Decide What Really Fucking Matters to You

Good ideas require a courageous host.

Oh god, did I just introduce a virus analogy? Please forgive me, but it’s true.

There are so many ideas floating around out there, half of which are definitely in your shower at 7 o’clock in the morning (they’re always in the fucking shower, aren’t they?), and the other half happen just as you’re falling asleep at night—but you don’t want to wake yourself up, because you know if you grab your phone you’re definitely going to wake yourself up, so you do that thing where you’re like, “no, but this is such a good idea, there’s no way I’m going to forget it!” And then the next morning you roll out of bed and your memory is just SO superb, you forget to put actual coffee grounds in the coffee maker, you suddenly remember it was someone’s birthday three months ago, and you show up to the airport six hours early, thinking you were on the eleven o’clock flight, but were actually on the 2 p.m. flight—which you booked just the night before, and should really know. (Hello, my life right now.) (Long story, but I’m finally returning from Costa Rica today after spending the entire year here— lucky for me, there’s a man walking endlessly up and down the aisle of the plane and I can’t decide if he’s trying to give us all COVID, or get it himself???)

So, yeah. That idea: that idea that you didn’t write down? Just got gobbled up like Pac-Man. Will we ever know what that idea was? Likely not. But that’s really beside the point, because how many great ideas have you written down, and not pursued? How many ideas you got in the “Notes” section of your phone, starting with “this this this!”

It’s scary to try something new—but not for the reasons most people think. This conversation usually starts with a bunch of bullshit lines like, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” and my personal favorite: “Feel the fear and do it anyway!” But I don’t think we feel “fear,” per se.

I think we feel overwhelm.

Personally I feel overwhelmed just looking at a floss dispenser. Every single tooth must be meticulously cleaned with a noose the size of a gnome. That’s a huge task! My knuckles get bruised. I’m shoving entire fists inside of there, trying to get to the back. And then, of course, there’s the actual brushing. And the tongue scraping. And the Listerine-ing.

So really what I’m trying to say is, don’t pitch me any new projects while I’m flossing. My nervous system might go into overdrive.

But also, is it any wonder that the idea of:

making
creating
producing
photographing
writing
posting
answering
emailing
launching
speaking
sharing
and starting

…is something that one might procrastinate?

Half the time I wish Carlos could just help me pull my underpants up, let alone all of ~that~. But but but but but…I still go do the work. Because I must. Because if I don’t bring my ideas to life, then I am not actually alive. All I am is a shell of the person I thought I might become; someone who once had some ideas..and then did nothing about it. And let her soul shrivel up, as she walked back and forth forevermore, taking the garbage cans to and from the end of the driveway. (Oh my god, is it possible this man on the plane thinks he’s in his driveway????)

Souls feed on ideas.

They’re little fucking cookie monsters—which is excellent, because now we’ve managed to get the Cookie Monster and Pac Man all into the same post.

They need nourishment. They need the nutrition that comes from the excitement of a new idea, and the fulfillment that comes from bringing that idea to life.

But ideas can’t feed you if you keep turning them away at the door.

They need a courageous host. They need someone who can recognize when their overwhelm is not a symptom of doing too much, but doing too much of the wrong things—and is willing to change that. How else can we make room for the important things in life—a soul flossing, if you will—if we’re too busy doing all the shit that doesn’t matter?

Decide what matters to you.

Decide what you really, actually want to accomplish this next year.

And then prune your daily to-do list. Ask yourself: does this action help you get to where you deeply want to go? Or is it just another action in a litany of actions that we take every day, with no real end in sight, taking us nowhere?

Be prudent. Be difficult. Be stingy with your time, when you can afford to be.

Because for every minute you donate to something that doesn’t matter, you’re stealing one from the things that do.

You’re stealing from yourself.

And that hurts just as much as failure—except you don’t even have failure to show for it.

Share

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email

Quit your job. Work remotely. Travel the world. Find your f*cking self.

Every weekday morning at 8am Eastern you’ll get 3 ideas to help you make big moves and big money. Written by Penguin Random House author, entrepreneur & digital nomad, Ash Ambirge, who likes to believe she still has standards.

The Middle Finger Project has helped over 500,000+ unconventional subscribers ditch the crock pot & go on an adventure. Established 2009 from Santiago, Chile.