Stealing your ticket to Hell

I’d like to think that there’s a special place in hell for people who credit themselves with the work of others.
 
We can all agree that if you leave money on a side-walk, it’s likely to disappear before your mind had a chance to persuade your legs to walk on further (which is why I do my damndest to hand money to any waitress/waiter before leaving it on the table). Even if you put your name, contact details, and a supporting ownership statement. So why should you expect anything different when it comes to your ideas, tangible or not?
 
 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/ceoln/
You’ve spent a great deal of time on your ideas (or maybe not) like you’ve worked hard for your cash (maybe not).  But the pain and loss is deeper, cutting to the core.
Maybe the money is replaceable you think, but the idea is gone forever, almost if it’s a living breathing thing with its unique DNA.
 
The whole internet thing allows ideas to spread like the flu, which is awesome (not the flu, the flu is crap). The downside being it’s also easy to manipulate and alter. Perhaps, you can be comforted by the fact that your expression is good enough for people to want, good enough to take… maybe we fear what we secretly desire?
 
One could even argue that there are no new ideas, just parts of old ones stapled and bolted together creating some Frankenstein Monster idea.
Feed My Frankenstein
The lines are murky. I wouldn’t like to think of myself as an ideas thief. I certainly wouldn’t take any creative expression from another and parade it around as mine with intent. I’d feel like a right soulless, shallow, empty, uninspired douchebag if I did. But what if I did it unknowingly? Do I still reserve my spot in the Eighth Circle of Hell?
 
The Abyss of Hell - Sandro Botticelli
If we are moved by something, inspired, or even just subconsciously pick up information; It somehow may seep out into our conscious mind and present itself in our “own ideas” later. Are we still guilty of such despicable crimes?
I don’t know the answer, obviously.
If you are concerned about this happening, maybe you can begin to recognize that if you laid one golden egg, you will lay another  without allowing the fear of idea theft  to prevent  you sharing your own “unique” perception with the world (because, as I’m so fond of reminding everyone, when you’re dead, you’re dead). What good is an idea if it’s locked up with the key thrown away? I also don’t believe it’s necessarily necessary to charge a fortune for your idea. It doesn’t make sense to go from one extreme to an another. People  love to say (don’t they so?) “You get what you pay for”, “I don’t believe in giving it away” or some variation of the those.  
I was disheartened once when I was listening to CherylRichardson one evening (I love her…in a very platonic way, but she has a super duper radio manner) and she was interviewing James Altucher. He had a new book out, which I’m sure is just the Beez Kneez,  but he was offering some sort of rebate scheme where if you buy his book and read it, he will refund you the cost of the book if you can prove to him you’ve read it “because the money isn’t important” but “I don’t believe in giving things away for free”.
Ok fair enough. I don’t believe in bull shit.  So, there.
 
I’ve read loads of free ebooks given away by their authors which offer amazing information at no cost. And yet somehow they manage to make money.
I would also like to express my disdain for websites who seemingly offer great information but only after you MUST enter some sort of detail about yourself. Thank you and good bye. I’m an advocate of the “no strings attached” …….no… the  “really, I swear no strings attached “.
If you genuinely want to share something for free, share it. Don’t hold people hostage. If you want, charge, but you’re unlikely to find anyone who gives two pennies if you’re an unknown.  They greatest thing to keep in mind as far as I’m concerned and from what I’ve read is, No one cares about you or what you do, we are only interested in how you or your product can solve our problems. Not to be mean or anything. ( I care about humanity and stuff. I even care about my damn neighbors, one of which is guilty of not preventing a stray condom wrapper to fall into my garden this morning.  I probably care a bit less now).
There seems to be some association with giving things away and people stealing it, which is insane.
Having said all this, let me be honest and fess up. I have these thoughts. I am guilty of such ridiculousness. I am evolving through the process of “denial of the quality of my work/ no one wants it – people are going to steal it – I’m not giving shit away for free god-damn-it” . It’s going. Takes time.
Ideas come and go. You are not your ideas. (Unless you’re a politician.)
 
 Ideas are energy and they need to flow. Release them in whatever manner best suited to you.
 
