Lowering the Barrier to Entry

Saturday, August 22, 2015 - 06:13

In getting from where we are to where we want to be (i.e. achieving our goals and dreams), it can sometimes feel like there is mountain between us. And usually these perceived barriers are enough to stop us from taking the first step.

An alternative approach is to assess the situation in more detail to find other routes. These alternatives may seem like a small hill, or even a straight shot downhill, by comparison.

A great example of this is how we as a planet generate electricity. A fusion reactor can generate a massive amount of energy from a very small amount of fuel. However, to trigger this nuclear reaction requires an equally enormous amount of effort to confine and smash the particles together. Alternatively, gasoline is so volatile that a single match strike can instantly cause an explosion. The process is so easy to trigger that we use a similar process in car engines. A spark plug ignites gasoline confined in a chamber, which causes an explosion that drives a piston and ultimately causes the car to move forward. As drivers, all we need to do is push a pedal to make this happen.

As a society, we face problems that appear to be enormous mountains. The very same cars that make transportation nearly effortless are dumping enormous amounts of pollution into our environment. Addressing the problem with laws has proven to be no easy task because all of the ramifications (increased regulations, new taxes, changeover costs, higher operational costs, etc). As a result, this has polarized the population.

A better approach, IMHO, is to look for an alternative (energy) path. If we continue to invest in research and development for solar and other alternative energy sources, then eventually we'll reach a point where these alternatives will be cheaper, cleaner, more reliable, and as convenient to use as the gas guzzling alternatives. At that moment in time, it'll be a no brainer to switch over and use those technologies and there will be no need to enforce this through laws and regulations. Best of all, we'd reduce the damage to the environment as an added benefit.

Knowing to Look

The point I'm trying to get across is that when faced with a mountain, taking the time to look and find alternative routes is a great strategy because anything you do to lower the barrier to entry will make it more likely for you to get started. And if you look hard and can't get around the mountain, then using a little bit of human psychology to break the climb into smaller chunks will make it feel like a hill.

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About Rick Manelius

Quick Stats: Chief Product Officer of DRUD Tech. Author of Winning the Lottery Within. Graduated from MIT in '03 (BS) and '09 (PhD). Life hacker and peak performance enthusiast. This blog is my experiment in creative writing, self-expression, and sharing what I've learned along my journey. For more information, read my full bio here or contact me.