I Just Did Something Totally Stupid

I like to think of myself as a reasonably intelligent guy, but today I did something that was just plain stupid. It didn’t make any sense. It wasn’t a good thing to do. And my timing was absolutely terrible.

In retrospect, I can see that it was stupid. What makes it even worse, though, is that I realized that it was stupid before I started doing it — and even while I was doing it — yet I kept on doing it anyway.

Just to set the scene: this is one of the busiest times of the year for me. I’m launching two major programs in the next few weeks. I have to prepare to teach a brand-new class two days from now, followed by a completely different brand-new class the day after that. I also have to finish a workbook and film an instructional video. Plus, I have to reply to several people via Facebook and email regarding setting up video conferences and one-on-one sessions about their own projects. And I haven’t been getting a ton of sleep.

The good news is that I’m fairly organized; so when I walked into my office this morning, I knew exactly what I needed to do. What I actually did, however, was something completely different:

I wrote.

More specifically: I worked on my book — a passion project that’s completely unrelated to my upcoming classes, launches, and video sessions.

I know, I know — it doesn’t make any sense. With everything going on, the responsible thing would have been to get straight to work, going through each task in order of priority, based on how time-sensitive it is. Maybe if I had any extra time at the end of the day, I could have written. Or, better yet, simply relax, unwind, and recharge for the busy day I’ll have tomorrow. That would’ve been the smart thing to do.

Like I said, I knew all this before I sat down to write. And as I flipped through my notes and typed the first few sentences, I realized that there was still time to turn back — there was still time to do the smart, logical, responsible thing and get right to the pressing business of the day. But instead, I did the stupid thing: I kept writing. And writing. And writing.

(And then, when I finally finished the section I was working on, instead of getting straight to work, I doubled down on the stupidity by writing this post!) 😜

Why would I do something so stupid? Am I just a dumb guy? Irresponsible? A flake? Although you might get different answers depending on who you ask, I like to think that this isn’t the case. I think that what made me sit down to write (and keep writing for several hours) was a higher intelligence: call it the whispers of the soul, the heart, or my true self — but there was something urging me to follow that calling to write, no matter how little sense it made, no matter how unproductive it may have made me, no matter how “stupid” it may have been.

And what I found was that, rather than leaving me drained, depleted, scattered, or stressed, it energized me. It made me more focused and motivated to keep moving forward with my work tasks. It left me feeling satisfied, full, and happy. And above all, it just felt right.

Yes, taking time to write may have seemed stupid, but I’m glad I did it. And I’d do it again. (And hopefully, I will — again and again and again.)

How about you? Have you been called to do anything “soulfully stupid” lately? Something that your heart and soul is urging you to act on…even if your logical, practical mind doesn’t think it makes sense? What would happen if for a little while today — even just for an hour or so — you gave yourself permission to be a bit “stupid”?

Your Soulful BookP.S. If you’ve ever thought about writing a book that inspires people, I hope you’ll join me and Jodi for our Facebook Live video series, “5 Essential Keys to Writing, Publishing, and Marketing Your Soulful Book.” It’s completely free, and you can join us live or watch the replays any time you want.

Plus, when you sign up, you’ll immediately receive our free supplementary guide, “It’s Time to Write Your Soulful Book! 10 Powerful Tools to Turn Your Book Dream into Reality”!

Please click here for the schedule and the free workbook.

Hope to see you there! 🙂

Idle Time Is the Angels’ Playground

I just read the words “Idle time is the devil’s workshop” for about the thousandth time, but it just now struck me how cynical, fear-based, and diametrically opposed to my own worldview this proverb is. Maybe it’s because I recently took almost a week off — five days filled (or not filled) with lots of idle time…and no sign of the devil!
Those days off were wonderful. My wife and I relaxed, took afternoon naps, went to the beach, explored a nearby town we’d never visited, played tennis (for the first time in about 16 years!), went on a real date, ate yummy […] Continue Reading…

5 Life Lessons from Bird by Bird

As part of the Your Soulful Book writing program, I recently re-read Anne Lamott’s modern classic, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.

The first time I read this book — over a decade ago — I was primarily focused on learning to write better. This time around, however, I was struck by the subtitle’s truth: so many of these “instructions” really do apply equally to life beyond the page.

