Now sure, I write to tell stories. But I also write, frequently, from a place of anger. So often when I tried to tell stories as a young person, people met them with, But why would anyone care about a story about that? Sometimes, it was worse: Why would someone care about a story from someone like you? or even Why would someone care about a story from you?
In many ways, Do the Thing! is about helping people find, if not their anger, their unwillingness to be told by others what they are and are not capable of. If this fuel can work for me, it can work for you too. And if this fuel can work for all of us, and we create things and put them out in the world, people will, eventually, stop trying to convince each other and themselves that it’s just too hard or that they’re not good enough. And then there will be more things for all of us to enjoy.
But if you compete in this world at anything from any type of wound, yes feels a certain way. It’s not just exciting, it’s victory. And it’s not just victory, but vindication.
Which means the days that you hear No or This isn’t the right fit for us or It’s not there yet or Try again next time can really suck. They can, because people remember negatives more than positives, make you feel like all your victories — including that most basic one where you get up every day and face the world — don’t mean anything.
This, of course, isn’t true. But if you’ve had this experience, you know it’s a big obstacle to Doing the Thing! After all, what endeavor can even bring with it a new yes every single day?
An addiction to yes can also lead you to pursue low-hanging fruit when you need to take the risk to advance to the next stage of your ambition.
So how do you break away from that addiction to yes? How do you refrain from over-weighting the negative so that you can listen to critique and continue to improve you work? And what are you doing to give yourself a daily yes when the world isn’t necessarily inclined to cooperate?
While we’re all working on figuring that out, we’ve got a lot of yes to give out in comments today, so if you need some approval and encouragement with a little side dish of supportive ass-kicking, hit the comments! As always, anonymous commenting is on.