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I was logged into Facebook earlier today and for whatever reason, noticed a bunch of links down the side of my page which had dummy in the title. It caught my attention because I’ve been thinking a lot about how we’re not actually a dummy.

We may not know how to do some (many?) things. We might feel like we’re always in a state of learning. We might f*** up badly.

Yet, no matter what happens, here’s a frame of reference worth remembering:

We are always doing the best we can.

And if we knew how to do something better, we’d do it.

Except for the truly masochistic types (which I believe are very few), none of us knowingly or willingly takes on pain or hurt if we can avoid it. Sigmund Freud, a pioneer in the field of psychology, noted that we have a desire to maximize pleasure and avoid pain. This goes for animals all the way up the evolutionary scale. And includes us humans, too.

Yet we forget this. So let me say it again:

We are always doing the best we can.

And if we knew how to do something better, we’d do it.

It’s too easy to dismiss ourselves as stupid when something doesn’t go as planned, and to overlook the courage it took to try.

Yet, at the same time, I’m often struck by how much angst, dread, thwarted desire, and wasted time we spend in trying not to make mistakes in our business and life. How many of our “life points” do we waste in decisions which actually have no severe or mortal consequences?

I’ve done this myself.

I’ve planned out, agonized over, and delayed, waited, cried, hoped, prayed…..and then finally got so sick of myself that I took action.

And once I took action, lo and behold- things started to happen.

Action= Things happening.

The only reason we don’t act when we think of something is because we’re afraid of making a mistake and being a dummy.

Fear of dummyness (FOD) seems to be getting worse. With the increase in access to information, it’s easy to feel we must read everything, know everything, and consider everything before we act.

We feel increasingly burdened by the weight of what we fear we don’t know, and we fear ridicule and shame.

If we gave up the fear of shame, and being stupid, I can only imagine how much more great beauty would be made in this world.

There would be more art. More honesty. More businesses. More relationships. More possibilities.

What a wonderful world that would be.