Here are a few thoughts I’d share with you today about taking action, about doing something. Allow me to start with a poem called “Writer Waiting” by Shel Silverstein from “Falling Up”.
by Shel Silverstein
Oh this shiny new computer-
There just isn’t nothin’ cuter.
It knows everything the world ever knew.
And with this great computer
I don’t need no writin’ tutor,
‘Cause there ain’t a single thing that it can’t do.
It can sort and it can spell,
It can punctuate as well.
It can find and file and underline and type.
It can edit and select,
It can copy and correct,
So I’ll have a whole book written by tonight
(Just as soon as it can think of what to write).
We all know Shel Silverstein was a genius. This book was published in 1996 so obviously computers were out. But could he have known the advancements that we have these many years later and how easy it is to create content on a phone, on an iPad, a digital voice recorder and on your computer?
There’s so many different ways that you can create content, so many different tools. There are so many different ways to record, to pull down those ideas. Yet the most common problem that I see, and that frankly I experience myself at times, is the gap. There’s an enormous gap between the ability to create content and actually creating the content.
The ideas that could become action, that might follow, but often do not. What’s the solution? For some people it’s a schedule. For others it’s an accountability partner. For others, it’s demand. People simply demand it, they expect it, they request it. Remember this, in the spirit of Shel Silverstein, that just because something can do it, doesn’t mean it’s going to do it on its own. You are capable of greatness! You are capable, as Seth Godin would say, of being a Linchpin. Of being unique and different and bringing something completely special to those you have an audience with.
Whether that audience is your own children, other people at your work, or the world which is now so easily accessed through the internet… Whatever and whoever your audience is, you are capable of reaching them in so many different ways and so many different forms.
And yet, so many of us, don’t do anything.
You have what you need.
Most of us have what we need.
Let me give you one more thing that can help you get to writing that book, to creating that song, to creating that piece of art that’s inside of you right now, that’s just an idea, that’s just potential.
And what I’d like to give you is permission. I think someone wants to hear what you have to say. I think that there are going to be critics, no matter what you do. But if you do nothing, you definitely don’t have to worry about the critics. If you do nothing that’s very safe because no one will care. Except that you know what you’re capable of.
So my encouragement to you is…you have the ability, you have the idea, you have the tool. You just need to give yourself permission and take action. Let me end with another poem by Shel Silverstein. This one’s called Woulda-Coulda-Shoulda.
by Shel Silverstein
All the Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
Layin’ in the sun,
Talkin’ bout the things
They woulda-coulda-shoulda done…
But those Woulda-Coulda-Shouldas
All ran away and hid
From one little did.
The thing that will make it so much easier for you to get past your woulda, shoulda, couldas, and we’ve all got them, is doing something. Just one thing will dispel the fear and the doubt and the worry and the excuse that comes with woulda, shoulda, couldas.
Tell me what you want to ship in the comments. Write it on your own blog. Sing your own song or whatever you’re going to produce. Whatever it is, do something. It will not be perfect the first time. Nothing you do will actually ever be perfect. Perfection is a lousy excuse.
Go do something.