I am honored to have my friend Lisa Bryan guest posting on my blog today. I absolutely love this motivational piece she is sharing, and I know you will too. Whatever your thing is–go do it, and do it well.
I’m tired. I work too much. I don’t think I’m good enough. You have a litany of excuses piled up like junk in your garage.
Doesn’t matter. Do the thing.
“Oh, shoot,” you say, reflecting the voice in your head, “I have all these other things to do instead. Laundry. Cleaning. Chores.”
Does. Not. Matter. Do the thing.
I’ll never be successful doing the thing. There are so many people out there better at the thing than me.
So what? Many of them think the same thing, too. Do the thing.
Even if it hurts. Even if you’re overwhelmed by negative emotions and you’d rather go to sleep or scream or take a bat to a car window.
Through the pain, do the thing.
“It’s way over my head.”
Grab a ladder. Do the thing.
Distractions galore. Notifications on my phone. Messages to reply to. People to talk to.
They can wait. Do the thing.
I feel sick. I’m in pain. I want to cry.
Do the thing. It’ll help you feel better.
I’m going to stop you right there. Whatever you say, I’m going to respond with “do the thing.” Why? Because there is nothing, short of the building you’re in being on fire or a loved one dying, that can get in the way of you doing the thing. You’re good at your thing. You KNOW you’re good at your thing. Many people have told you that the thing you do is great, that you should do it more. The thing makes you happy. The thing helps you express thoughts and feelings and emotions that would otherwise stay caged in your head, heart, and soul. Good, bad, joyous, painful, irritating, inspiring, sexual, sensational. All of that lives in you. Let it out.
Whatever the thing is that you do — writing, painting, dancing, music, cooking, acting, a combination of any of these things, WHATEVER — let it out. It makes you beautiful. Unique. You were given a gift by God, Allah, Odin, the Powers that Be, the Old Gods, Vishnu, Buddha, the Flying Spaghetti Monster, your parents, or whatever you believe in.
Never, for the love of Zeus, let the thing be dictated by someone else. Never let the thing be squandered by what society tells you that you should be doing. You are not beholden to those rules. Some people are. Thankfully, some people are. The world would have fallen apart a long time ago otherwise. You are not. You are in charge of an entirely different infrastructure — the spirit. Art is a reflection of a healthy civilization. It speaks to and of the soul of a nation. When that disappears, the body becomes a husk. A monotonous automaton living (if you can even call it living) flowing along the same production line day in and day out until they fall off broken and useless.
The shapers, the thinkers, the creators. They keep the spark of our ancestors alive, passing down the fire started by the cavemen painting on walls from generation to generation, across invisible borders, into the universe. Buildings crumble, people die, but stories remain. Thoughts survive.
Point is, please do the thing. It might seem frivolous now. Others will say it’s a waste of time, that you should be more “productive” (whatever that means). The thing you do might actually be a straight up garbage fire. Regardless, it’s important to keep on doing it. Eventually the thing you do won’t be a burning dumpster. Why? Because you’ll keep improving. The past doesn’t necessarily dictate the future. You will suck less (your words, not mine) tomorrow than you did yesterday. And tomorrow will be nothing compared to what you will do in a month’s time. That’s hopeful, right?
And if you think what you’re doing is useless, consider this: a thing you create, maybe not tomorrow but someday, could very well be the inspiration someone else needs to do their thing. They, in turn, inspire someone else. And so on and so on it goes, creating a beautiful daisy chain of creativity. But that can’t happen if you keep making excuses as to why what you do is less important than what someone else is doing. It’s all a protective wool blanket and, baby, it’s summertime. Time to throw that blanket in the closet and get to work.
If E.L. James, who did her thing, can make millions of dollars off of what is essentially a poorly written Twilight re-imagining, anything is possible.