No, this isn’t an episode from Seinfeld, or for those of a certain age, I Love Lucy. It’s about how important nothing is. The first important context about nothing is the unmatched benefit of starting initiatives with a clean slate. Think about what your work – indeed, your life (but I’m not going there) – would be like without any baggage. No issues with people, no constraints on possibilities, nothing to preserve. It’s all good, and then you have the luxury of choosing among and pursuing the best. Alas, the real world doesn’t always permit it. But try starting every effort with the perspective of considering what would be possible if you indeed had a blank canvas on which to work. That perspective will yield insights into potential breakthroughs that would be hidden behind clutter masquerading as necessities.
The second distinction about nothing is the empowering action when you play like you have nothing to lose. One reason why immigrants make great entrepreneurs is that they often arrive with nothing, having already risked everything for a fresh start. Then with nothing to lose, they work hard to make a success of their endeavor. If you don’t feel at risk doing something, then you may not be making a bold enough commitment to achieve something important, to make a difference.
Finally, your path to achievement starts with an acceptance that almost all work requires abilities that are not innate, that you start at zero and work from there. More on that in my next post.
How have you embraced nothing?