There are endless reasons and ways.
You’ve got three kids. You’ve got three teeth. The rent is four months past due.
You’re a big hit at the office. She left last week. The engine won’t turn over.
You just aren’t feeling it.
The wine went bad. Success arrived too fast. Success never arrived. You’ll lose their respect. You’re in the cancer game now.
That bus turned left, one block north.
You’ll do it tomorrow. The doubt, just behind your left ear. Thirty-three parking tickets.
Out of milk. The electric bill. What would Mommy and Daddy say?
Never went to college. Went to too much college.
The step onto a rotting board. Oversexed. Undersexed.
Everything will conspire to stop you. There are endless reasons and ways.
They are all common to everyone.
In the end, you’ve got to pick up the pen and do the thing. And then you’ve got to do it again.
No matter the payoff. No matter the beating.
You are no different, better or worse, than any before you.
Their ink and blood ran in the gutter.
So will yours, if you want to finish this race.
Reader Comments (88)
Bamboo Forest - Tick Tock Timer says
It’s all in the mind! All in the mind!
We are our own worst enemies. We are the only ones that stop us.
Oh man, nothing to add, good post :]
Daniel Roach says
Gotta love when you can work a Yellow Submarine reference into a blog comment!
Wow, copywriter poetry.
Made me think “mindfreak.” But too bad Criss Angel runined that phrase from being used in conversation without thinking of him and his show.
ruined … ruined
typos – a bad thing
more comments – a good thing
yes, everything will conspire against you
but you can right a wrong
a make a bad thing
not so bad
Christopher Dorda says
Love the flow of the rhythmic ‘no’.
Love the images of the forces that oppose.
Your advice is poetry in prose.
Whatever its form, I appreciate the nod,
Wherever we’re from, we’re all a bit odd.
What we all have in common is a calling of ages
The white page has haunted us all; fools, saints, and sages.
Andy S. says
Initiate, Ship, Initiate, Ship. What good is it to have an idea if you never initiate it? As Seth Godin says, you have to poke to the box and see what happens, and then you have to poke it again and again and again!! The word is GO, so do something and start something, and never let the resistance prevent you from starting.
Kyle Reed says
Let’s do this
Indeed, sage advice! The best way to get out of a funk is to DO something. When you don’t feel like writing a blog post, write one! You may find a renewed vigor when you are done. Ahh, now I am guilting myself into writing another mind-blowing post when I really don’t feel like it today. Thanks for the motivational kick in the pants.
That really was beautifully written. I especially loved this part, “Everything will conspire to stop you. There are endless reasons and ways.
They are all common to everyone.
In the end you’ve got to pick up the pen and do the thing. And then you’ve got to do it again.
No matter the payoff. No matter the beating.
You are no different, better or worse, than any before you. ”
It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves or compare ourselves and think we were somehow shafted of an opportunity and thus can’t do as well as someone else. But we determine what we will become by our decisions. We are no better or worse than anyone before us, so we’ve got to keep trying.
John F Taylor says
Thank you! I am so sick of hearing this and that went wrong from people about why they aren’t doing it. I must admit sometimes I want to go down that road too but I never have. This is going into a frame and being hung on the wall behind the desk so I can see it daily. Fantastic post.
You’ve really never gone down that road? I mean, I’m doing it in spite of everything but I’ll admit that sometimes the obstacles knock me back a step or two, sometimes they knock me flat on my back.
Great post though 🙂
Billy Flynn says
Hey Jax, its all about getting up, sounds like you know that though..
That was great. Applicable to any human in any situation. Thank you, Robert the Bruce.
Lea Sadler says
It’s like Nike says.
Just do it.
Linda Reynolds says
Lovely imagery, beautiful use of language and HIGHLY motivational.
Thanks for the poetry…can’t write more gotta go make something…
The very best HR director I ever had told me, when I was a young thing with boyfriend troubles, “Honey if we stopped this place every time someone had a reason to stay home, this place wouldn’t be here.”
I liked the way you said it better…thanks!
Willy Lim says
Attitude. Attitude. Attitude.
Cassandra Frear says
Succinct and amusing. But yes, we write in spite of it all — if we write at all. The picture by the post does not show up on my computer screen, by the way. Just wanted to let you know.
Brutal but true
Wow. That caught me by surprise. Well written. I enjoyed it immensely.
Do you know me? 🙂 love the article. Beautifully written and insightful. Thanks for my early morning motivation to pick up the pen in spite of.
Conor Ebbs says
This is powerful prose. The image is apt.
Each line is another arrow. Death by a thousand cuts, or life by growing a new skin, or embracing the skin within, the most powerful one of all.
