Do or Do Not.

Archive for the ‘Inspiration’ Category

Button Pushing

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I’ve always had a phenomenal amount of respect for dancers.  The dedication and work that must go into being able to move like that (where “like that” equates to just about any form of dancing) just blows my mind — both the “moving like that” part and the “working that hard at one thing” part.  I have absolutely no conception of what it must be like to have that much control over one’s body, to move with that kind of fluid grace and precision and easy motion; I’m 6’2″, but my brain never seems to have gotten used to my size, so half the time I tend to flail around like a one-winged chicken — even when I’m just walking, or worse, standing still.

And all of that talk about respect and admiration doesn’t even get into the fact that dancers are just damn hot and push several of my buttons. 

So on the advice of a friend, the family and I watched the season premiere of So You Think You Can Dance?, which is exactly American Idol for dancers.  The main reason we watched was because I wanted the girls to see it, as said recommending friend told me it really promoted positvity, hard work and teamwork, all qualities I try to instill in the kids — and they also really enjoy dancing and dancers.  Watching Kelsey dance her way through Mary Poppins every time they watch it is a site to behold.  (And it is here that I should note that we did not mean her middle name, Grace, to be quite as ironic as it has become.)

These first few shows of the season, as on Idol, are the audition rounds, where the judges go to a bunch of different cities and weed through all of the wannabes to find those dancers with actual potential to go far in the competition.  So, of course, there were a few laughers in there (though not as many as you tend to get on Idol).  But most of the dancers whose auditions they showed on the program — even the ones who didn’t make it through to the next round — were amazing.  I’ll admit I have far, far from a trained eye for this sort of thing, but wow was I impressed with most of the auditions.  And some were phenomenal enough even to blow away the judges — many of these people were clearly born to dance, people whose talents and passions lined up perfectly to allow them to create moments of pure beauty.

That, my friends, is sexy.  And inspiring, and wonderful, and beautiful.  Seeing someone do something — anything — that so truly seems to come from deep inside them, something that means so much to their very essences as a person, something they’ve obviously worked at so hard and for so long, something that they just couldn’t not dothat pushes my buttons.  It doesn’t matter what that thing is, as long as it comes from a place of love and skill and passion and determination and talent and creativity.

Wrapping it in spandex is just a bonus.

(This is my 400th post on this blog across several sites and names.  I have no idea how 400 posts happened…I keep going through the archives and finding posts I have no memory of writing.  Anyway, happy fourth birthday/400th post, blog!)

Written by Allen

May 25th, 2009 at 9:31 pm

Quote of the Day: Perfection

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“The compulsion to be perfect, immediately and eternally, is one of the most profound causes of procrastination for the garden-variety human, and it most certainly gives each of us all the reason we’ll ever need not to even try.”
Merlin Mann, from 43folders

It is at this point that Allen slinks further and further down into his seat in the back of the classroom as he feels Merlin Mann’s eyes fixate on him and sear into his procrastinating little soul like dual lasers of burning accusation.

Written by Allen

October 17th, 2006 at 10:56 am

Posted in Inspiration

Quote of the Day: On Procrastination

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“The thing that is closest to your soul is the thing you’re going to avoid the most. The thing that will tap into the part of you that has not yet come to the fore but wants to be expressed, but you’re so afraid of it — you will absolutely find every single thing in your life to avoid doing that.  And that… there is no trick about that. You just need to be aware of that. I think the awareness is somewhat curative and if you’re really aware that the things you’re going to avoid the most are the things that are going to scare you the most, that you might actually have to show up if that thing actually worked… That’s only going to be addressed by your wilingness to step up to the plate.”

David Allen, Getting Things Done guru, in a podcast interview with‘s Merlin Mann, discussing procrastination; ideas taken from the book The War of Art by Steven Pressfield

Written by Allen

October 10th, 2006 at 2:42 pm

Executive Decision

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Brian sits down at his desk, turns toward me and looks me in the eye: “Holt,” he says. “I’ve got a bone to pick with you.”

“Oh, geez,” I think, assuming there’s some problem with one of the recent myriad architectural changes we’ve made to the system that’s causing him headaches with the stuff he’s working on. “What’d I do?”

“I’m making an executive decision about your life. I know it’s not really any of my business and not my place to make this decision, but… you’re going to stop writing about writing,” he says. “If you put the effort into actually writing something that you put into writing about writing…”

I cut him off: “Yeah, I know, B., I’ve heard that before. Many times, as a matter of fact. I’ve lost track of how many times Terry’s told me that. And c’mon, I’ve been writing some lately, I’ve wrote one scene the other night and then —”

“Good. So post it.”

“I — I can’t. It’d give too much away — that scene I wrote was way late in the story, it gives away too much of the —”

“Bullshit. Post it.”

“No, seriously, I can’t —”

“Then post some character sketches. Post anything. Show that you’re actually doing something and not just talking about doing something.”

It was at that point that I gave in.

So while I still don’t think I’ll be posting those scenes I wrote the other night — they really and truly give away the big ending and some major plot points — Brian’s executive decision will be enacted. I’ll start trying writing some bits and pieces of stories that I can actually post here. I make no guarantees about their quality just yet, but at least it’ll be proof that I’m gravitating more toward the “Do” than the “Do Not.”

Stay tuned.

Written by Allen

May 26th, 2006 at 11:46 pm

Posted in Inspiration,Writing

Link: How Never To Reach Your Goals

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Achieve-IT! lists ten methods for making sure that you never, ever reach your goals. I think that these “tips” were supposed to be funny, but I couldn’t find my way to the laughing for all of the crying I was doing. I’ve consistently done every single one of the items on this list for years.

8. List why it’s impossible – Now we are getting into the mental game of failing. This is quite possibly your greatest weapon against achievement because it destroys hope and optimism. So as soon as possible, set aside some time to create a long list of how impossible your goal really is. No matter what your target is, I am sure you can come up with plenty of reasons why it’s impossible.

I’ve been reading and thinking quite a bit about my goals (or lack thereof) lately, but sometimes it takes this kind of slap in the face — to have someone hold up a mirror showing exactly how well you’re not doing — to make any real impact.

So excuse me, but I have to go write up some more goals now.

Written by Allen

May 25th, 2006 at 11:29 am

Posted in Inspiration,Organization

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