As much as a famous sneaker/running shoe company may have coined the term first, when I think of a saying relating to get a task done, a particularly motivating clip now comes to mind. A simple message spoken with so much conviction that you can't help but buy into it at least a little bit. It's the video that helped me finally start this blog section.
Now the advice I'm sharing here and in the video really isn't anything revolutionary. Rather a reminder or a reinforcement of the idea of taking the plunge.
While I was growing up I was terrified of the deep end of the pool. I didn't actually learn how to swim proficiently until my late teens and only ended up going off a diving board for the first time after that. Prior to that moment I would freeze on the edge and turn back around at the last minute. So many thoughts would be running through my mind paralyzing me. What should the proper falling "form" look like? What I would do when I hit the water? What would the people watching would think? etc etc. And this wasn't exactly rocket science, I've seen plenty of kids go off the diving board and make it. It wasn't like it was my first time in the water. I could do this. So my first legitimate dive opportunity happened and the last thought I had before jumping off a diving board for the first time was "JUST DO IT".
Now there certainly is a case to be said for long thought out procedures and quadruple checking your work like when building a pedestrian bridge over a large gorge, running for President of the United States, directing a big budget Hollywood film, carrying out multi-million dollar pharmaceutical research or making sure your saucy Snapchat doesn't get sent to the wrong person. Yes. There certainly are situations where other's innocence and/or lives are at stake and require some more thought before carrying them through.
But when it comes to taking that first step, going from 0 to 1, on something that matters to you, sometimes you need that voice to yell above all the others and say "JUST DO IT".
Just. Do it.
Now don't get me wrong here and go assuming I mean just start acting out every random thought that passes through your mind. Absolutely not. What I am saying is that when it comes down to it, and you have done your due diligence, done your fact checking and not acting is starting to bring on more stress then just carrying the action out then it is time to JUST DO IT.
Thinking you should talk to that pretty guy/gal and ask them for coffee? JUST DO IT.
Not sure if you can stick with your fitness plan? JUST DO IT.
Anxious about trying a new recipe. JUST DO IT.
Find areas where it is safe to fail and go for it. Build some confidence. Realize that no one gets it perfect the first time. Realize again that no one is perfect. Learn from it and move forward.
And the more you do this, the greater your capacity to do more becomes. Ask yourself what you really have to lose? You have more opportunities than you can think of so don't get hung up on just one and let that stop you from a good outcome.
If I never failed in a safe environment (community centre pool) and went off that diving board, I couldn't have completed a checkpoint in an obstacle course race going off an Olympic height diving board, I then wouldn't have been able to cliff jump in the middle of the Rocky Mountains while on a rafting trip. And why would I care? Because being able to do those things without regrets matter to me.
I've had to learn life is too short to get everything 100% perfect. You try your best, and keep going. Don't let a dream wither in the corner because you were too worried if you could. JUST DO IT. That will confirm your "fears" faster than thinking ever would.
So why am I even writing all this?
Well I've been having some thoughts for a while that I feel can help others. And I've also had thoughts about sharing those thoughts. And I've even had thoughts about people having thoughts about those thoughts.
But you know what? The potential rewards outweigh the risks in this scenario and the possibility of someone finding value in something I have to say outweighs the "risk" that someone might disagree with what I have to say.
So today I'm going to listen to Shia LaBeouf's motivational speech and JUST DO IT. So begins the Modern Afflatus blog. The translation of my thoughts to text. They aren't going to be Pulitzer prize winning but at least they are not stewing around in the corner of my brain somewhere and out there (hopefully) providing insight and value.
And the next time I think the opportunity is there to take action and create something, with the ONLY real fear being an irrational one, I'm going to JUST DO IT too.