Have the Audacity to Build
Yesterday was one of the most inspirational days I’ve had in awhile and it wasn’t because I read a heartwarming story, watched a compelling Youtube video or listened to uplifting music. It was because I built something.
I’ve been learning how to make iPhone apps for about a month and yesterday, I submitted my first two iPhone apps to the AppStore for review. I’ll find out in a week if they are approved.
I had been talking about learning how to program for over a year, but I haven’t had much to show for it. But yesterday I shipped something I built. Is it perfect? No. Is it insanely great? Not at all. But it’s a start and that’s the key.
Submitting to the AppStore was pretty magical. It was magical because it broke down a lot of my walls. Well, maybe it didn’t break down my walls, but it did take a good chunk out of my wall of fear of failure.
I’ve always followed the well-worn path and have been pretty successful at it. I’m pretty book smart, so I got good grades in high school, went to a prestigious college and even wrote a book about it…(shameless, I know). I was pretty set on continuing that theme into my professional career - whether it be medical school or a job at a large corporation - but for some personal reasons (maybe I’ll share those in a future post) that was not going to be part of my journey, at least not right now.
When you have continued success with a certain way of life, it’s frightening to change course. This characterizes my past two years since I graduated from Duke. I was frightened by not having the safety blanket of being considered successful by association. If I told you I worked at Google, just by association you could make a lot of assumptions about my abilities, salary, stability, etc. When you don’t have that association crutch you’ve always had, you begin to doubt yourself.
It’s a continual process to overcome that doubt, but what I’ve found helpful is that you have to have the audacity to build and then take one step. Whether it be deciding to learn a new language and doing one tutorial or coming up with an idea and actually starting a business entity, the mere fact that you took one small step toward building something is progress. Just keep the momentum going and take more one step, then another and another…
I’m a sucker for inspirational things so I couldn’t leave this one out. This is a gem: