Leap When You’re Almost Ready

“Jump out of the plane on my count, at 5. Ready?” the sky diver instructor says to you, a nervous first-time customer, crouched in a tiny Cessna plane flying 10,000 feet above the air. You are pulsing with adrenaline. Wide eye fear.

“Ok,” you say, unconvincingly. “Ready.”

The instructor kicks open the door to the plane. Air rushes through the open door and the aircraft rattles a bit in the sky. Fear turns to panic, as every fiber of your body — everything evolution has taught you — says to not jump out of an open aircraft.

“1, 2, 3…”

Then, on the count of 4, the instructor jumps the gun. You think you have one more precious second to change your mind. But he’s already pushed you out the airplane. And away you go.  This way, there’s no time for you to change your mind at the last minute.

Although I’ve never sky dived, I’m told this is not an uncommon technique to use with first-timers who sometimes experience last minute panic cop-outs.

And it reminded me of a great insight from an acquaintance, delivered on summer day a couple years ago in Berlin.

I asked him if he felt ready to have kids when his wife gave birth. He replied, “I wasn’t ready. But we were almost ready to have kids. Almost ready. You’ll never feel fully ready.”

This is a truth in so many things, isn’t it?

Don’t start a company when you feel ready to, because you’ll never feel ready. Start a company when you feel almost ready.

Don’t marry your boyfriend or girlfriend when you feel ready, because you’ll never quite be sure. Marry him when you feel almost ready — when you’re almost sure he’s the one.

Don’t take the job that you feel fully prepared for. Stretch yourself. Push yourself. Take the job you feel almost ready for.

“Almost ready” is similar to The 80% Rule persuasion hack. Ronald Reagan argued that you don’t need someone to agree with you 100% for them to be “with you” — you just need them to be with you on 80% of the issues. That’s usually enough for them to pledge their support.

The 80% Rule applied to yourself would mean you don’t need to be 100% sure of a decision for it to be the right decision. You need to be 80% sure — or, almost ready.

Otherwise, if you’re lucky, a coach or mentor will be around to interrupt your deliberating and doubt and procrastination — and push you out the airplane before you realize what’s happening!

13 Responses to Leap When You’re Almost Ready

  1. Chris Yeh says:

    It is a sad thing that the same post over on LinkedIn has hundreds of comments, and I am the only commenter here. The web has fractured into a series of walled gardens.

  2. abcya says:

    Your article is very good and useful, thank you very much for this content.

  3. Yasar says:

    Very Informative Article Sir,
    Thank you.

  4. Nice article, i like it

  5. John says:

    This is a great article and it’s based on a true experience with another person. Although some parts are quite humorous for me, some of it helped me differ my perspective in being “ready”. Good work !

  6. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write.Thanks for sharing !

  7. John Mark says:

    Really nice one!
    I loved the Title “Leap When You’re Almost Ready”

  8. Don’t marry your boyfriend or girlfriend when you feel ready
    Don’t take the job that you feel fully prepared for
    This is the most truth meaning thing which so hard to action.
    This post is very useful for me. Thank for this post.

  9. darres31 says:

    I really like this topic

  10. kitt43 says:

    Great topic

  11. lammax says:

    Thanks for this topic.This is really helpfull.

  12. Bernadine S. says:

    This was really insightful and a good reminder! Sometimes that fear holds you back. Sometimes it’s the anticipation of waiting till everything is perfect. But nothing is perfect. I might have some 80% stuff I can work on today.

    Thanks for this.


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