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

Consume or Create?

“The Principle of Priority states (a) you must know the difference between what is urgent and what is important, and (b) you must do what’s important first.” Steven Pressfield: The War of Art (this is essential reading).

How much of your time is spent on the consumption of others’ creativity?

I have noticed for a while that I am so inspired by the beautiful creations and visions of others, that I spend the majority of my time watching or reading or being immersed in THEIR worlds instead of creating my own.

I don’t think this is a rare phenomenon. In fact, I think almost everyone is like this. And I want to be the opposite.

I want the majority of my time to be creating. I want to be a CREATOR. And not just for the sake of ME. I want to create community and connections and growth and beauty so that there is a boom of magnificence. If we all create and support one another in our visions, we are going to be much happier people.

Here’s the thing – I don’t want to stop enjoying the work of other people, obviously. I just don’t want to have it take up the bulk of my time. And this is difficult since I am a person interested in so, so many things. This is why I wrote out my ultimate purposes – this helps me focus when I get sucked in by other little interests that don’t serve me long-term.

I think you likely know your ultimate purposes, and when you do, and you keep this in the forefront of your mind, you can decide what is actually worth your time and what is not.

There are also so many amazing people out there to be inspired by and gain knowledge and guidance from – so many – so how do you choose? Well, you need to choose or you are going to be sucked up too much in other peoples’ worlds and never be in your own enough, in your own space where you create your OWN world to share with others. You may be the inspiration or leader that someone else needs to look up to in order for them to come out of THEIR shell.

And so, I look at all the people who interest me and inspire me, and I realize that I need to choose who I REALLY want to learn from. Who speaks to me on a soul level?

Who is just frivolous fun (which is fine, if that’s what speaks to your soul), and who do I feel I really mesh with, who would totally understand me like a soul sister or a soul brother? Who I understand, even if I don’t know them (yet)? Those are my people. Those are the people who I want to support most, who I want to learn from, and those are the people that I want to spend my precious time on, because the rest is for ME, my world, my family, my causes, my friends, my most cherished activities.

The search for endless inspiration is a distraction from doing our own work. We don’t believe in ourselves enough to go ahead with it – we seek the constant guidance of others instead of letting what is inside us come out naturally, without any coaxing at all. We just have to sit down, work, and let it manifest on its own.

Everything that you CHOOSE should be aligned with your highest purposes in some way. Even if you have a day job – make sure it aligns SOMEHOW with your deepest and most intense desires, because then your life will always satisfy you, or at least the majority of the time.

Seek  long-term gratification instead of short-term entertainment so you feel warm and accomplished, instead of hollow and anxious. I think so many of our addictions and neuroses could be cured just by simply expressing ourselves without fear and without caution. Instead, we must simply become vessels for our muses – to speak to the rest of humanity through our words, images, and actions.

~~~

Image above from Vali Myers personal journals.