPhone and iPad version and now sells his game in Apple’s AppStore.

What is Joseph talked himself out of going for it due to his age or his inexperience as an entrepreneur? What if he “played it safe” and just focused on baseball and French fries like most other 3rd graders? Come to think of it, what if Thomas Edison held his ideas back? Or Picasso? Or Martin Luther King?

Thinking of your own situation what do you do with your creative ideas? We all have dozens of ideas each day, but most of us hold them inside – too afraid to look foolish or make a mistake. This is a tragedy because creative expression is a talent we all have, and one of the most rewarding aspects of life. Letting your ideas and imagination out is your way to leave your fingerprints on the world. To make a difference. To create something larger than yourself.

This week, try to keep an eye out for your imaginary barriers. Those twitches of self-doubt that get in the way of your progress and your ideas. Look those ugly monsters right in their yellow eyes and don’t back down. Your courage will make them evaporate, and you can get on with changing the world. Joseph Hudicka did it at eight. What are you waiting for?