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The Easiest Thing You Can Do And Why Doing It Is Stupid

The Easiest Thing You Can Do And Why Doing It Is Stupid

I have a question for you: what’s the easiest thing anyone can do?

The short answer: nothing.

The long answer: change is hard. It is risky. Starting something daring or revolutionary is scary. You would probably be resisted. You might be mocked. You might fail. And even if you succeed, you might not be respected.

Playing along with the status quo and popular culture is easier.

So when you have an innovative idea – one that would disrupt the status quo – fear creeps in. And the easiest thing to do next is, nothing. Embrace inertia. Give in before ever trying.

Easiest thing

Photo Credit: jonycunha via Compfight cc

If your dream is to be a writer, you might be scared pursuing it. Will anyone read you? How will you pay the bills? Will your doctor and engineer friends respect you? Will the society not think your tertiary education is a waste?

So what’s the easiest thing you can do next? Nothing. Just never try.

Maybe you’ve been feeling a book is in your head for months. But you’re still scared. You have no publisher. What if no one likes your writing? What if your views are wrong? What if no one buys it? What if a person writes a critique of your book and dresses you down?

Well, all those fears are real. And there’s certainly a good chance of failing if you try.

So the easiest thing to do? Nothing. Just give in.

Whatever you dream of starting, if it’s a big idea that would make impacts, it would surely scare you. Whether it’s to start a blog, publish a book, start a company, propose a marriage, invent a robot with emotions, set a world record, end a damaging relationship, or stage a contest, it would attract resistance. Both internal and external. Guaranteed!

So what can you do? Nothing.

Just hide your head. Don’t stand up. Don’t lead any change. You can’t go wrong that way. Certainly.

But wait…

That’s the most stupid thing to do

If you try, you might fail. Or you might succeed. That’s a probability.

But if you don’t try, you shall not progress. That’s a certainty.

And even of you try and fail, you won’t remain the same. You’d have learnt. You’d have improved. You’d be better poised to make it next time at the same goal or another one.

It’s risky and scary to take courageous actions, but with more risks comes more gains – provided the risk is a calculated one.

If you were born with no arms and no legs, what’s the easiest thing you would do?

Nothing, of course!

But that’s not Kyle Maynard. He was born with a congenital condition: his arms end at his elbows and his legs end at his knees. Yet, he went ahead to compete in wrestling, give public talks and climb Kilimanjaro on his elbows and knees.

I’m more scared than anyone would think

People often tell me I’m daring and always confident.

Wrong! Nothing is farther from the truth.

After I first launched the Pen Money Masterclass in March 2014, I thought it would be nice to have a private Facebook group for the course students and alumni. Then fear crept in.

What if the students don’t like the course? What if they all come into the private group, tell one another that they hate the course, and scream with a unanimous, deafening voice: “This course is trash! We want our money back!”?

For over a week, I embraced inertia and never opened the private group. It would be easier to handle individual resistance by email than a collective, overwhelming resistance in the group, I reasoned.

So for many days, I did the easiest thing: nothing.

Then one day, I summoned courage. I looked at my account balance and assured myself I wouldn’t go bankrupt even if every single student asked for a refund. So I launched the group and kept a watch in fear as students joined.

Days went by, weeks went by, and now months … and there was no resistance. Instead, members interacted openly, shared experiences, networked smartly and lauded the rich course contents.

It turns out that was one of the best decisions I ever took about the course.

What you need to grow

Change doesn’t happen in a comfort zone. It comes with fears. With risks. And uncertainties. If you want to pursue your dream, or change your situation, you’ve got to embrace the process, and take action.

Not in the absence of fears, but in spite of them.

By the way, my online course, Pen Money Masterclass, which teaches you how to make impacts and money with your writing and blog, is currently opened for registration. You can join before Wednesday 11th of June, 2014.

Question: What’s one big dream you have and how will you start taking action on it today? Your comments are welcomed below.

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Your Right to WriteIf your dream is to be a writer and influence the world, the theoretical and practical insights the author provides have the power to convert your dream to reality.

-- Dr. Mahfouz A. Adedimeji | Fulbright scholar | Senior Lecturer, Unilorin | newspaper columnist

About Muhammed Abdullahi Tosin

Writer. Difference Maker. Entrepreneur. Author, Your Right To Write & Vertical Writing. Winner, 11 Writing Prizes.


  1. Ayeyemi Taofeek Aswagaawy says:

    This is thought-provoking and troublesome as usual. It fuels my enthusiasm and optimism with more iron will to continue writing and learning.
    Thanks all the time.

  2. Words fitly spoken! They have the ability to infuse life into an idea and a dreamer threatening to become a corpse!!

  3. your words are always poignant, you just add more thrust to my burning desire and fuel my enthusiasm by telling me that my greatest fear isn’t that I’m inadequate but that I’m confident to embrace inertia than to take a calculated risk.
    thanks the great coach, I’m glad I’ve joined the penmoney masterclass.

  4. yeda p budaye says:

    i truly find this encouraging and inspiring. keep up the good work, God bless you always.

  5. Bamidele itunuoluwa says:

    Its aon a better platform that am here, not a fishy move……….

  6. I have always wanted to write
    wanted to start with my own story
    I have a lot to tell and write about
    but I usually end up reading others writings and copying
    I just need the motivation to write it all

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