Don’t Wait to Get Started

Make shit happen. Now.

I want to be a philanthropic, flamenco guitar playing, Spanish speaking, life documenting, world traveling, social experimenting, filmmaking, humanitarian, entrepreneur, self expert yogi. Nothing less.

What I actually am is a scattered, ambiguous, idealistic, chronically dissatisfied, paralyzed procrastinator with few tangible accomplishments. I can hold a conversation in Spanish for approximately 38 seconds, and once made a film I never showed to anyone.

The best advice I’ve gotten through my tireless create-your-life education is to simply: start now, and keep going.

Unfortunately, the perfectionist in me does not condone this method. I’m innately much more successful at overanalyzing existence and my role in it to the point where nothing makes sense andnothing gets done.

My daily work routine looks a little something like this: wake up, hydrate, eat, pee, read a little, write a little, cross eyes at computer screen, contemplate life, take preventive measures to prevent insanity (go outside), do a headstand, hydrate, pee, look at the clock and freak because the day is half gone, get discouraged because what I’m working on is crap, drop everything that I’m working on and start something completely different (which naturally, I won’t finish).

I could fill a wing of a (bad art) museum with half finished artwork. Write a book series with half finished thoughts scribbled on scraps of paper from over the years. Impress you with neglected bits of inspiration left to die in the Notes app in my iPhone. Show you the scroll where I list my dreams-to-be. You get it.

There is one reason why my ideas don’t reach execution phase. If I anticipate that the final product won’t be as good as it could be, I stop. Conversations with myself go like this: “Someone else already did that.” “Someone else did that way better.” “I can’t start this until I do some more research.” “Is this me?” “Is this what I want to be doing?” “Is this right?” “This is crap.” “This is hard.” “I have no idea what I’m doing.” “I’m not prepared for this.” “I don’t have the resources.” “I’ll do this when I’m better at it.” “I’ll finish this once I have a clearer idea of where I’m going with it.” “I’ll totally finish this-cough-never.”  

One day, Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist, punched me in the ego. That’s right.POW. Lesson No. 2 in his book goes a little something like this:

Don't Wait Until You Know Who You Are to Get Started

He goes on to say “If I’d waited to know who I was or what I was about before I started “being creative,” well, I’d still be sitting around trying to figure myself out instead of making things.”

An a-ha moment (more like a duh moment)! Ready or not. Crank it out. Put it out there. Figure it out as you go. Most of us have it backwards, do we not? We try so hard to “discover ourselves” before we feel we can add value to the world. Sabotage! We will accomplish nothing without doing. Get outta your head, and into the world.

Ready or not.

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