Of the book’s many profound life lessons, here are five of my favorites:

“It is so much easier to embrace absolutes than to suffer reality. Reality is unforgivingly complex.”

I’m not sure […] Continue Reading…

No Pain, No Pain

Sometimes we learn from people who model what we want. Other times, we learn from those who model what we don’t want!

In my previous post, I discussed someone who falls into the latter category: a guest on the TV show This Time Next Year who justified her inability to find love by claiming that “Men don’t want to commit” (Once again, using myself as counter-exhibit A, I’ll borrow Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers’ one-word catchphrase: Really!?!) This time, I’m using another counter-example from the same show (which really is a great, inspiring show 99% of the time — I promise!) to address one of the most pernicious attitudes out […] Continue Reading…

1 DO + 1 DON’T of Romantic Relationships

If you’re looking for love or would like to improve the romantic relationship you’re already in, Valentine’s Day can be the best time of year…or the worst! It seems like everyone is talking (and frequently giving advice) about love and romance. And while much of this is wonderful — a celebration of love — a lot of it is negative, self-defeating, and untrue (or at least not necessarily true).

Everyone’s experience of love (and everything else) is different, so I’d never want to dismiss or downplay what someone else has been through. But over the last 16 years of being in […] Continue Reading…

A Timeless Message of Hope

I wasn’t planning on writing a timely post for Martin Luther King day this year, but I saw something yesterday that inspired me to do so: I watched David Letterman’s recent interview with Barack Obama, and when the far-ranging conversation turned to civil rights, Letterman recalled walking with John Lewis across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, 50 years after the Selma-to-Montgomery marches of 1965.

As you may already know, during the first march (a legal, nonviolent protest against discriminatory voting regulations), state troopers attacked the unarmed marchers with nightsticks and tear gas, and even beat Amelia Boynton (one of […] Continue Reading…

David Cassidy’s Last Words

Last month, former teen idol David Cassidy died at the age of 67.

The world has lost some pretty big rock stars recently — including Tom Petty, Walter Becker of Steely Dan, Malcolm Young of AC/DC, and Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens (not as well known as the others, but one of my all-time favorites) — but none of their deaths haunt me as much as Cassidy’s.

This might seem odd since I wasn’t even a fan of his. I never watched The Partridge Family, and I don’t really know his music. (I only vaguely remember hearing “I Think I Love You” as a kid, but that’s […] Continue Reading…

Inspiration from a Young Mother

The stories in our new book, Goodness Abounds, follow two basic guidelines:

They have to be true stories about goodness.
The “good-doer” has to be someone other than the author.

Because of guideline #2, these stories aren’t about authors “tooting their own horn” (which is fine in many contexts — but that simply isn’t the focus of this book). Sometimes, though, even while they were shining a spotlight on other people’s goodness, I couldn’t help but admire the authors themselves. This was definitely the case with Jerri Eddington’s story, “The Baby and the Bus Driver.”

In this piece, Jerri pays tribute to a bus driver who […] Continue Reading…

The Empowering Alternative to Nature vs. Nurture

Where do you stand on the “Nature vs. Nurture” debate?

What do you think makes us who we are: Is it the genes we inherit from our biological parents? Is it our environment and the way we’re raised? Or is it some combination of these factors — and, if so, which factor has the  biggest influence?

You could make a convincing argument for either position: On the Nature side, you’ve probably heard stories of twins raised separately who went on to live remarkably similar lives. On the Nurture side, you can clearly see the effect of environment and upbringing by observing how frequently people […] Continue Reading…

4 Kinds of Dreams

There are four kinds of dreams. You’re probably already familiar with the first three:

Literal Dreams – the kind you have when you’re sleeping. (A fascinating topic, but not the focus of this post.)
Emerging Realities – the goals and visions that you’re actively working toward manifesting. (These are the “dreams that you dare to dream” that really do come true – works-in-progress where there’s actual progress!)
Pipe Dreams – far-fetched fantasies, unrealistic flights of fancy, or downright impossible dreams. (This is the kind of dream that, I believe, gives dreamers a bad name!)

But there’s a fourth kind of dream that’s rarely discussed…but often experienced: velleities.

Merriam-Webster defines […] Continue Reading…