The Symptoms of “Maybe”
You ever gotten stuck in indecision? Or, you ask somebody to make up their mind about something and they can’t muster up anything more than “maybe”?
On a related note, why do deadlines and countdown timers work in marketing?
Well, here’s the thing…
Yes or no leads to flow. Maybe gums up the works.
Get THE EDGE Sent To You Every Monday!
Be sure to subscribe (for free) to have The Edge sent to you automatically every Monday morning. There’s some extra goodies in the email version you won’t find here in the archives. Just sayin’. 🙂
You will not be redirected from this post when you subscribe, so you can keep reading.
There’s this thing called the “state of flow”. I’ve seen a lot of personal development types talk about it. It is defined as:
“A mental state of operation in which a person in an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.”
This is a great state to be in. It is a state of action. It is a state of games. We’re getting things done and we are enjoying every minute of it.
The real keyword there, though, is FLOW.
Energy is meant to FLOW. Energy that doesn’t flow is just a charge, but the real magic happens when it FLOWS.
The way computers work, the only two decisions possible are yes and no. On or off. Every transistor inside our computer processors is basically a simple switch. On or off.
Computer algorithms work on this principle. But, if you ever tried to write a program or algorithm that doesn’t result in that, you know it gets “stuck”. It is like an infinite loop. It never ends.
Us humans work that way, too. Sure, we’re different from computers in multiple ways, but life works on FLOW. It is a constant energy flow.
What stops FLOW is the arbitrary. It isn’t a yes or a no. It is a… MAYBE.
Not making a decision. Not just… deciding.
Maybe’s are a stop. It is a halt. It is the opposite of a state of flow. A maybe is a blockage to your mental energy and instead of a flow, we get a built-up charge.
What then happens is that tasks back up. Our mind wanders. We begin to feel overwhelmed and confused. And it is all because we’ve parked off energy into these stuck charges.
Imagine if, for instance, that your mental capability could be divided into 100 units. If you can apply all 100 units of you toward something, magic can happen. But, as you let these maybe’s stack up, each one begins to park off units of your mental capability as stuck.
It is like having a computer process hang up until you have to use Task Manager to quit it. But, the more and more this happens, your mental bandwidth reduces. You have less of YOU to apply to things… because more of YOU is stuck in these hung-up processes.
What are some real-world things that represent these maybe and stuck processes? Well…
- Emails you keep your inbox because of an undone task, a decision unmade, etc. These emails can stack up to a point where your email inbox is literally a source of stress.
- Papers and junk all over your desk, each one kept there because you had some undone task or decision unmade and you put it off.
- Projects in your life which have halted because you came to the point of a decision and didn’t make it. So, it is hung up at that point.
- Closets packed full of junk you keep “just in case”. Some people’s garages and attics are crammed full of maybe’s.
All this are real-world manifestations of MAYBE.
They’re stuck processes.
They’re not yes/no decisions anymore. There’s no state of flow there, just a stuck charge.
But, each time that happens, there’s a little part of YOU which gets stuck there, too.
You ARE energy. You are designed to FLOW. But, if you keep parking yourself off in these little maybe’s, you make yourself smaller.
And it sucks. Trust me, I’ve had days where I’ve been quite unproductive and I ended up wasting time on Facebook or something… all because there was some task that I was indecisive about and didn’t know which direction to go with it.
I got stuck on “maybe”.
So, what do we do about all this?
Next week, I’ll share an exercise with you.
You might already have an idea of the theme.
You’ll get a big headstart, though, if you spend this week and the upcoming weekend just finishing up stuff you’ve let sit undone around you.
Free up some energy from those stuck flows.
Yes or no leads to flow.
Oh, and real quick…
At the start, I mentioned why deadlines work in marketing. Well, it’s simple.
People don’t easily make decisions. Giving them a hard deadlines forces them to make one. Either yes or no. And, either decisions is better than a maybe.
That’s really all there is to it.
In a case of “good timing” since I mentioned the Advanced Custom Fields plug-in in the featured post on the blog, it looks like ACF was recently acquired by a company with a funny name: Delicious Brains.
I join a lot of others in the WordPress community by not only congratulating them on the acquisition, but also hoping it means good things for ACF. Because, it is truly a useful plug-in.
If ACF ends up getting too commercialized, keep in mind you’ve got alternatives like PODS and Metabox.
I know I’ve seen plugin acquisitions go badly for end users before. One example was the Google Analytics Dashboard plugin. It worked great, but was acquired by ExactMetrics. They basically ruined it by removing all of the features and instead turning it into a massive upsell process to sell their Pro version. I wrote this post to help people find alternatives.
So, we’ll see what happens. 🙂