William Shakepeare, the psycho’…
That heading isn’t suggesting William was a psychopath, but a reference to his remarkable ability as a psychologist.
Much modern psychology is about getting things done and being efficient. There are hundreds of books, part of the Self-Help Industry, all proclaiming to be the discoverers of whatever it is they’re promoting, when in fact a lot of it has more to do with common sense than scientific learning.
We tend to think we know things when we read about them, or hear about them in conversations, or observe them on TV.
We know things when we do them.
The hearing, thinking, reading and talking about them lets us be aware of them as possibilities, as events as yet undone or untested, not experienced in our lives.
Which is how all sorts of unwelcome surprises come up when we go to do them. We encounter obstacles, problems, difficult personalities, different viewpoints, traps for the unwary, we could never have begun to imagine, till we go to do whatever it is.
Then, if we retain an optimistic, determined, resilient attitude, we’ll eventually find a way through. Then, and only then, can we claim to know about that particular thing.
And that’s where the instinct comes in; when we understand that till we do it, we don’t really know it, but are prepared to do it anyway, aware of the possible pitfalls, the snakes in the grass, the things we can’t see but feel are lurking, the unknown.
And that’s where William was well ahead of us, when over four hundred years ago, he stated,
‘Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.’
He referred to the uncertainty in any undertaking, that in spite of meticulous planning, careful organization, endless practice, things can still come unstuck.
But with an attitude, a determination, a heartfelt belief in the human spirit, and in spite of the hazy doubts that nag and pilfer our energy and our sense of certainty, we go ahead anyway.
We take the decision, do it with a will, and see it through.
And to hell with the doubts.