Digging DeepIn our day to day lives we tend to come across situations that challenge us to the very limit of our intellectual potential.  Situations such as tight finances, work assignments, or art projects can leave us asking the question am I capable of doing this? It is during these moments that we evolve as human beings, not by running from the problem, but by Digging Deep.

  1. The first step to Digging Deep is to not settle for anything less than the ideal. Often we become seduced by the ease of the first possible solution.  Holding out for the best possible solution is vital.  Often unforeseen solutions to problems arise.
  2. Be prepared. What information do you need?  How can you obtain that information?  One of the best ways to stay informed is to contact experts in a field.  If your struggle is financial, think of who you know that has experience in this area.  It may be a rich uncle, or an old friend who became a banker.  If your challenge is physical, say running in a 5k, you could contact a track club and interview an athlete.  Consult an expert blogger.  Most bloggers respond to questions posed in their comments section.  The internet is filled with blogs written by experts in every field from entrepreneurship to travel to cooking.
  3. Know when to say enough is enough. Many people in this world make the mistake of over-preparation.  They spend hours; if not years reading books about what it is they would like to do, when the quickest and most comprehensive way to learn is by doing it.  Don’t over research your problem.  Use what you have right now.  This is especially true in creative endeavors.  Put down the novel you’re reading for inspiration.  Don’t read another word! Write you own story.  The words will come once pen is put to paper.
  4. Use courage when taking action upon your situation. At the very least, lessen your fear.  I do this by analyzing the absolute worst case scenario.  What is the worst possible sequence of outcomes?  How bad would this be?  Why?  Could I survive this? How?  Often we build situations in our head that are much scarier than they are in real life.  Note: This can be a slippery slope.  Don’t think of more than one negative example.  Only consider the one worst possible situation and then question your fear of it.
  5. Put yourself on the spot. Often our most creative moments come at times of perceived personal crisis.  As a teen training in Kempo Karate I was faced with this situation during sparring classes.  The instructor would often match me up with people much bigger, and much more athletically developed than I was.  This was extremely intimidating, but by embracing the moment, and using my own strengths I was usually able to do well against students who were much more advanced.  The emotional intensity of being put on the spot can be the foundation of our greatest performances.  Examples like this abound in every art.  For a musical example listen to “Lose Yourself” by Eminem.  For a literary example read The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho.

In one sentence, Digging Deep is determined action in the face of overwhelming circumstances.