What Would It Take?

Years ago I had the opportunity to work on a book called What Would It Take?

The author is a kind, interesting person who took a break from hard tech to help entrepreneurs get out of the stress and chaos so many of them find themselves in as they figure out how to run their business.

The central question of the book is ‘what would it take’?

I think about this question all the time, and in every context. It’s so simple: what would it take to finish this chapter today? What would it take for this workout to feel awesome? What would it take to be kind to this person?

I love it for two reasons.

One: it’s totally constructive. It focuses your mind on solutions, rather than all the objections and excuses that let you off the hook from even trying.

Two: it lets your imagination get involved in your problem-solving process. Your answer might not be feasible right now, but it gets you thinking outside the box of what’s immediately obvious, so that you can reverse-engineer a good solution.

It’s also one of the best ways to start building a creative habit when you think you can’t.

Maybe you think you don’t have time. Or that you don’t have the resources you need. Or that you’re not good enough at it yet, or that people will judge you.

What would it take to make it happen? The answer could be any number of things:

  • Get a babysitter or cleaner so that you have more regular moments to work on your thing
  • Get up earlier on weekends before things get rowdy to get an hour or two done
  • Go to the store and buy the stuff you need (journal, pen, canvas, paint, ingredients, sneakers — whatever it is you need)
  • Figure out how to start without relying on specific items
  • Get a coach, tutor or accountability buddy to make sure you do it
  • Find a place to work that’s away from prying eyes (local cafe, bar, the shed in the yard, in a park, beach or field)

What would it take for you to do more of what you love?

Spend some time with this question over the weekend. What have you been putting off because [enter your reason here]?  What did you do previously that you now miss? What makes you feel like yourself?

What would it take to do more of that, and to do more of it right away?