In 2003, the Human Genome Project was hailed a massive success.
We’d officially mapped out the entire genetic makeup of human DNA, save a tiny percentage, with 99.9% accuracy. It doesn’t matter who you are, where you came from or what your mother’s maiden name is — scientists now know with astonishing certainty what you look like under a microscope.
But does that mean we can grow another you in a petri dish?
We’re still toying with the complexities and complications of recreating individual organs…let alone cloning an entire human being. It’s strange, actually…
We know all the ingredients that make up a person, down to the molecule. We also know the exact order and proportion those ingredients need to be arranged in. Yet even with all of that knowledge, we can’t figure out how to make a new human!
What’s missing from our recipe? Life. I like to call this the “Go!” factor.
When your genetic material is taking shape in the womb, things don’t always fit together perfectly.
(Maybe there are even some conditions or inconveniences you were born with that you wish you could change.) But your cells don’t care about any of that. Their only goal is to create life, then ship it to the world. Go!
There is no permission sought. Consequences be damned. Go! There is no weighing of pros and cons or worrying about “if” and “whens.” Go! “Defects” will be dealt with later. Or not at all. Go! The only goal is to ship the project.
The project of You. If you’re alive to read this right now, your body made the right decision. But sometimes your mind isn’t as smart as your body.
It’s a shame that in our fully formed state, most of us can’t harness such a painfully obvious approach as “Go!” to bring our own ideas to life. The difference between ideas that become real, breathing entities — ideas that become books, speeches and businesses — and those that die in the mind — is “Go!”
Right now, our generation is low on “Go!” We’re in dreadfully short supply, matter of fact. Why? We’ve mistaken filling up the car with gas for actually making the roadtrip.
We also build high walls to defend ourselves from our lack of “Go!“
One way to build a wall is to insulate yourself with inspirational books, YouTube tutorials and endless research so well that you actually forget that you haven’t done anything.
Try it. It works! You can also protect yourself from lack of Go! by investing all your energy into studying those who have a lot of it.
If you invest enough energy, you’ll begin to feel like you’re moving too. It’s a wonderful vicarious experience! Like licking the spoon when your mom is making cookies — you get just a taste of the real experience. It’s not the real thing, though.
You laugh, cry and shout for your favorite athletes when they score. You cheer for your favorite actors and celebrities at the theatre and on television. You wait with bated breath for luminaries like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk to reveal the Next Big Thing.
Possibilities and grand visions stream into your brain and you begin to feel energized. Oh shit, there’s a possibility that you might actually Go! this time.
Then, instead of taking that newfound energy and using it to create something of your own, you diffuse it by reaching for the remote. Click. Whew. That was close. You’ve been waiting way too long to Go!
It’s time to stop sabotaging yourself.
You can apply Go! to anything, big or small. One common mistake is thinking that only big projects count. You don’t need to start a million-dollar business, drop a #1 album or win the Ironman to activate your Go! at full capacity.
Maybe the process for reporting your sales numbers at work is tedious and time consuming. You know a few formulas in a spreadsheet will save hours and dollars. Do it today. Like now. Like, right now. Don’t delay. Then show your team and ask them for feedback.
Every time you go to the gym, you pass the Zumba class and look through the window. It looks like they’re having so much fun! You’d like to join, but you don’t want to look like a fool. Wouldn’t it be better to wait until you practiced at home a bit first? No. No it wouldn’t be better, actually. Turn around this instant, walk into that room and join the class right now. (Stand in the back if you’re nervous.)
By using your Go! power on smaller projects, you’ll become increasingly comfortable with saying “yes” to yourself and breaking through the learned inertia and malaise of our culture.
Here’s the real key:
Choosing to Go! is choosing change. Change for yourself and change for the world around you. Change is scary and uncomfortable. Everyone knows this. Ask Martin. Ask Gandhi. Ask Elon. Ask Oprah.
Those are the green lights telling you that you’re about to cross through the intersection of where you are and where you want to be.
Step on the gas. Go!