What is your Great Work? The important stuff you know deep in your soul you MUST accomplish during your short speck of time here in a meatsuit on this strange little ball flying a thousand miles an hour through the cosmos?
The thing that’s been calling you, for months, maybe years? Your Holy Grail.
If you know what it is, then you’re probably terrified just like me.
Because starting is scary. The unknown is scary. People are assholes and criticism hurts.
"Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty."
–Tim Ferriss, The 4-Hour Workweek
— Cody McKibben (@realmckillinit) June 30, 2017
But thank the heavens, God gave us Ze Frank. The man who started video blogging before vlogging was a thing.
If you don’t know what your Great Work is yet, then you should probably go dive into something that scares you until you discover it.
But if you know perfectly well, and you’ve been stuck in a rut like me…
Then watch that again.
I’m scared. I’m scared that my abilities are gone, I’m scared that I’m going to fuck this up, and I’m scared of you.
I don’t want to start, but I will.
This is an invocation for anyone who hasn’t begun, who’s stuck in a terrible place between zero and one.
Let me realize that my past failures at follow-through are no indication of my future performance. They’re just healthy little fires that are going to warm up my ass.
If my FILDI is strong, let me keep him in a velvet box until I really, really need him. If my FILDI is weak, let me feed him oranges and not let him gorge himself on ego and arrogance.
Let me not hit up my Facebook like it’s a crack pipe. Keep the browser closed.
If I catch myself wearing a too-too (too fat, too late, too old) let me shake it off like a donkey would shake off something it doesn’t like.
And when I get that feeling in my stomach — you know the feeling when all of a sudden you get a ball of energy and it shoots down into your legs and up into your arms and tells you to stand up and go to the refrigerator and get a cheese sandwich — that’s my cheese monster talking. And my cheese monster will never be satisfied by cheddar, only the cheese of accomplishment.
Let me think about the people who I care about the most, and how when they fail or disappoint me I still love them, I still give them chances, and I still see the best in them. Let me extend that generosity to myself.
Let me find and use metaphors to help me understand the world around me and give me the strength to get rid of them when it’s apparent they no longer work.
Let me thank the parts of me that I don’t understand or are outside of my rational control like my creativity and my courage.
And let me remember that my courage is a wild dog. It won’t just come when I call it. I have to chase it down and hold on as tight as I can.
Let me not be so vain to think that I’m the sole author of my victories and a victim of my defeats.
Let me remember that the unintended meaning that people project onto what I do is neither my fault or something I can take credit for.
Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes, but he’s a little bit of an asshole and no one invites him to their pool parties.
Let me remember that the impact of criticism is often not the intent of the critic, but when the intent is evil, that’s what the block button’s for.
And when I eat my critique, let me be able to separate out the good advice from the bitter herbs.
There are few people who won’t be disarmed by a genuine smile.
A big impact on a few can be worth more than a small impact.
Let me not think of my work only as a stepping stone to something else, and if it is, let me become fascinated with the shape of the stone.
Let me take the idea that has gotten me this far and put it to bed. What I am about to do will not be that, but it will be something.
There is no need to sharpen my pencils anymore. My pencils are sharp enough. Even the dull ones will make a mark.
Warts and all. Let’s start this shit up.
And God let me enjoy this. Life isn’t just a sequence of waiting for things to be done.
We’ll do it live!
“There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.”
–attributed to Victor Hugo
Time to start slaying dragons…