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How I Survive the Neural Roller Coaster of Building Something New ๐ŸŽข

When it comes to building something new I always seem to go through this cycle of what I would call the "Neural Coaster". Not the best name in the world, yet I feel that the name is very apt for what it describes.

This neural coaster is not the newest ride at six flags (That is still a thing, right? ๐Ÿ˜…). It is what my brain and I am guessing other brains go through during the process when they are doing something outside of their roller coaster...I mean comfort zone ๐Ÿ˜†. Sorry, the analogies get to me sometimes.

So ๐Ÿฅฌ (Lettuce) break this down (Yeah I need to drink less coffee). Regardless of the Dad puns right now, let's walk through the roller coaster of thought.

  1. The Ascent ๐Ÿง—โ€โ™€๏ธ

  2. This is the very first part of the roller coaster where it builds up momentum. Climbing up and up. This for me is often the act of thinking of an idea boiling around inside of my head. Sometimes for days, and sometimes for weeks. It is the climb before I take any kind of action. Chink Chink Chink goes the roller coaster of my brain on the way up to building the idea

  3. The Peak ๐Ÿ—ป

  4. Not hard to guess this part. It is the top of the coaster. Here we sit, surveying all of the potentials around us. We see everything from here. We see every twist and possibility of our idea. We look down with anticipation and excitement. We GOT THIS! Yet we also sometimes feel the "What have I done". We call to an operator to stop sometimes. This idea is too scary for me.

  5. The First Jolt โšก

  6. The first time we head down the roller coaster we fill a thrill of electricity shooting through our bodies. Exhilarating. Easy to be wrapped up in.

  7. The Reality ๐ŸŒช

  8. Might be the next crest or it might be a few turns in, the reality of this idea sets in and we begin to feel all kinds of new emotions.

  9. This idea is not good enough

  10. This idea was never going to succeed

  11. We are wasting our time

  12. I should have never gotten on this ride

  13. Whatever we begin to tell ourselves it starts to set in. Often we call the operator of the Neural Coaster demanding a full stop AND a FULL REFUND!!!

It was Over Before it Began

So many times have I stopped the coaster because it was too hard or too long of a ride or it was not the RIGHT excitement factor. Should have been a loop in the first part, let me start over. Yet, don't we owe it to ourselves to think back to the Peak? Think back to the time that we sat at the top of our idea, looking down and seeing all of the potential it could have for our lives and for our community.

What if the Food Bank was never created?

What if the Red Cross was never created?

What if the _____ was never created?

It would be a shame, yet those things are an easy thing to point our fingers to, because we know what they are and how much they have changed our world. Yet, NO ONE knows what is in your head...and what it could do to change the world.

Yet as you climbed the neural coaster...chink chink reached the top and you felt something. You felt that urge to ride down to the bottom and see where this idea leads. You felt the rush of anticipation as you looked down the roller coaster. You knew it was going to be full of ups and downs, but they looked far away.

Revisit the Peak

So when you are building something or more likely giving up on something, I urge you to revisit the Peak. At that moment you were at the top.

The best way to visit the peak? DAILY.

You must remember the reason you are setting out on this Journey. You must remember why you are riding this roller coaster. Yeah, the one that makes you sick sometimes, laugh sometimes, hang on so tight you fear for your life, and other times feel overwhelming joy.

So...How? 3 Main Activities

1. Answering "how" is best answered by answering the "why".
  • Why am I building this?

  • Why am I spending hours on this?

  • Why does it matter?

  • Why should anyone care?

Armed with an amazing WHY, you can take that to step 2.

2. Get Negative

Become all too familiar with the worst outcome possible. Humans are sadly best motivated by knowing the negative side effects of something. Not the positive. Let us take a look at the following statements and see which one has more power over our brains ๐Ÿง 


  • I want to buy a big house

  • I want to drive a fast car

  • I want to Bless my Family


  • If I don't get after it, I will never be able to buy my wife her dream house

  • If I don't get after it, I will never get to buy the "Family Car" I want for my kids

  • If I don't get after it, I will never be able to give generously

The largest difference is that the negative usually is a little scarier, which usually urges us to more action.

3. Combine your Why and the Negative...Hulk Smash Style ๐Ÿ’ฅ

We always start with our why and we paint the picture with our negative outcomes.


  • (Why) I am striving daily to get healthy so I can spend more time with my family (Negative), because if I don't get serious I might die from heart disease in the next 10 years.

  • (Why) I am wanting to build a community of people that unlock their potential (Negative) because if I don't we will lose all of the innovators/teachers/thinkers that could change our world for the better.

Extra Credit: Write it down

"Knowledge is just a rumor until it lives inside of our bones". This is an African proverb that Rene Brown quoted in her book, "Dare to Lead". I have never forgotten the words. They have stuck with me. So much truth is inside of that statement. Knowledge is just a rumor, passing in our ear and out of our next ear. Same with our ideas and our whys.

We need to BURN IT into our brains. We need to have it CHANGE US. So we write it down, and put it in our car, on our way out of the house. In our office. In our minds. It needs to be burned in. We need to know what will happen if we fail because it can be hard to stay on the Neural Coaster.

The Hard Part

Reading this blog is easy, giving a chuckle or two at some of the ridiculous puns that this author is writing is easy. Reading steps 1,2,3 is easy. You probably thought this is a good idea.

Yet, the difficulty comes with Limbic friction. Can you do it? Will you do it? Will you get back on the Neural Coaster? Will you ride it to the end? Will you find out what you could do? What your potential is? Will you discover what impact you could have? Is it possible that you start today and fail tomorrow and start again and again until you reach the end? What if today this version of who you are is enough to get it done? What then?

I write this blog post, begging my own mind to not stop. Because...something is coming, and I cannot stop until I see it through. I cannot slow down until I have finished the ride. It is time for me to step up. I am committing to it. Shall you join me?

Comment below if you are all in!!!!


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