As we puttered around the shop yesterday a warning label on a folding bench caught our eye – “Beware of pinch points”.  While the literal meaning was obvious it took on a much for figurative metaphorical meaning at the time due to ongoing events and general lack of motivation that day.  Thinking on it more throughout the day it gave rise to this blog article, one that is both self-reflection as well as points of thought on the challenges to stay positive and motivated in day to day life as a maker or just in general.  Here are some thoughts that spiraled out of this simple warning label that I hope others may find helpful…

Roadblocks & Hurdles

The difference between a roadblock and a hurdle is perspective.  You can stop, go around, or jump over.  There is no one right choice.  It comes down to weighing risk vs reward to make the right decision at the time.  Don’t let the negatives or the positives completely sway you, there is usually no right answer, but options and alternative outcomes.

If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. – Michael Jordan

Risk vs Reward

When it comes to most decisions we try to take take a look at the risks vs rewards.  However, it is all too easy to focus on the downside and come out with an unbalanced review.  The downside is easy, excuses mean we don’t need to take on the work to do something.  We often create excuses as a subconscious way of giving up before we even begin.

As with anything it comes down to making a decision and it will rarely be a balanced even one.  How much risk you are willing to take will depend on many factors – family, savings, age and many more.  The key point is you can never avoid all risk, to move forward there will always be a chance of failure but doing nothing moves you nowhere.

If we as humans only took on the sure thing, safe projects we would not have seen the development of the airplane, landed on the moon or evolved from cave dwellers.  There is lots of failures along the way but in the end, the few that try and succeed move everyone forward.

Find the right time and right project and give it a try.  Not trying is merely another definition of failure. The downside is accomplishing nothing.

There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction. – John F. Kennedy

Fresh Set of Eyes

Getting stuck especially when you are working alone can be a common problem.  It is easy to go down a path with blinders on and not see obvious alternate routes.  Having a fresh set of eyes can be helpful to help stop you to look around.  This can be guidance from those both within and outside of the topic area you are focused on.  Sometimes the best solutions come from outside perspectives.  So try and seek input when you reach a roadblock but don’t make it the only advice, take it as one more factor to consider in the bigger picture.  Advice is easy to give when you have no direct vested interest so it needs to be taken as such.

A fresh pair of eyes can often find problems. – Mike Simpson

Finding Motivation

In the end, we all make decisions in life, both in what we do and how we approach things.  Again there is no one right answer for every one, two people may approach the same challenge is drastically different ways and find success or failure in the end.  It is all about doing what makes you happy in life.  Just don’t get caught in the pinch points, any decision is better than no decision.

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