Of Forms, Faith, & Figuring It Out

I would like you to take a quick glance at this:

And now I would like you to imagine that the next thing on your to-do list today is to fill out this form – or one similar to it.

How does that make you feel?

For most people, I’ve found, the answer is NOT HAPPY.

And you know, that makes sense to me. I’ve been happily working in the land of secretary/bookkeeper/accountant for over five years now, I think account reconciliation is a delight, and I still have a momentary brain-scrambled feeling when I sit down with a new kind of form in front of me.

But I’ve learned two things from scrambling my brain in this specific way, two things that have helped me with larger and more life-changing things than the filling out of complicated forms:

1) Everything is figure-out-able. Give me time and a good Google machine.

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun,” a man decided some centuries ago. You can take that however literally you choose, but it’s a fact that most of the things I’m trying to figure out, someone else has tried and succeeded in figuring out before me. And the beauty of the internet is that the chances of me being able to find that someone and learn from them is much higher than it has ever been.

Everything is figure-out-able. But if my only resource is my own brain, it might take me a very long time.

And sometimes the problem isn’t that I can’t figure it out; sometimes the problem is that I’m trying to figure it out while I’m sitting very still, staring at the problem and doing nothing at all. That’s the second thing I’ve learned.

2) In moments where something looks large and complicated and difficult, it’s usually because I’m trying to make sure I have all the answers before I actually do anything.

There may be some situations where this is a good strategy, but I haven’t experienced them yet.

But I have experienced that in moments where something looks large and complicated and difficult because I don’t have all the answers, I usually do have at least one answer. There’s almost always at least one blank that I can fill in, one step I can take, one idea I can try. And then, once I’ve made one move, I can almost always figure out another. And then another.

Stepping out in faith is one powerful thing.

Momentum is another.

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