The commercial talks about a guy who invented a water toy that he pitched to Wham-o with the aid of InventHelp. He's now a big successful inventor. But the part of the commercial that really grabbed me was at the 20 second mark.
Did you catch that?
"Bill's experience is not typical and most inventions are not successful."
I admit, I went back and listened to it again because I was sure that I hadn't heard that correctly.
Like everyone, I'm used to hearing disclaimers at the end of a commercial uttered at break-neck speed or watching them scroll across the bottom of the screen in barely legible type. "Results not typical" is a pretty common phrase in advertising.
But I don't know that I've ever heard an advertisement come right out in a normal, personable voice and say that the consumer probably won't be successful.
Unfortunately, many of us live by that ideology regularly.
No use to start that exercise routine, I probably won't be able to follow through with it.
No use writing my novel, it probably won't get published.
No use learning an instrument, I probably won't be any good at it.
No use pursuing that friendship, they'll probably reject me.
No use going back to school, I'm stuck in this job no matter what.
This week my daughter was voted "Most Likely to Succeed" by her eighth grade classmates. I (of course) tweeted my pride in this accomplishment and my friend Katie posted this:
That is a powerful statement. I think we need to be willing to apply this to one another and also to ourselves. We need to kick the "no use" comments to the curb.
No, maybe we won't be hard-bodies or sign a 5 book deal or become a multi-millionaire, but we can be more fit or leave a story for our families to read or learn something new. We can expand our view of what it is to be successful. We can recognize the greatness in one another.
And I would say that when we do that, our results will not be typical.
How can you help recognize the greatness in someone else today? What "no use" idea do you need to jettison?
If you have a story about overcoming fear, you can submit it to the Not Afraid project that I am compiling. Check out this link for more information and to download the project document.