"Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing about."
OMG, I love this quote! Ben Franklin, telling it like it is. Did he really say this? If so, who was he talking to? What was the context? Was he exasperated? Because he sounds exasperated to me. I went ahead and filled in the blanks for myself: You see, this guy that Ben knew had a writing assignment, an opportunity. And he wanted to talk about it. He didn't want to talk about what he had written, he hadn't written anything yet. He wanted to talk about the process. He wanted to talk about what he should write. He wanted to talk about his struggles. He wanted to talk about how hard it is. After a couple of hours at a café on Market Street in Philadelphia, Ben stands up and says to the guy, "OMG! (They left that part out). Either write something worth reading, or do something worth writing about."
Ben's talking about ACTION. Ben's talking about doing. Ben's talking about going all in. Ben's talking about S**T, or get off the pot.
I would have driven Benjamin crazy. I've said this before--I'm a thinker. Nothing wrong with that, inherently. It's got a big upside. Aaand, it's got a downside. Even in the middle of doing something, in the middle of action, I can sabotage how effective it will be by overthinking it. For example, last Thursday I was in the middle of a workout: run for 10 minutes, drag (a heavy plate) for 3 min, carry (a heavy sandbag) for 3 min, and repeat the whole thing for 75 minutes. It occurred to me, 60 minutes in to the workout, that I was everywhere except present in the workout. Something in me said "Diane! Don't just get through the workout, get IN the workout!" The last 15 minutes were probably the most effective workout minutes of the whole week.
Planning matters, and thinking matters, and reflecting matters. A lot. But so does action. And what could be a better teacher about the role of action than running? Planning, thinking and reflecting are important, but not unless you're actually out there running. They are all support roles to the action itself. You become a better runner...by running. You learn to know yourself as a runner...by running. You figure out what shoes work best for you on different terrains and in different races...by running. And etc, etc, etc...
Inevitably, although admittedly it took me a long time, I learned that this lesson in running is a lesson for my whole life. You learn by doing. Come to think of it, somewhere inside of me I believe that so strongly that I got an advanced degree in that very subject--Experiential Education. Experiential. Experiential. Not Sit-and-Think-and-Worry-About-If-It-Will-Work Education; Experiential Education.
ACTION is my theme for the New Year--and rightly so.
I feel Ben staring at me from the beyond. I gotta go do something worth writing about.