Thursday, May 07, 2009

Semi-annual get off your ass rant

I wrote this the other day in a seminar:

There is something you want to do. It’s this little kernel of an idea - a screenplay idea you’ve been harboring, a sport you want to learn, a fantastic new grilled cheese sandwich you’ve been dreaming about. Everybody sits on some amazing dream. Few of us ever do anything about it.

I hear you right now in your brain. “I’ll do it eventually.” How long have you been saying that? Don’t do it eventually. Do it now. Right now.

Still here? Why? Oh I know. “I don’t have time.” Yes you do. You ever watch Project Runway? There was this contestant on that show named Katherine who raised four well-adjusted kids with her husband in a loft in New York City, and she did it looking absolutely stylish. And in the meantime, she designed posh clothes that got her on the show and eventually her own clothing line. Ever seen Kelly Rippa? Of course that might not be fair, because it’s entirely possible that Kelly Rippa is a cyborg.

I know people who write a novel by writing one or two pages a day. The other day someone showed me a book written over Twitter. The guy tweeted his novel a few sentences at a time over a year. A publisher took him on and it sold. There is time in your day. Cut out half an hour of TV. Work while you’re waiting for the chicken to broil. Plan your next move while you’re driving to work, or better yet, take the train and you can work while someone else drives.

Haven’t left yet? Okay, I get it. “I might fail.” Yeah, that’s the one that gets everybody. What if you put your life savings and your down time and all your hopes and dreams into something and then you fail?

Guess what? You might. Kyle Maynard is an amputee. He was born with no arms below the elbow and no legs below the knee, yet on April 28th he fought in his first public UFC fight. He lost. Of course he lost. But by God, the man got in there and did his thing. Think about that. No arms, no legs, but he wasn’t afraid to lose because he was just happy to get in there and prove he could hang. Are you more afraid than a man with no arms and legs in a cage match? Are you? If you don’t try you will definitely fail. And if you fail, well,. At least you know you didn’t miss out on what might have been.

Because this is about happiness. You want to be happy, right? Isn’t that what we all strive for?

You’re still here. Oh I get it. “Where do you get off?“ Well, here’s an example. Ever since I was little I wanted to learn to fight. My parents put me in soccer and gymnastics and dance and eventually band, but really all I lusted after was that little white gi those kids wear in Tai Kwan Do. I wanted to punch and kick things. I practiced by punching and kicking other kids, which is why my parents never put me in martial arts. So I was 28 years old the first time I put on a pair of boxing gloves. I had thought all these years that if you weren’t a kid you were too old to learn. But you’re never too old to learn. And now, well let’s just say you don’t want to piss me off. Because now I can punch you without injuring my hand like I did that one time when I punched that girl in the auditorium. Want to know how much joy it brings me to spar with my trainer? Only the most joy ever.

You want to be filled with joy? Screw your fear and your excuses. Go get it done. Start right freaking now.


  1. Amen! Very nicely said.

  2. Indeed. I concur.

    Thought that makes for a boring comment. Where's the conflict!??!


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