I wouldn’t normally glean advice from a fictional intergalactic pilot with a gargantuan hairball as a sidekick. But I’ll take wisdom wherever I find it.
In The Empire Strikes Back, Han – much to the horror of his shipmates – decides to shake off the Imperial fighters by flying straight into a shower of asteroids, reasoning that the enemy would be crazy to follow him.
But after being counseled by an anal retentive robot that “the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720:1,” Han replies with one of my favorite lines ever:
“Never tell me the odds.”
Sure, it makes for a humorous cinematic moment. But it’s also a powerful mindset that applies to life outside the movie theater.
We live in a world where people are all too happy to respond to our dearly held dreams with skepticism. And even if they don’t have exact numerical statistics for failure, they’re loaded with plenty of scenarios in which probability is not on your side:
You want to open a restaurant? We had three close in our neighborhood just last month.
Making a living as a musician? That’s tough. Especially if you don’t have any industry connections. Music is a great hobby, though!
That’s awesome you’re writing a book. But the market is SO crowded. I wouldn’t even think about trying to make it a bestseller.
Comments like this aren’t just rude, heartless and annoying. They are flat out wrong.
And here’s a perfect example as to why.
My dear friend and writing coach Jennifer Blanchard is not just an outstanding teacher and mentor, she is an award winning blogger, a novelist and a bestselling author of five (and counting) non-fiction books.
Yes, I said “bestselling.”
She’s been writing for years, but this recent (and truly amazing) leap forward in her career happened in a relatively short amount of time. We’re talking a few months. No joke.
What made it happen?
She Han Solo-ed it like a pro.
By ignoring the odds, she defied them.
And so can you.
So – right now – take one step toward proving your naysayers wrong.
Just one. I’ll wait.
Good for you. You’ve just entered the asteroid field.
But you’ll make it out. No worries.
You’re an odds-on favorite.