January 28, 2020
You know who's going to hate me after they read this? (Besides the evangelicals, who always hate me.)
Godddd, did I used to be jealous of The Planners! These cruise directors were over there color-coordinating their kumquats and placing wax paper in between their leftover slices of pepperoni pizza and recording their daily emotions on sticky notes—while meanwhile, I'm all, “Hey, has anyone seen my coat? WHERE IS MY COAT? DID I LEAVE MY COAT IN LONDON? On the tube? In a river? In Ecuador?”
Alas, I've got a theory and I'm sure you're thrilled. The theory is this. While I will always admire The Planners for their ability to make The Plans (and not use condoms to wrap their cheese), they are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to one other area that I think we gotta talk about, because this area is #important. And you know which area it is?
Creating your own opportunities.
Because if there is one thing I've learned over the many, many years that I've been making things happen for myself, whether it's in starting businesses or publishing books or getting sh*t done, this is probably the most important thing to know:
IT DOESN'T MATTER WHERE YOU START. JUST START.
Which is hard for our planner friends! It's hard for anyone who wants a clear action plan that begins at the beginning and neatly moves along a timeline and has clearly defined milestones and rubs everyone's back during pre-planned intervals and then ends in grand success with a black-tie gala and tiny little pâté hors d'oevres topped with spiced pear butter and beet chip crostinis. (That they definitely don't spell with a U.)
Telling someone just to pick a place, any place, and start there is basically like being, “hey, go out into outer space and just figure it out!” But that's exactly what it is: you, having the personal agency to go out into the world and make your own sense of it. To stop waiting for people to tell you what to do in what order and when, and decide what YOU think needs to be done. To create your own opportunities and bet on yourself. And to pick a place and just get started.
It really doesn't matter where you start. But waiting to start will kill you.
Which to me makes planning more of a gamble than not planning. Because if I put the pressure on myself to have this perfect plan, with everything all planned out, guess what? IT AIN'T HAPPENING. Because I'm not a planner. And then nothing else happens, either. And now everything that could have been beautiful and spontaneous and effervescent and alive will die a slow death at the hand of structure.
You can't condition your success on knowing what will make you successful.
None of us know what's going to work, or not work, until we try it. And while having that structure might be useful for some, for the rest of us, we've got to learn how to operate without it.
Planning won't make you better.
Getting better makes you better.
And the only way you can do that is by doing.
This is ~the big, loud, crazy, meaty groin~ of THE MIDDLE FINGER PROJECT BOOK. If you've been feeling uninspired with your work, thinking about starting your own thing, wondering what to do next, unsure of how to begin, not knowing if you should trust yourself or if you're OFF YOUR ACTUAL ROCKER, and you do not want a book that instructs you to drink more water or offers 50,000 meditations or uses phrases like “consciousness,” pre-order this wild animal NOW. And by “pre-order,” I mean “have it waiting for you on February 11th without you having to remember to buy it later and also because you're clearly an early adopter and when Trevor Noah and I become BFF and he shouts out my book you're gonna wanna be like, ‘bitch, please, I knew about that since day ONE, Trevor. Day ONE.' And you will be right, and he will be wrong, and everyone will live happily ever after again, amen.”