Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Doing: An Exploration of Three Rules (the ebook is out)

The second volume is released.

An exploration of the three rules, with a lot of notes and exercises. on self acceptance and freedom from guilt. And for a whopping two bucks.

Doing: An Exploration of Three Rules
Here's chapter 1:

1: The Three Rules.

A decade or so ago I first wrote down my Big Three rules for accomplishment.

1: Do Stuff
2: Finish some thing every day
3: Never stop

There’s more to them, of course. I wanted a simple list that could be memorized. And more than memorized, internalized. They have become my core Power Word mantras.

This little list can, will, change your life if you allow it.  Let’s take a look at them in a first walkthrough. Then we’ll go back through them with some additional pointers in a later chapter.

1: Do Stuff

In my first exploration of this idea as a life experiment (and it led to a successful self employed career), the basic idea was an equation

IF you do stuff, THEN things happen.

It took me a while to simplify it down that way. I needed to make money doing something. It almost didn’t matter what, except it needed to be self directed. What I figured out is that if I did stuff every day, then eventually I would get money for it.

It almost doesn’t matter what I’m doing. It was pretty easy for me as I was making generally useful tools, but at a “artist” level. I wasn’t even particularly good when I started, but that improved through the magic of doing. But durable goods aren’t the only choice. I can become an addicted walker, and start a walking club with secret routes through my city. I can make maps of the best walks and places to stop. I could do origami napkin holders for weddings and caterers. Insider cafe guides (every non-chain cafe has a secret menu or a particular individuality you can tell people about). Almost anything will work, but it’s a good idea to at least tie the Doing to your needs (at that time I needed to make money.)

But my goal wasn’t actually the making of money. I had a lifelong desire to be a successful artist craftsman in a particular field. That was the goal. Making money was a necessary requirement. At the same time, it was also an almost unavoidable side effect of the type of Doing Stuff that produces tangible things.

This also works with skills. If you want to learn something new, or get better at drawing, or yoga. Whatever. If you do is, something happens- you learn or you get better at something, or stronger and more flexible.

And that’s the key to number one- Do Stuff.  If you Do Stuff, Things Happen.

2: Finish some thing every day.

When you start doing stuff as a goal, you need momentum, and some sort of evidence of accomplishment. This is pretty simple psychology. We work better with feedback.

You main goals of doing stuff might not be one hour or even one day projects. And that’s great! Big projects are a lot of fun. But there’s always some one thing you can finish every day and look at- write down in your notebook as an acknowledgement.

You may have a list of things in your notebook that aren’t time sensitive, or steps in a larger project. Maybe you want to know how to make an origami crane. It doesn’t have to be a big thing.

Finish at least one thing every day.

3: Never Stop.

This was the hardest part to define. The primary original idea had to do with tools, materials, money, or whatever was the excuse to not Do Stuff.

I’ve seen this often enough I had to add it to the list. It’s the big pitfall.

“I would do this if I had this tool.”  

“I need to buy these parts first.”

“I don’t have the money for this material right now.”

Even more insidious, because there’s this magic justification of “efficiency” or “elegance” or “doing it better:”

“This is too slow. I’ll wait until I can buy a better tool.”

“This pen and notebook are awful, I’ll wait until I order a good pen and notebook on Amazon.”

“This isn’t the right yoga program. I need to find the right program first, because it will work better.”

Oh yeah. We can fool ourselves into absolute pits of not-doing with the best excuses. Can you imagine NOT learning to paint because you don’t have the $500 set of oils? When what you need to learn first is… how to draw! Yet, that is exactly what people do. And what people are told to do by marketers and forum specialists.

Every hobby, Every business; every activity, and every goal has a group of specialists, and a group of marketers. And they all want you to have, or buy, the most expensive and elegant tools, materials, and classes… before you start fingerpainting.

Don’t buy into it.

NEVER. STOP. Especially never stop doing for lack of “a thing.”  (In the fairly rare case where it’s a real lack, and actual must have this to finish, then do something else. Preferably related. But Do Stuff!)


  1. Congratulations on your practice and on publishing books to spread the word.