And with that, breathe.
 
You have just read another tale in “Jenny From the Field” for the small price of a few of your brain cells.
-J
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Fake It ‘Till Ya Make It

      This really doesn’t apply in situations that involve: Brain Surgery, driving (like your fellows roadsters really need another excuse to be pissed about something), machines that could potentially sever limbs, and possibly the Rodeo.

Other than that, you should be good to go or if in doubt consult your nearest browser.

I’m writing this as more of an affirmation to myself than anything.

I have a niggle in my brain that says a lot of stupid things, like, the one that goes “You have to know everything before you can do that”, which can come in handy in some scenarios. For instance, say, you were jumping off of something high, it’s best to know beforehand there’s something cushy down below.

I know my brain is really protecting me because, you know, it loves me or whatever, at least it loves the body it inhabits. It would prefer to stay alive as long as possible.  There are times, however, I wish I could disengage that function or program it to come on only when really necessary, not for the little non-life threatening stuff.

Yet it’s there, and while I know I’m not fearing for my life, I am still fearful. Fearful of making mistakes, doing it wrong, mockery, red faced embarrassment etc.

So, maybe if I gather every bit if information I need I won’t make mistakes, feel embarrassed, or get laughed at? Probably not, but my brain thinks so and inevitably I follow orders and start sifting through infinite input until I get fed up from lack of action, and I forget the whole thing altogether.

 

And my damn brain just sits up there, sipping coffee sayin’ “Jenny, it’s safe here, don’t go outside”.
So I gaze out through the window, longing to be outside, but too scared to do it because it’s safer here.
And in truth, it is safer. Safer and limited.

One particular thing that changed my outlook of the safe house was when I first listened to Susan Jeffers. She said, not verbatim, something to the effect of : “living with fear and allowing it to limit you produces more anxiety than living with fear but not giving a flying pig and doing it anyway”.
don’t quote me.
Fear is present. It’s good for us (after all, what is the point of a decent horror film without a bit of fear, eh??).  It’s just slightly too neurotic and paranoid sometimes.
Rejection and feeling of failure, whatever that means to you, totally blows. I would be impressed if there is one person that genuinely feels super whilst experiencing the emotional fallout from it. Some people do seem to view these experiences as winning, mind you, because they are pressing forward and challenging themselves despite the outcome, aka a personal win. yay! high five!
So then maybe the key to it all is just doing it. Learn as you go along, but don’t focus too much on what you don’t know in the mean time, focus on what you DO know and what you want to get at the end of it. What does the end game look like for you? It’s fine and dandy getting advice, to be informed and knowing how other folks go about it, but really it’s your life, your way. What do you want to see looking back at your life in 5 years? That you were neat, tidy, cautious, clean and bored? That you kept in line with other people? Were you good? hmm?!?
Or…You played outside in the rain with no shoes, tore up your favorite shirt, made some people angry, but you have an absolute blast, you have made friends and you learn all the time?
I don’t know about you, but these walls are driving me mad!

This is something I am striving to work towards everyday. Feel the fear and carry on.  I may forget my shoes as I leap out the door, (keys more likely. Or my wallet, and that’s because the friggin’ thing got wedged in between the driver’s seat and the most unreachable depths underneath, it’s the black hole of the car. You think your socks had it bad) but it’s not going to kill me and even if it did I wouldn’t know any better.
So with all of this in mind, it then seems reasonable to gently remind your brain, as it sits smugly sipping coffee, that you may not know EVERYTHING, but you are not going to know ANYTHING by doing NOTHING. (so stick that in your cup, Brain… and…try not to choke…)

It’s better to start somewhere, even small. One foot forward and before you know it you’ll be causing all sorts of trouble in the neighborhood!

-J

I Haven’t Got A Clue


This particular statement passes through my head countless times throughout my waking hours and often in my dreams.   Everything reminds me that I haven’t got a clue. I don’t know what to do in most situations, how to solve problems, or even how to handle this lack of certainty.  With every new piece of information that filters in between my ears I encounter a six digit multiple of things that leave me feeling stupid.  And I really hate feeling stupid. Who like’s that? Raise of hands.

