So, what then? How can we make great decisions in business and in life if we don’t focus on our objectives? Tim Ferriss encourages us to fully envision, and write down, our fears in detail, in a simple but powerful exercise he calls “fear-setting”. This practice can help you thrive in high-stress environments, and take risks in business. Many gurus tell us that we have to fix our objectives, focus on them and go straight after them. “Nothing worse,” says Tim Ferris, an incredible author, motivator, CEO and advisor for Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Evernote and Uber, among other companies; he is very clear on this point: focus on your fears, because they suck all the energy from what you want to do, and lead you in the wrong direction: away from your goals! That’s it!
So now I’m focused on my fears and…and I’m frozen, paralyzed by them!
How can I escape from the paralyzing status of fear?
According to the philosophy of stoicism, and its founder Seneca, “we suffer more in our imagination than in reality”. My friend Tim has developed an easy 3-page method to make good business decisions, which is why he is has the business brain and I don’t! But, anyway, let’s go on, and check out the 3-page method. You start by simply taking 3 pages and writing things down as follows:
1) On the first page, make 3 columns and use it to answer this question: What if I make this specific decision? Define, Prevent, Repair. So, first of all there’s define, that means taking into account all the fears that may manifest if you make that specific decision, then find a solution to prevent the bad consequences from happening (write it down under the column “prevent”) and also think about the worst case scenario and what can you do to fix it.
2) On the second page, answer this question: What could be the benefits of an attempted or partial success?
3) On the third page consider: The Cost of Inaction (emotionally, physically, financially, etc.) in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years. If I avoid making this decision what will my life will look like in 6 months, 1 year, 3 years?
Humans are very good at considering what may go wrong if they embark on something new, but we do not often consider the large cost of the status quo, not changing anything.
So if you are a coffee businessman, a manager or CEO, next time you have to make a difficult decision, remember to put your fears first and solve them.