Updated: Jun 3, 2020
Ani Pearman, Co-founder EfeX Center, LLC USA
David Thomas M. Ed (TESOL), Learning & Curriculum Trainer @EfeX Center
Resourcefulness is an ability to find quick and clever ways to overcome difficulties. There are five steps to being resourceful:
- Think Inside The Box
- Just Do It
- Don’t Despise Small Beginnings
- Resourcefulness Habits
Let’s look at the second step of being resourceful:
Just Do It.
Have you ever had this problem? You’re excited about an idea or a project to do and then when you’re about to do it, it is hard for you to start. Here are three most common reasons for not ‘just getting on with it’.
The first is a fear of failure. Fear of failure comes from desiring perfection. Perfectionists have a tendency to overthink. They are constantly questioning, second guessing, and evaluating the task to the point of having “analysis paralysis”, or the inability to make decisions.
Do you feel you need to have everything correct before you start? If it’s cooking, you need to have the right recipe, ingredients, and even the correct cooking utensils and the right day to do it! If it’s an online business you’re trying to start, you need to have the right photos of your product, the right words to say, the right platforms to put your ads on, and you wonder if you would even make money. You over think it and never start!
Please know that perfection is the enemy of resourcefulness! Perfection is important- no doubt about it. We want our dentist and surgeons to be perfect when they perform operations. But even good doctors and dentists make timely decisions with the (imperfect) patient they have in front of them.
Just Do It! Just start anyway. Starting is the first step, and by starting it, we are actually making a move toward a solution, which can be perfected in the next steps. If you fail, just learn from it. Make a relationship with failure! Don’t overthink it. A recent Stanford study suggests that over-thinking not only impedes our ability to perform cognitive tasks, but keeps us from reaching our creative potential as well. Failure only exists when you don’t start, or don’t finish a task.
Feeling overwhelmed is another great obstacle to progress. If you do have a tendency to worry about the enormity of the challenge, then divide your project into small, manageable tasks and put deadlines for each. Be patient with your process. Remember that resourceful people always learn as they go. Cook with easier recipes until you’re ready to tackle harder ones. Start selling your online products and see how others do it and learn to get better. Learn from YouTube. Remember this for your children too. If they don’t want to do something because they feel it’s too difficult, adjust the level of difficulty with them. For example, if they can’t write one chapter then start with one paragraph. Most importantly, we all need to Just Do It!
The other enemy to ‘Just Do It’ is a lack of motivation. Low motivation causes apathy and procrastination. Why are you lacking motivation? Maybe you don’t consider the project worth doing. Or, perhaps the benefits aren’t clear. Can you think of some part of the whole task that is interesting? Being resourceful means being flexible. Substitute an idea with something else that will work better for you.
Repetitive work becomes a time trial.
Difficult work becomes a series of challenges.
And if you have to start something first to get that, be willing to do it! So, find the part of the task you like and Just Do It! All of it!
Let’s close with a story of a resourceful man and the invention of the ice cream cone!
“…Many accounts trace the beginnings of the ice cream cone to the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
One popular legend tells of an ice cream vendor named Arnold Fomachou whose product was so popular that he ran out of bowls in which to serve his tasty treat. But as luck would have it, his stall stood near that of a resourceful waffle vendor named Ernest Hamwi. Hamwi rolled his product into the shape of a cone, as a container for the ice cream, and voilà, history -- and a tasty treat -- were made. The idea of a portable, edible ice cream cone became wildly popular and soon ice cream vendors all over the fair began selling this ingenious combination.”
Hamwi just did it! He didn’t overthink it. He just wanted to help his friend solve a problem. He didn’t think if it was going to be a success or not. It didn’t have to be perfect, it just had to work immediately! Sometimes, “just do it” ideas lead to great inventions! ‘Game changing’ inventions need time to develop, but the starting point that is crucial for success is often occurs when someone is willing to ‘just do it’!.
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