Just Do It

Most people seem to find it very easy to step up on their tattered soap-box, slam big business and hate on “the man” for being successful. Proclaiming outright disgust at companies trying to make money in the face of economic problems, for taking advantage of cheap labour or whatever this week’s futile, yet crucially important hot topic is.

Fair play. Don’t let me get in your way pal. You’ve got some shouting to do I see. I’m not going to sing the praises of large corporations, save for one small thing. Nike, Inc. absolutely 100%, slap-bang NAILED it with their “Just Do It” trademark.

“Just Do It”

I love it. I really do.

Now, I don’t align myself with Nike because I’m not really an athlete (although I did win an EPIC Pot Noodle eating contest in a night club once), and I don’t buy much of their stuff. As much as I used to love a good pair of SB Dunks (limited edition Ferris Bueller’s Day Off high-tops with leopard-print laces anyone?) I don’t buy into their brand, or their ethos in any way other than a massive appreciation of that tagline.

Their tagline, however, encompasses a small strand of my existence, and it’s not because some marketing guy at Nike HQ whapped it on a poster or two, then I read it and thought: “Oh, that’s good. I like that”. It’s because, as a phrase (Nike irrelevant) it’s something I find myself telling people day after day. It’s something I believe in, and ultimately, that rather bloated and convoluted blog intro was all just so I could start gabbing about the phrase without some berk commenting about how I’m a Nike fan-boy or whatever.

The “Just Do It” attitude ties in somewhat with motivation, and together they are, for me (like a theoretical version of The Avengers) a formidable force. In fact, I believe Nike themselves tie their justification to not being afraid. Being fearless. Going for what you desire and having nothing to lose.

Spot on.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t always have motivation, nor do I always want to just “do” things. I have days when I get cramps cleaning my teeth in the morning, and then by the time I have to actually do something with my day, I need an intravenous drip of caffeine and regular slaps to the cheek to perk myself up. But I do strive, whenever possible to have both motivation and a “get things done” attitude in good measure, and when presented with opportunities to do things, I’ll try as hard as I can to take them, even if it means saying “yes” now and soiling the trousers later.

What gets me a little upset though, is when people struggle with motivation and doing things. I don’t always have the capacity to exercise compassion, because a lack of motivation or desire to do things is something I don’t understand. Now that’s maybe a weakness on my behalf, but I always find myself offering the same advice to people over and over again.

So, here I’m going to try and offer some of the justification for my mindset, and perhaps someone, somewhere might garner some insight, or feel motivated enough to just go out and you know… Do things.

You Don’t Need Inspiration, You Need Motivation

I think a lot of people get caught up with lacking inspiration. There are websites set up for creative inspiration, people feel they need serendipitous happenings to justify getting something done. Let’s stop waiting for inspiration to hit, and just get the hell on with it. You need to make inspiration happen, or understand that you don’t need it, in order to get something done.

Give Yourself The Fear

I’m not saying go bungee jumping, freefall-salsa dancing, roller-bowling, synchronised-hoop-whispering or whatever else the floppy-haired haired extreme do these days. I’m just saying, give yourself something to be a bit nervous about.

Use the energy you get from excitement and nerves to remind yourself that you’re taking a chance. Wipe the sweat from your armpits and tell yourself you’re doing something which will at the very least be a great story to tell. It might even be (like all good films claim to be these days) life affirming.

Nothing beats the haze of adrenaline come-down, coupled with pride and satisfaction in equal measure.

If Something Doesn’t Work, Try Something Else

Stop getting stressed out about one decision. Make it and deal with it, or find another decision to make. Life is too short to be faffing around trying to plan for all the eventualities. Just feel safe in the knowledge that if something does go wrong, you’ll probably find ways to deal with it.

There are plenty of opportunities to change paths. If this one thing doesn’t work out, then who’s to say you can’t stop and do something else?

Nobody says you have to do one thing for your whole life.

Do more stuff.

Is It Worth Missing Out On?

Think about how you’d feel if you let this pass you by. Think about your future self thinking back, wishing you’d just gone ahead and done it. Avoid regretting things you didn’t do, because you won’t regret the things you did.

Worry about it later — you’re not achieving anything by worrying about things now. You’re just prolonging the decision. You only need to worry about one outcome once the decision is made, so why waste time preparing for loads of possibilities?

Get on with it.

Rationalise

This is a great coping mechanism. Think about yourself this time last year. What about three years ago? Would you have put your future self in your MySpace top 8? (a reference, I fear is getting perilously obsolete) Did you expect to have this decision to make? Would it have mattered to you then? Will it matter a year from now? What about ten years?

In the grand scheme of your life, throughout all of the things you’ve done, how does this rank? How will it rank when you’re almost at the end of your days? Will you still be worried about it? Doubtful.

What Would You Be Doing Otherwise?

Sat in your underwear in front of the TV, picking the lint out of your umbilical dip, watching “The Fart In My Mouth Show” till midnight, when you drag yourself through to an unmade bed, and lie there till the sleepers kick in, right? Right.

So there you have it. A bunch of reasons you should just go ahead and get on with it.

What are you waiting for?

(written in March 2013 and re-published in May 2017)