Everything Is Figureoutable

By Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo

Marie Forleo’s book, “Everything is Figureoutable” is full of awesome ideas.  She coined the word “figureoutable” to mean that we have what it takes to figure out anything and accomplish any goal as mundane problems like fixing a busted washing machine or a flat tire. Even build a company, reshape our health, create financial freedom, save (or end) a relationship. And we can use this mindset too in finding your way out of chronic stress, grief, anger, depression, addiction, anxiety, hopelessness, and debt. We can use it to invent a breakthrough technology, learn a new language, become a better parent or a stronger leader. Most important, we can use this idea with others—in our family, organization, team, industry, community, or the world—to create a positive and significant change.

The “figureoutable” word came by chance from her mom when the author asked her, “Hey, Mom, how do you know how to do so many different things that you’ve never done before, without anyone showing you how to do it?’  Her Mom replied, “Don’t be silly, Ree. Nothing in life is that complicated. You can do whatever you set your mind to if you just roll up your sleeves, get in there, and do it. Everything is figureoutable.”  It was such a powerful lesson on motivation that got stuck in Marie’s mind and eventually became a book.  Here are her succeeding ideas.

How to Change Everything

It all starts with our beliefs.  The author says, “When you change a belief, you change everything.”  Our beliefs either propel us to or prevent us from living to our fullest potential. Our beliefs determine whether we fail or succeed, and how we define success in the first place.  It is that unshakable belief that President John F. Kennedy and the team at NASA had in their ability to send humans into space and walk on the moon—something a mere one hundred years prior would have seemed ridiculous. Belief is where it all begins. It’s the genesis of every remarkable discovery and leap forward humans have ever made from science to sports to business to technology and the arts.

In the book, the author narrates many stories of how powerful our beliefs are that it can make changes in our bodies.  One of those stories was an experiment conducted on kids blindfolded being told they are touched by poison ivy (a plant that secretes oil in its leaves which can cause skin irritation) when they were really not; the kids then had all sorts of crazy reactions.  Yet when they were told they were touched by something harmless but were actually touched with poison ivy, nothing happened to them.

Does this belief mean that anyone can do or achieve anything they imagine as long as they believe hard enough? No, it does not. You still have to apply consistent action, creativity, and commitment to get things done.  But belief is the foundation of all these actions.

Two Four-Letter Words

There are two four-letter words that we always use in relation to our goals.  “Can’t” and “Won’t”.  We always say, “I can’t get up and work out every day. I can’t find the time to get writing done. I can’t forgive her for what she’s done. I can’t take that job, it’s far from home.

I can’t ask for help. I can’t ask for a promotion because I’m not good enough yet. I can’t launch this business because I feel I’m not ready.”  The author says, you just have to be honest with yourself.  When you say “You can’t” what you really mean is “You won’t”.  It’s not a problem of capability because everything is figureoutable.  It is a problem of willingness.  It’s because you really don’t want to.   Make a list of your “I can’ts” and stop making excuses and do them, the author insists.

Comfort Zone vs. Growth Zone

According to the author, “In the comfort zone, which is where most of us spend way too much time, life feels safe. Even if things are stressful, at least you feel secure in the fact that it’s familiar. You’re accustomed to the patterns, no matter how dysfunctional. It’s the beast you know.

But everything you dream of becoming, achieving, or figuring out exists in the growth zone (aka the discomfort zone). When you’re in the growth zone, here’s what’s guaranteed: you will feel vulnerable and insecure, but in order to grow, you must let go (at least temporarily) of your need for comfort and security. You must train yourself to value growth and learning above all else.

The growth zone is where you’ll gain new skills and capabilities. It’s where you acquire strength and expertise, and produce new results. Hang in the growth zone long enough and something marvelous happens. That growth zone becomes your new comfort zone.

All the things that once felt so terrifying no longer faze you. Your confidence increases, which strengthens your conviction to tackle the next set of challenges. You begin to expect and embrace uncertainty, vulnerability, and humility embedded in every learning experience. This cycle is fundamental to mastering the figureoutable philosophy.

Almost everything you need to make your dream a reality requires new skills, experiences, and understanding. You must do things you’ve never done before. Starting before you’re ready isn’t easy, but if you want to change—it’s required.