What is easier for you?

By | July 28, 2007

I find it fascinating how people react to responsibility and ideas.

Some people, like myself, find it easier to avoid responsibility.  Although, when I take on responsibility for something and achieve it, I feel a great sense of accomplishment.  But it isn’t “easy” for me.   I struggle to do the right thing.  My wife, on the other hand, finds it easier to take responsibility.  Dropping or avoiding something goes against her grain.  Many people feel she takes on too much.  I think this is because it is “easier” for her to take the initiative.  She finds it disturbing that others do not do the same.  I think she is in the minority on this one.  Which is easier for you?  Taking on responsibility or letting go of responsibility?

Ideas are a similar concept.  Building up an idea is a fragile and wonderful experience for me.  I absolutely get stoked on ideas.  They are the fire in my soul that keeps me chugging along.  I HATE destroying ideas.  I think of them as little smoldering threads of hay that need nurturing, less they die in the wind.  I really think I am in the minority on this one.  Most people find it easy to poke holes in an idea.  To say “this won’t work because…” or “To play devil’s advocate…” are the easier paths to take.  Its much easier to push down a set of blocks than to build them up.

I have become a little thick skinned when it comes to devil’s advocates. I know they mean well.  They just don’t understand how destructive they are to innovation.  Skepticism is critical and has it’s place.  But skepticism is a wet blanket on the kindling of an idea.  Maybe my thick skin isn’t so thick.  Ok, maybe it’s a medium skin.  Which do you find easier?  Coming up with an idea or playing devil’s advocate?

Introspection is an important life skill.  Be honest with yourself.  Sometimes, we don’t even realize we are taking the path of least personal resistance.

One thought on “What is easier for you?

  1. rachel

    The “ideas versus responsibility” thing a classic dual archetype, and for maximum success, you need some of both.

    Here’s the thing — even really, really good ideas get better when constructive criticism is applied to them.

    To take an example outside the tech world, there’s any number of authors out there who as their fame increased, refused to accept anything other than the most minimal editorial oversight of their later works — and the books’ quality generally suffered. (“The Naked and the Dead” versus “Ancient Evenings”. Need I say more?)

    I know for myself, I do my best work when teamed up with one or two other people.

    Reply

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