This week, my friend Irene (below) – the one who is always providing the food for thought that I incorporate into this blog – (I think her Internet is different than mine) – shared a posting by Jon Bell entitled McDonald’s Theory.
In the post, Jon shares with us a personal experiment he enjoys conducting with his co-workers:
- When the idea pool for lunch spots is empty, he suggests going to McDonald’s.
According to Jon, this suggestion is always followed by strong reactions to the preposterous nature of this idea and suddenly like “magic” the group’s wheel’s start turning and they come up with a slew of creative ideas.
Anything to keep from going to McDonald’s. (I hear ya guys).
The main idea behind this brilliant experiment lies in the fact that in order to accomplish something, you have to DO something.
Ground-breaking, I know.
Hear me out for a second though. I’ve been mauling over this idea all weekend and it’s kind of inspired me.
As Jon puts it:
“There’s no defined process for all creative work, but I’ve come to believe that all creative endeavors share one thing: the second step is easier than the first. Always.”
Quite simply: get off your ass and do something. Anything. You’ve been meaning to start painting again? You bought canvas and painted an oil-paint version of a stick figure? Congrats. You’re now at step 2. You’re working on your process. You’re somewhere that isn’t ZERO.
Recently, I’ve felt like the occupant of a giant entrepreneurial rut. The creative facilitation of all the things I would like to accomplish has seemingly been stalled.
I have the to-do list.
Every week I tell myself I’m going to tackle that new activity/project/endeavor.
And every week the days escape me and by Wednesday I’m just hoping to squeeze in a nap after work.
“Anne Lamott advocates “shitty first drafts,” Nike tells us to “Just Do It,” and I recommend McDonald’s just to get people so grossed out they come up with a better idea. It’s all the same thing. Lamott, Nike, and McDonald’s Theory are all saying that the first step isn’t as hard as we make it out to be. Once I got an email from Steve Jobs, and it was just one word: “Go!” Exactly. Dive in. Do. Stop over-thinking it.”
Starting this week, I’m inspired to push myself forward on all those things I’ve been meaning to do.
I’m going to:
- Write that e-mail to that non-profit I’ve been meaning to get involved with and find time to volunteer
- Call the ice rink and figure out the schedule for the new season so I can finally skate again (post wrist fracture situation)
- Figure out the yoga schedule so I can get my ass in that studio regularly
- Google “Road Race” Chicago
- E-mail those friends I haven’t seen in 3 months who actually live 10 minutes from me so we can get together and not be those people that get too busy for their friends
- Read the first page of that book
- Find one person at a local newspaper and ask them about guest writing so that I can fulfill my dream of contributing to a local paper
I’ll start with that.
I hope you’ll tackle those projects hanging over your head by taking any step forward.
I don’t want to be the only one drawing stick figures.
Time to make an Awesome dent.
Note: I never thought Nike’s “Just Do It” would make it into one of my posts. On the other hand, I think I just figured out the genius behind that innovative marketing. Obviously this will cost me hundreds of dollars in spandex, but hey, anything for forward-propelling inspiration.