1/2″ Drill Bits, Deep-Seated Fears, & Inefficient Automobile Operators

Every year a million ½” drill bits produced.  On the surface, there are a lot of people appearing to want ½” drill bits, however, it’s not ½” drill bits people want at all.  What people really want are ½” holes.

Drill Bits

The point here is that we often go out into the world appearing to search and pursue one thing but, are actually looking for something entirely different.

The importance of this simple step in “drilling down” on the “why” of our pursuits and/or our roadblocks cannot be overstated.  This process of cutting to the bone of our motivation(s) or lack thereof unlocks a different perspective, hidden creativity, and newfound resilience.  I talked about this concept of “walking your why” in Part 2 of “My Experience as a Tweaker” so I won’t rehash the concept here.

What I will say is this….

Beyond the process of “Drilling Down” providing a new sense of motivation, inspiration, ingenuity, and wherewithal, the process grants the ability to remove the roadblocks that are or have plagued our performance.

This process of drilling down is rather remarkable regarding what it can help tell you about yourself (if you will listen).

I strongly believe in having goals and likewise always being in the pursuit of goals. However, I believe even stronger in their ability to force us to become something more than we are as their real and higher serving purpose.

Recently, the men’s/mastermind group that I am a part of undertook the process of examining our goals.  These types of actions are regular practice for groups as such.  This time as I sat in my office and stared at the whiteboard on the wall containing the goals that I had written, I realized that the ones most meaningful to me, those that seem to keep getting added to the list year after year with little progress were the same ones I’d never spent a great deal of time trying to fully understand.

Driving with Two Feet

I find a great deal of joy and interest in hearing what other people are doing in their life to “move the ball down field.”  Equally there are few things in life that I enjoy more than the sense of contribution I experience when I feel as if I have added in some way to that progress – directly or indirectly.

There are goals I have had for approximately 2 years that reflect this desire.  The interesting thing is that these goals while they speak to me on the deepest level regarding what I want to do and where I want to go, they just don’t get the attention and effort that you assume they would.

After a lot of directed thought about why this is, I finally concluded that I needed to stop trying to manufacture and assign blame and instead just shut up and listen intently to what I was hearing.  The internal voice of doubt and pessimism lives in us all, it is an evolutionary product designed to keep us safe.

When I started drilling down on these types of goals and then gave myself an opportunity to listen, free from ego, and willing to accept what was really present I discovered at my foundation I have a fear of rejection. 

Looking back over a good portion of my life I have spent a great deal of time trying to impress others in ways that I didn’t always agree with.  I wasted a lot of time and probably even more money buying my way into acceptance.  I kept fruitless relationships in my life for far longer than I should have.  I passed up on opportunities to do personally meaningful things because I feared the consequences that would come because of them.

As I’ve made deliberate choices over the past few years to do more of what interests me and in turn become something more than I’ve ever been I have felt the reality of criticism, I have felt the rejection and the pulling away from those that were once closest to me.  I wish I could tell you that it never mattered to me and that I just pushed ahead anyway but, unfortunately, I cannot.  I always did just enough to wet my palette with the taste of what I really wanted.  My ego, when hit with criticism would reflex on the surface by sayings things such as “I don’t care what others think” all the while secretly idling my actions.

Coming to terms with this was no easy feat nor is it easy to sit here and type it out for the world to read.  BUT…..I can now say this –  the acceptance and the final act of “owning it” has given me more fire and enthusiasm to go after those most meaningful pursuits than ever before.  It seems as through the expression of vulnerability to myself and to those around me I was fortified in my ability to let loose of the firm grip that others had on my productivity.

This step I believe is especially difficult for men.  I am tremendously grateful to the men of the “5% Group” that prompted the acknowledgement of this gaping hole in the highway for me.  I’ve spent entirely too long attempting to go around it, ride with someone else, or just at times quite making the journey altogether.

If there is one suggestion that I could make to anyone reading this – it would be to consider the goal(s) that mean the most to you and then just “shutup and listen.”  Listen to that faint “story” you hear in the background?  Spend some time there, ask yourself a few questions about it, the answers are likely to be initially uncomfortable but, it’s in those moments of struggle where all of the growth hides.

This whole process reminds me of when I first started driving.  Like many I thought driving with two feet was the most efficient way of operation (and my natural default).  What you quickly learn is that you tend to simultaneously apply both the brake and gas at the same time.  There are two ways to make the vehicle run faster– take your foot off the brake or just hit the gas harder.

For the majority of my life I just hammered on the gas.  Like the car, I often produced results but at what cost?  This metaphorical process of taking my foot off the brake has not only equated to better efficiency but also to a more enjoyable ride.

If you are reading this I hope that you will spend some time this week in the process. I’d love to hear what discoveries and/or conclusions you come up with.

In Fear No More,

Sean Z. Callahan


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