When I was abiding by the unwritten rules, everything seemed ‘secure’, but nothing was pure. Since finding my voice, it seems like obstacles appear at each new bridge, to warn me, to scorn me for not standing in line.
Thank you for the reminder.
You know what stops me? Email and reading blog posts about what stops me. That sounds like a criticism but it isn’t. It’s the truth. I let everything and anything get me off track – especially when I’m in a panic what do I do next mode.
The title alone on this posting stopped me.
Then I read it and said, OH YEAH! That’s it!
I’m trying to work on Focus, Focus, Focus and this is just what the doctor ordered for the cure.
Now I really, oh truly, am back to work.
Thanks for the punch in the solar plexus!
It took my breath away but I needed it.
Melanie Harth says
Fan – f’ing – tastic. I can take 30 pages to say just that. Thank you. Melanie, the SoulDoc
Maryellen Smith says
Brilliant! Simply brilliant!
LOVE THIS!!! Enough said! 🙂
Susan Alexander says
Really well done post. I like your writing style: it conveys a very useful message through carefully chosen words and good flow.
Your post reminds me of one I did on self encouragement. Thought you and the Copyblogger readers might like it. The videos it links to are especially powerful, encouraging, inspiring, hilarious, etc., so take the time to watch them if you can (especially the video of Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk, which was a total game changer for me – it’s what inspired the post) …
Very cool blog you have. Just subscribed. Look forward to reading more of you. Thanks.
Michael Stagg | Maikeru Foto says
Wow! Now THAT’S inspiring! No matter what, get off your arse and WRITE! Love It! 😀
Secrets of Entrepreneurship says
Thank you Robert for sharing your views. I’ve gained.
Mark Brian says
Nothing can stop me, it may slow me down but nothing will stop me.
Interestingly, your poetry is indeed quite motivational for bloggers. Keep writing more like this..
Hector cuevas says
Awesome post.. We are definitely our own worse enemy. The mind can be a tricky thing; I used to think mindset training was pure BS, until I got started.
Stupid little gremlins always talking behind your ears, telling u you’re no good, telling you people will laugh, and telling u you’re wasting your time.. U got to SHUT those damn gremlins up if you want to win, or at least get really good at ignoring them.
modem murah says
thanks for sharing with the world
This hit home; so many of the excuses you listed I’ve been using. But when I read “you’re in the cancer game now…” I felt like you were looking right at me. My dad was diagnosed with cancer last year and has been fighting it…until yesterday. He quit chemo because he can’t afford it. When I read this article it sounded to me like you were saying that I needed to quit making excuses and do something..anything and then maybe I can help him. Thanks so much for your inspiration; it came at the very right moment.
Nothing can stop me but me 🙂
Great post, thanks!
Martyn Chamberlin says
you’ve proved some interesting stuff. Keep it short, sweet, mention sex, use lots of off-the-wall nouns, be imagination personified on dope…
and they flock to hear it.
I mean, you’re writing here the way Seth Godin does in email. It’s fascinating. This totally disrupts the traditional blog model that infects me and lots of other people
I shall think on this
Allen Walker says
Definitely. 🙂 Instead of letting your obstacles stop you, use them to propel you forward.
When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.
Dustin Renner says
Awesome post! So true! Keep your focus and don’t let anything get in your way. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. Anything is possible with the right mindset, commitment, energy, passion and effort!
Very catchy. I can imagine shredding up those stories standing in my way.
Even with all of the more tactical posts you’ve written – this one has to be one of the most inspiring I’ve seen. It hit home with me and I am saving this one. Thanks a bunch!
A rap song in the making.
I prefer Just Do It.
In other words, focus on the reasons you CAN do something instead of all the reasons you CAN’T.
“A rap song in the making.” That was my favorite. 🙂
Vangile Makwakwa says
I love this poem. It is truly beautiful. I was just screaming to a friend that I feel like I keep hitting a wall as a writer but this reminds me once more that there are many that have come before me and struggles are universal.
Paul Byrne says
Vaclav Gregor says
Well it matters how will decide to look at the things that are happening to us. If we choose to believe that we just suffer and life is terrible then we will really never achieve what we want.
or we can do the opposite.
Patricia C Vener says
Troubles may slow me down but my determination keeps me going. My advice for people when it all too overwhelming is to grab a hot cocoa and take a power nap. Your brain is telling you it wants, maybe not a reset, but at least some time to assimilate what’s been coming in. Or maybe you need to find someone to ask for help. Not always easy to find, but sometimes easier than the asking itself. We are a culture that purports to admire those who stand on their own, but in fact there is no one who has not looked to another person for something supportive at some time.
Just sitting here thinking about how I might as well wrap it up and how I accomplished nothing today because blah blah blah…
Then I read your post and laughed all the way through! Are you looking in my window?
