What Are You Going to Do Otherwise?


A huge passion of mine is ninjutsu, which I do three times a week. On Monday I felt a bit resistant towards going. Throughout the day leading up to the hour-long drive to class, I fought against it – and then the best question ever came into my mind!

“What are you gonna do otherwise?”

My answer was, “Probably play on my computer or something.”

I said back to myself, “Is that going to make you a better ninja?”

I smirked and replied, “No….”

Very effective. Next time you are resistant to something you know you WANT to do (not should do), ask yourself that question.

Don’t wanna go to the gym? What would you be doing instead? Watching TV? Is that going to get you the body you want? Are Ross and Rachel gonna rip your abs and blast your fat? Nuh uh.

Don’t feel like working on your novel? What are you gonna do? Read Cracked and Buzzfeed? Are you insane? Open your flipping MS Word and type, bitch!

Don’t feel like practicing your oboe? Let me guess…you’d rather check out what OTHER people are doing on Facebook.

Sitting around and wishing for stuff is gonna get you nowhere. We have limited time on this plane of existence. You need take whatever steps possible to get you to where you want to be. Enjoy each step. Just because steps are small do not mean you should brush them off and fill up your time with meaningless junk. You can do that if you want, but do the important things FIRST. The more little steps you take, the closer you will be, the better you will be, the more you will be making of your life. Everything large is made of something small.

Tonight I’m going to class again. I usually want to go, but I always go regardless of how I feel, and I am ALWAYS glad I do. You will be glad you take your steps, too. But DO them.

Recommended Reading:

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles
Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work
Do the Work

Curse of the Time-Killers: Tips for TWIPs

(This pic is from 2003. But relevant. Also, I miss my old room – and that sticker!).

The term “killing time” is rather horrifying.

First, to think of time as something alive, or something tangible, is rather ridiculous.

Most people think they don’t have enough time, yet they piddle away the seconds and moments in their lives on paltry things. They whine about how they don’t have time to do the things they love.

I am going to raise my eyebrow at you people. MY EYEBROW IS RAISED.

See, I have done the same things, and I know how to combat it! It’s rather simple but you have to make it a priority. Abolish the words “killing time” from your vocabulary.

Instead, focus on what you want – you may need to write this down. If I ask you right now, “What things do you love?” the first thing on that list is probably what you always list first. Now…do you actually DO that thing a lot? And define a lot? How long would you LIKE to be doing that every day?

Usually my answers are “surfing, reading, and writing” – they always top the list. Yet the only thing I do on that list obsessively is read. I don’t surf anymore because I don’t live near the waves (though I do have options if I really wanted to), and I write in my journal, but I never write fiction like I do in my head, constantly.

I am interested in everything and the internet distracts the hell out of me. There is so much out there, so many awesome people, so many things to learn about, oh my god, now I want to go to the library and take out more books than I can read ,even if I renew them twice! I have taken out books, renewed them as many times as possible, taken them out AGAIN, and still not read them. Ridiculous!

~~

Here is my antidote for Time-Wasting Interwebz-People [TWIPs]:

1.If you have a regular job, when you get home, figure out how many hours you have before you go to bed (make sure you can get enough sleep, or you will never feel like doing anything).

2. Chop this amount of time into pieces. For me it is:

  • 2 hours reading: 1 hour fiction, 1 hour non-fiction.
  • 2 hours writing – blog, journal, or fiction
  • 2 hours for eating and whatever else needs doing, including internet browsing and my beloved blog-reading.

Done! Now, I could put surfing in there, too, but like I said, I am land-locked for now! So the main things I love will be taken care of every day, and I still have lots of time for other stuff. I don’t even need to do these things EVERY day, but if that is how I decide to split my time for the evening, I am more likely to stick to it (like tonight)!

Another thing to ask yourself if you are “killing time” – are you LEARNING anything to benefit yourself? I ALWAYS have a book with me. It doesn’t matter if I am going to a movie or to see a friend – I never know what will happen and I am always prepared for a lull. This way the time is not wasted. You could do the same thing for whatever you love. Brainstorm all the ways you can use extra minutes of your day. These ALL add up.

You think fiery, enthusiastic people kill their time? HA!

If you have passion, you will find ways to squeeze juice out of every second of your time awake. If your passion has waned, you need to pump fluid back into those broken synapses. A connection in your brain was probably broken – maybe something that happened directly, maybe an offhand comment from someone, or maybe growing up your dreams were squashed when people talked you into becoming “realistic.”

The most passionate people out there make their own realities, and you do as well. You can repair those creative strands that have been loosened. Choose a muse to emulate, and imagine yourself how you know you truly are – if you were fearless and had nothing restraining you, and all the money in the world, what would you do?

Even tiny steps will lead you to where you want to be. In a flow of obsession and gratitude. The whole point of life is joyous rapture.

Everything is built up by small things. Even millions of dollars can broken down into pennies. Every epic journey was started by the initial first movements. Just start where you are, with what you have.

I used to say I couldn’t work on anything until things around me were clean or just right. Now I say whatever to that – it can wait. the priority is the stuff that makes me HAPPY, not the things I think I SHOULD be doing. Who cares if there are books on my floor or dishes in my sink? They will still be there after I finish writing!

Your passions are waiting. They always have been. Stop reading this right now and go do something about it! Mwah!