The world is full of slogans – many originated by companies in hopes of “burning their brand onto your brain”. One of these slogans that has stuck with me is the Nike "Just Do It" slogan introduced in 1998 (click Here to see the Wikipedia description of Nike) .
This along with their “swoosh” symbol have come to be synonymous with Nike in my mind. (Mind you I seldom buy their products as a result of this “branding” success)
So why am I plugging Nike? For a long time Linda & I have had a difference in our approach to doing projects. I am analytical by nature. I like to have a “plan” about what we are going to do. I like to have a list of all the projects that we might be doing, agree on which ones are most important and then work on those until they are done. (and unless I have taken the time to make checklists and detail what needs to be done I tend to lose focus and get distracted on other things that come up that need to be taken care of and I may not get back to finish those projects—so there have been situations where there was a (long forgotten) list of incomplete things sitting around the house and yard. (and in the computer).
(As an aside this is made worse by the fact that I have the “buffet” table syndrome when it comes to making promises about what I will get done -my “eyes” (saying Yes I’ll do that) are lot bigger than my stomach (the time it’ll really take to get it done exceeds the time available) . I’ve previously mentioned the advise from my friend Terry Miller about managing commitments and I have been doing a better job of that. However, it has come with the price of seeming to want to avoid Linda’s projects “because they are not in the plan”).
Linda is more “intuitive” – she has a “vision” of some final result and , while she may say that is what she wants us to work on she will often start out by doings something else because it needs to be done first or it needs to be done to prepare for some other project down the road – or whatever. Since these things aren’t” on the list” it tends to frustrate me – and she has never mentioned those things a list of prerequisites that need to be done – e.g. paint the railing first. She “knows” what needs to be done and she just wants to get on with it. On the other hand she sees me as a prime example of “paralysis by analysis” using my need for things to “be in the plan” as an excuse for not doing the things she thinks are most important. Regardless of the “correctness” of these “perceptions” it has been an ongoing source of frustration for both of us.
So where I am going with all this --- Sunday afternoon we were doing our group study on the “Barnabas” factor (See http://www.gospeladvocate.com/gabkbod.htm)
and at the end of the paragraph is the “Nike statement” -- not quite but close.
The actual quote is “Quit talking about it. Stop replacing action with incessant planning. Just get out there and do it” (End quote). Of course this was talking about “small acts of kindness” that would encourage other people” and I believe it requires more than just our “willpower” to transform our behavior if this is something that isn’t a ”natural” characteristic on our part – but that’s another story.
Anyhow, the whole group heard Linda say – “Charlie – that’s talking about you” and so I thought maybe I should try to adopt a little of that “Just do it” approach in our daily lives.
Monday a.m. I made up my usual list of projects that I thought were the most important to do and the things I was committed to doing this week. Instead of asking Linda for what else she wanted to add to the list, I simply made the commitment that I would ask here what she was going to do Monday and how I could help. And then I committed to Linda that whatever (one thing) she wanted us to be doing I would “just do it”(and as best I could work on that until it was done. (subject to meeting other commitments that I had which I would inform her about”up front”.
So far this week it has been working fairly well, although we have been doing ”independent” projects. (not working to-gether on the same thing), so it has been easier to fit the “just do it”concept inwhile still takingtime to meet my commitments There haven’t been asmany times that we seemed to be “fussing” about “never starting or never finishing things”. Or “always wanting to change the plan 5 minutes after we have agreed to it) I guess time will tell if I can really adapt the “just do it” approach into my need for a ”plan” to manage my commitments. I certainly accept thev validity of the fact that it is easy to “overplan” to the point where you really don’t have a ”focus” on getting things done –
I have so far Cleaned the carpet in the "BBB", cleaned the roofon the "BBB", started to repair a bathroomlightin the BBB andordered the replacement part. Run several errands and generally have "just done" everything that hascome up.The pricehas been less time to do thingslike this blog and readingotherblogs which I like to do but are on the "just do it" agenda' I did exchange several emailsabout my blog with a couple of people who sent me comments and I had an unexpected need tomeet an inspector fromthe insurance company towalkthrough the church building (because Rob who normally handles these things is on vacation). And with allofthat I have still had a fair bit of" downtime -- so maybe there is something to this "just doing it" idea.
As for the “Barnabas factor” quote-- I do think that the “just do it” concept is a sound one when it comes to “Godly living” - if we accept that the Spirit will “move us” to do good – then we need to respond with action rather than vague plans that “I should do this or that”. So often delaying those impulses means that we end up with the regret of “wishing we had done it” rather than experiencing the joy of doing.
Charlie & Linda