“It’s only impossible because you haven’t done it yet. Just do it.”
Um . . . . really?
Saw this quote on Facebook a few days ago and it got under my skin. The annoyance I felt was intense. Grating. Palpable.
It’s one thing to make a complex idea simple.
It’s quite another to gloss over something complex as you’re trying for a catchy sound bite.
Which is this?
I attended an event last night called Women Leading Las Vegas. The panel had one host and four guests, all women who have achieved extraordinary things in their careers and lives.
Did they “just do it?”
As the dialogue got deep and these women opened up, a few themes were stunningly clear:
- Each woman worked her ass off to get where she is
- Each had a clear vision of what she wanted to achieve, and didn’t waver from it (made adjustments along the way, but didn’t waver)
- Each women experienced multiple “come to Jesus moments” during her life and got through them. We’re talking crises, professional and personal
- Each woman has surrounded herself with people who have her back
- Each woman is doing what she loves AND is good at
The insight these successful leaders offered was illuminating and profound. Proof that we can all have success at what we really want to do – and if we’re smart we’ll play to our strengths, spending most of our time doing what we’re really really great at.
But did they “just do it?”
Though this exact subject didn’t come up, I got the feeling that the success of each of these women lies in their ability to live in the moment for a good portion of the time. How else can you get through the pressure, the stress and the grind if you can’t, at least some of the time, narrow your focus and existence down to one simple moment. After moment. After moment.
I’ve done it. I do it. It’s a practice. The closest I’ve come to living this on a life changing level was during Silverman. A race that should have taken between 7-8 hours took nearly 11. Flat tire, after flat tire, after flat tire . . . for a total of five, turned my carefully laid out race plans upside down, shook them out, and blew them away.
After nearly six years, this is still the best I’ve come up with to describe it:
I’ve talked before about how Silverman is much more than a race to me. The overwhelming feeling of POSSIBILITY that I had while volunteering on the run course in 2006 is as strong now as it was then. . . .
These feelings about Silverman built up over two years and came with me on November 9, 2008. I underestimated their power, as, for ten hours, forty eight minutes, and thirty three seconds, my mind went on autopilot and overrode all but a couple of fleeting negative thoughts.
Every mental status check revealed an inner calm, focus, and complete confidence that I would finish. No matter what happened, I could rely on my mind and body to move me forward – even when things turned out differently than planned.
You can read the entire Reflections on Silverman post here.
I never knew the power of living in the moment until that day.
- In the moment, time slows down. Focus comes easily.
- In the moment, you’re fully there. Anxiety about the past, worry about the future aren’t possible.
- In the moment, support is there when you need it. Concern about what’s going to happen next doesn’t exist.
In the context of the moment, “just do it” makes sense. Because it’s all you can do.
As an inspirational slogan, “just do it” misses the mark
It’s too simplistic.
It implies “doing it” is easy.
It negates the hard work required to achieve meaningful goals.
It completely ignores Resistance.
In my experience “Just start” or “Just act” is better. That’s how you achieve the impossible.
What do YOU think? Did I over analyze this? Read too much into a quote that’s mean to inspire? Or did I nail it?
Many thanks to Alicia Mejia for the picture of the Women Leading Las Vegas event.