Not Enough Doing

So I was chatting with a friend earlier this evening over happy hour about the idea of doing something every day for a year or more, e.g. this blog or, in the case of his example, a gentleman who photographed himself — and we’re talking three or four angles on a daily basis — to document the aging process.

Over 10 years.

After the decade, he put the photos together into a time-lapse video.

The question came up as to whether he was a genius for doing this, or just bored.

I don’t think it was either. I certainly don’t think he was bored, nor do I think he was a genius — because time lapse videos aren’t new.

I do, however, think he was just curious. And there’s rarely anything wrong, in situations like this, in exploring one’s curiosity.

He may not have known that he’d start something that he’d ultimately continue for 10 years, but that ounce of curiosity ended up paying off.

He may not have even known that he’d go the time-lapse video route once all was said and done, but again — it’s about the curiosity.

What was semi-interesting about this man’s project was the fact that he wanted to document aging. Not growing up, not some sort of cream or surgery or enhancement to help delay the aging process — no, he wanted to straight-up document aging, wrinkles and graying.

Because of this, I was reminded of my personal belief that there isn’t enough “doing” in the world. Look around you: you probably know that you have a number of talents. And you can probably identify other talents in your friends, your co-workers, your kids, your parents. I think there’s not enough doing because people, in general, think their efforts won’t amount to much. But how often have you had an idea that you think is great, then a year later you see what you deem a “lesser” idea not only brought to life but praised, highlighted and covered in the media by someone else? It’s slightly maddening. But we’ll never know whether what could’ve been if we don’t do.

The worst that can happen is that someone will say no. The best that can happen is that one person will say yes, and land you in the hands of someone who takes that yes and runs with it.

Maybe fame and fortune isn’t your thing. I’m pretty sure it’s not mine, although I have nothing against using a faux name and donning a wig if that day ever came (there’s a lot to be said for anonymity). But in the meantime, I think we should all do more.

Tackle that wood carving.

Make something, whether it’s a desk, a batch of cupcakes or a new connection with someone. Then share what you’ve learned through those things. Share with people, share with your kids, share with neighbors, share via a blog, or share through a song.

So many people think they can’t hack it. But the ones who end up striking gold aren’t always the ones who thought they could — but they ARE always the ones who said, “Why not try?”

Tonight I am thankful for the reminder to give myself credit, to believe in my dreams and to be open to where this long, crazy journey might take me.

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