Don’t let conditions get in the way of your success.


As humans, we tend always to want to rationalise an event or process by adding conditions on to it.

These conditions are often born out of habits we are taught throughout our lives. It starts when we are young, our parents tell us we are not allowed to leave the house in the morning without brushing our teeth or tidying our rooms. They weren’t wrong; we need to learn a degree of self-discipline in our lives. It then continues through our school years; before you do this, you have to do that.

Again this is not wrong, and conditional habits need to be in place when it comes to for example to hygiene and safety. Brushing teeth every morning before you leave the house ensures you don't become a toothless wonder.

When conditions spill into parts of our lives where we don't need them, it becomes a problem. When I speak to people about what they want to achieve, I often ask "so why haven't you done it?" More often than not the excuse is a true self-inflicted condition. I say inflicted because that is what it is, self-harm of the worst kind.

"Oh I have to wait for the right time" - there is never a right time, there is only now to get started.

"It is not good enough yet" - Who says that it is not good enough? Only you. We are our own worst critics, and we see so-called blemishes that no one else will notice. Let your ideas fly and use the feedback to improve them to a state of mass success.

"It is not perfect yet" - Nothing is ever perfect. The sooner you realise this, the happier you will be.

"People will think me an idiot if I fail" or "I'll look like a prat in front of my friends" - this train of thought is one of the worst adverse conditions we have inflicted on ourselves. It is so bad that it has become the biggest fear that holds us back from achieving greatness. Learning to shed that self-awareness skin and not giving a hoot what others think is a truly life-changing event. I love watching my girls play as they don't care how we perceive them. They have not been taught the self-awareness condition. Yes, this is a taught condition, we are not born with it. Maybe we need to take ourselves back to that time as a child when we didn't care we just enjoyed life and achieved amazing little goals.

How do we stop self-inflicting bad conditions on ourselves?

We start by self-analysis. When we decide to do that next thing we have to listen to the voices in our head and try to understand which conditions are a necessity and which are a hindrance. It is always hard when you start, but it gets easier the more often you do it. With practice, you will begin to spot the difference.

One of my specialities is building app prototypes and then taking them to MVP (minimum viable product). I had to learn early on that if you apply the terrible conditions discussed above you will never get the app finished.

When we create a new prototype, we build the bare minimum and then get it out there. Much to the horror of user interface and experience designers. Yes, we get bad comments back from some users. These are great as they tell us exactly what we need to change or improve. It is also a great indication of who we should be targeting. It helps us speed up the development process tenfold.

My point here is if you want to succeed at any new idea or venture you need to remove the bad conditions and just run with it. Just take that leap of faith. You will be surprised how many people want what you are doing to succeed and will give you fantastic feedback and help.

Ray Noppe