The Myth of I Don’t Have

I don’t have a good video camera, so I can’t make that movie. I don’t have a professional microphone, so I can’t start making my podcast. I don’t have access to a gym, so I can’t get in shape. I don’t have this, so I can’t do that.

I Don’t Have the Gear

Theses are all examples of The Myth of “I Don’t Have”. As you know, there is more than one way to do anything, and there is a very big difference between having perfect resources and having sufficient resources. Just because you don’t have the perfect equipment, doesn’t mean that you don’t have sufficient equipment. If you really want to make a movie, you can make it on your phone. If you want to get in shape, start with body weight exercise and cardio. In almost every, there is a work around. Only once you have gotten into the habit of creating will you really know if it is worth upgrading and investing in something more. The fact is, if you want to do something, you can find a way to do it.

I Don’t Have the Time

All of us have the same 168 hours in a week. No matter what you do, you can’t increase that number. If you sleep 8 hours a day (and yes, I know Arnold says to “sleep faster”) that brings 112 hours. But those 112 hours are the exact same for every person on Earth. And yet, some people seem to have time to do everything and more, while others are always in a hurry. One suggested difference is that the people who get things done focus exclusively on getting things done, while the busy people are focusing on being busy. A culture of “Busyness” is destructive, wreaking havoc on our mental health, physical health, and personal relationships. While the UK works the longest hours of any EU country, it is also the least productive, while Finland, working an average of 36 hours a week, is the most productive.

If you want to make the most of your 112 waking hours (and by make the most I don’t mean do more, I mean do more intentionally important things), try making a simple switch as suggested by The Wall Street Journal: Don’t say “I don’t have time.” Instead say “It isn’t my priority.”

If something is a priority for you, then making this switch will guarantee that you have time to do it, while cutting things that aren’t a priority out of your schedule. The average person spends nearly 2 hours a day on social media. Imagine what you could do with that time if you used it on something that was actually a priority?

The effect goes deeper than that though. By putting the idea of priority into your everyday language, then as well as thinking about whether what other people ask you to do is a priority of yours, you also start to think about what parts of what you do are priorities. If you don’t know what your priorities are, try this simple exercise here.

I Don’t Have the Skills

You want to know how to get the skills to take photos, edit video, paint or write? By doing them. Create something bad, figure out what is wrong with them, and fix it. Repeat. Want to take a course in your subject area? Go ahead, but don’t let that course be the first thing you do.

Your first 10,000 photos are your worst.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Want to do something? First, define what it is. Then, define in simple terms the steps needed to get there. Finally, get started. If you could only start once you have the skills, no-one would ever get started at anything. You have to start somewhere. The wrong direction isn’t a direction, it is staying still.