Brandon Hansen says
Its good to know that other people have roadblocks – at least that gives me hope that I am not alone.
Giulietta Nardone says
Yes, everything will conspire to stop you!
We’re each on a hero/heroine’s journey and the obstacles make the game here on Earth more of a challenge. No challenges, no reward.
Enjoyed the simplicity of this post! Thx, Giulietta
Elizabeth Newlin says
Love it! You’ve got to do it and do it and do it again tomorrow and then the next day after that and never stop!
linden moe says
keep on just keeping on..
the only answer to despair is action..good stuff..good stuff
Elmar Sandyck says
Touche! Yes, yes, indeed. Everything will be there to make us want to stop but if we really want it, we will find a way to do it. It’s the will in us that makes us hurdle all these obstacles. In the end, it’s how we handle the situation.
Ande Waggener says
What? I’m not supposed to throw a tantrum and sit down and refuse to budge when something goes wrong!? Oh, okay.
Seriously, this is a great pep talk we all need on a semi regular basis. I don’t give away my dog because she leaves crap in my backyard, so why would I give up on a business that’s going through a crappy time? But sometimes I’m tempted. So thanks for the smack upside the head. 🙂
So true. And like someone already mentioned, it sounds like a great Nike ad (the world will always tell you “no”, but you will tell it “yes”). Don’t let anyone or anything tell you that you’re out of the game, and don’t let anyone put a period in your life where God has put a comma.
amy michelson says
and there’s always the refrigerator. did he mention the refrigerator?
Billy Flynn says
Thought it, said it, done it; thanks for drawing such a great picture!
I agree that we can’t let most of the obstacles we encounter throw us off course. However, I’ve also learned over the years that every so often there are circumstances or choices I’ve made that I just can’t put my head down and plow over them. I need to sit in them and feel what it is that’s going on inside me, and then it’s out of these moments that new life springs.
Mani Viswanathan @ DailyBlogging says
Well, it depends on one’s Self-Belief. That’s the key to success.
Okay, so now you have to go and ruin it for me! Dang reasons for NOT doing the thing:)
Appreciate the motivation!
Kirk Taylor says
What a relaxing post…. BTW, I already moved forward! I did it…..
This reminded me a lot of one of the points in Steven Covey’s Book The seven habits of highly effective people. The point about learning to be proactive instead of reactive.
Liked this post-short and sweet and deep.
Steve Errey says
This was something I learned many years ago from Mr Shorofsky, the music teacher in the TV show “Fame”. His prize student Bruno Martelli was in pain over a tricky decision that might determine his future, and he just couldn’t make a decision. When asked fro advice, Mr Shorofsky just said, “Do something“.
I do disagree on one thing though. Sometimes, just “getting on with it” is the worst thing you can do. The belief that success comes by ploughing forwards no matter what gets in the way is a flawed and sometimes damaging one. Sometimes, the very best thing to do is to allow yourself to stop and fully experience any hurt, pain or block that might be there.
Ploughing forward regardless is how you accumulate unresolved emotions and miss out on some of the biggest things life wants to show you.
Yes, everything will conspire to stop you….and the biggest conspirators of all is your self…
Mark Tosczak says
This is great. I’m printing it out and posting it at work and at home to remind me of the importance of just taking action.
First time reading a poetry on Copywriting. Loved it. Yeah whatever happens at the end of the day we need to move on and do the works we usually do.
D R @ Motivating Minutes says
It reminds me of a great inspirational commercial – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obdd31Q9PqA –
The excuses can be endless. Do it anyway.
Reminds me of John Belushi in the Blues Brothers
Kyle Logue says
I like it :)… I’m off to go blog right now!
I so so SO love this. Such a great message.
pick up the pen and do the thing.
I think you might have just changed my life, and I am not even blowing smoke.
Nathan Williams says
Good inspirational stuff! Can’t agree more.
The reality is we have to sit down and do our best in spite of it all.
And yes as long as we want to give our best, things are never as bad as they seem.
Jay Schwartz says
Well said! My problem, of course, is that I think, therefore I am distracted. Still, on other days, the root of all evils is procrastination. Some might say six of one or half a dozen of the other … but one thing I know for sure is that 12 school years of looking out the window will do that for you!
heh, really nice poetry.
Nice poetic little post. Which reminds me, I need to stop dreaming, and start Doing!:)
Simon Little says
No one seems to need a good reason to have a good excuse…
Love this piece! Now time to sit down and start working!
seo and link building tips says
Very interesting and engaging copyblogger poem i love it…
We can all overcome can’t we? Took me a long time to realise this but I’m glad I did. Learning the hard way os the best way I reckon.
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