If your hands are firmly planted on your mouse edging towards the red “X” located in the upper right hand corner of the browser or a finger stuck up your nose, then i’ll accept that as an agreement.

So, we’re not alone. There’s a lot of shit we don’t know, and more we don’t know we don’t know, and haven’t got a clue how to go about knowing it.

It may be a small world but there’s more than enough input to fill a millennia of lifetimes.  It’s bound to happen that we don’t know. And it’s likely we might feel stupid about it the process.

Can you think of a time when you were having a conversation with someone and you’re already struggling, desperately clinging on by the coattails, and they throw in a word that contains more syllables than you can count and you kinda get the feeling that it’s important because the ball gets tossed to you and your whole reputation hangs on the kind of reaction you produce? Your eyes glaze over and you feel like fainting just to get out of the situation. This is a particular problem for me, anyway.  My vocabulary is about as wide as an ants stride and less sophisticated than a wine and pop cocktail.


I decided to resolve this issue by reading more, immediately looking up words if i could, and carrying a little notebook around with me to write down every word I came across that I didn’t know, filling in the details and reviewing a page at random. I could feel my brain getting bigger. Also, I decided that I was better off asking what something meant if it wasn’t appropriate to bust out the Webster and find it on  my own. Sure, they may have an instant ego boost as they’re spouting out the definition to the lowly peasant before them, but if they had half a brain they would recognize the courage I displayed in openly admitting my limitations. and at least I’m not a bull-shittah.


It’s been a while since I’ve done this and it was looking back at this behavior that prompted me to think about this post. Obviously there are a couple issues here I would love to touch upon at a later date, namely:
A: feeling stupid and embarrassed by what other people might think (when in actuality no one cares and they can only think about themselves); and
B: Stopping something when it’s working..like exercise, although some stop from burn out, lack of results, etc.

but later, kiddies…later.

The purpose of this was to resolve in my head what to do when you haven’t got a clue. I was reading an article written by Steve Pavlina at his Blog Site entitled ”  “I don’t know how” is not a valid excuse”.

My first reaction was “You arrogant little CENSORED“. It came across so disconnected and harsh to me.



But then..i read it again, chatted about it, and I realized it made a lot of sense. Maybe I wouldn’t have expressed it entirely the same way, but the general vibe is totally accurate.

It may not be nice being spoken to in that way but sometimes it’s the only way to shape up, put on the big girl pants and get to work.

In the end of the article he suggests instead of saying (or thinking!) “I don’t know how” you replace it with “I am learning”. I think that is the most valuable advice. There is absolutely no shame in not having a clue, right? Whether you are institutionally educated or not, the first step is acknowledging and accepting this fact and then taking action, making small strides towards your goal everyday. 

What I think Is the most regrettable and loathsome attitude is knowing this and ending there. 
(ok, I DO THIS A LOT! and boy, I deserve to feel stupid for it) I can only imagine the frustration people must feel trying to help and motivate others who simply aren’t willing to put in any effort. 

I admit, I have had thoughts where I think “oh if I had done this, things would be different/ better, and it’s too late” or “it’s because of ______ that I am in this situation”.

And usually I get pretty depressed as a result.

The fact of the matter is that I am right here, right now and I have an opportunity to move towards my dream of doing whatever the hell it is I dream of doing. 

Beating yourself up, making excuses, or making yourself a victim of others or yourself doesn’t actually help you succeed. What it does is allow you to do nothing, which may be fine for some, just don’t expect to win any brownie points and people are highly unlikely to do much for you, nevermind the universe!

So when you haven’t got a clue about what to do, simply consider your life being exactly as it is until you die. If you don’t much care for how that looks to you, then maybe today is the day you start doing something to change it. You can do it!

http://www.deliberateblog.com/2011/09/08/how-to-figure-out-what-you-want-when-you-havent-got-a-clue/

http://www.susanjeffers.com/home/detailtemplate.cfm?catID=2234

http://www.ted.com/talks/ken_robinson_says_schools_kill_creativity.html

I smell brownies.

-J