At some point we all see a problem and create a mountain out of a molehill.
I’ve heard of people over-thinking a simple problem to a point of analysis-paralysis. They end up creating their own obstacles , finding excuses and skirting the problem without solving it. Its a terrible position to be in.
Today I got to see my dog face this conundrum and its NO different to what some people (or entrepreneurs) do.
I was training my dog, Aki, to go through a hula hoop. If he went through the hula hoop, he had a perfectly delicious treat (his favorite) waiting for him on the other side. That’s it… simple right? Well it turns out he is shit scared of hula hoops. But why? He loves hiding under beds, running into dark closets, crawling into his low and tight crate, etc. These are all tight spaces that are hard to get into and hard to get out of.
The hula hoop was huge, all he had to do was lift up one paw, cross it over to the other side, then lift up the other paw and do the same… the rest was just followthrough. The treat on the other side was meaty, smelly, juicy, its a dog’s dream. But nothing got Aki to budge.
I took a video of him trying to go through the hula hoop, here it is:
I was immediately fascinated. In fact, the dog trainer that was near me remarked at my excitement. I wish I could have spent just one moment inside of his brain to have a glimpse at his thought process. What was he thinking? What was holding him back? The reward way outweighed the risk of walking through a perfectly safe hula hoop. Why was he creating a non-existant obstacle and why was he over thinking this simple exercise? Man, was I fascinated!
I jumped up and did everything I could to help him through the damn thing and it took him a while to figure out that it was ok to walk through. Of course when he finally made it through the hula hoop he chowed down on his delicious treat and got a round of puppy-petting from everyone.
This got me thinking, do we do the same with simple business decisions? I hope I haven’t been a victim to this sort of analysis-paralysis. To my knowledge I haven’t been. What Aki went through today is the perfect analogy for the point i’m trying to make…
The next time you face a problem, just break right through it, you’ve got something better waiting for you on the other side. Don’t do what Aki, and no doubt thousands of people do everyday. Don’t over-think it and whatever you do, make a damn decision!