The Obstacle is Less Important Than The Goal

Too often, when we are trying to get something done, or at the very least thinking about it, our minds seize on the obstacle instead of the goal.

Our logical brain kicks in — if I do x, then y will happen, leading to problem z.

Which in turn brings us back to x, making us pause, and reconsider x at all. There are too many y’s, we think. Might as well not bother.

But, this is all wrong. And I’ll tell you why. Consider basketball.

Basketball is a game in which the team that wins is the one that outscores the other. Back and forth, the ball goes down the court, and each trip down, the team with the ball tries to score.

Not once, during a basketball game, is the goal to let the defense set itself up. The whole point is to get down the court and attack before the defense has a chance.

And while it’s true that in many instances an offense has to take what the defense gives it, a strong offensive team is always going to do its best to have a defensive team back on its heels.

In the end though, the ball has to go into the basket to win. You can’t win the game without shooting.

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Wrote for the New York Times, New York Magazine, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Vice, Fader, Vibe, XXL, MTV News, many other places.

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