Maybe I’ll get that job.
Maybe this relationship will work out.
Maybe I’ll find some peace.
Maybe. The deadliest word in the English language. The word we use when we don’t want to say yes or no. Maybe is a word that has no commitment behind it. It is a word of inactivity.
Some friends and I were talking about our goals and what we wanted to do. I mentioned that I might end up working overseas or I might move out west. Indecision. The question begs asking. What have I done to remove maybe from this decision? How many trips have I made to the places I would like to work? How many people have I sought out that are doing the work I want to do? If I haven’t done the hard work of removing the maybe, then I shouldn’t complain when I’m stuck in the middle of it.
So how do I go about removing maybe from my vocabulary and my life? The immortal words of Bob Newhart come to mind, “Stop It!” It is that simple, unbelievably hard but simple. That may be over the top, but it drives home the point. I have a choice. I can either stay in the arena of inactivity or I can “stop talking, [and] start doing.” I can either live in the maybe, or I can stop it, and do something.
We all know our willpower will only get us so far, so we need help to reach this goal. If we don’t get help, we are just kidding ourselves saying “this time it’s different.” So on those days when I get lazy and want to wallow in indecision, I need backup. I need friends and family to come alongside and encourage me to do those things that have been on hold. To look at me when I say “maybe” and tell me to “stop it.” When I’m talking with my grandchildren, I want to tell them about all the things I did, not all the times I said maybe.
*When I wrote this last night at Starbucks, I would have never thought that @chrisbrogan, @jeffgoins and @chrisguillebeau would all post something in the same vein this morning. Great minds think alike and I was just late to the party.