I was sitting in one of my favorite Vietnamese restaurants during my lunch our. Within the garbled conversation and slurping of Pho noodles (pronounced fuh, not fo like "What's up fo"?), I'd heard two middle-age men talking.
"Will they gain the life expectancy back with the time they put in the gym?" a salt-and-pepper haired man said.
"Not likely," a chubby-cheeked man said.
"They've done studies where going to the gym doesn't extend life expectancy but usually results in more injury," salt and pepper said.
"It's just a waste of time," chubby cheeks said. "I have better things to do than spend my whole day at the gym."
I wondered how much television they watched and how that was contributing to their quality of life. To some, a lot. To others who like to exercise and have passions outside of creating excuses for themselves, not much.
During my voluntary confinement in my 6 X 6 cubicle, what I'd like to refer to as my day job, my cube mate said, "I'm still carrying weight. I had him like a month ago."
Her cube mate said, "It's not like you're a celebrity."
One of the things I've done as a teacher, as an actor, and now a writer, is listen to what people say and do. You can read a lot about a person by what they're saying. In both the above cases, excuses are being fed to themselves and each other about not doing something, exercise. But the excuses could've been anything:
"I don't have time to pursue my art."
"My passions aren't going to pay for my bills."
"It's just a hobby. I can do it anytime. But with work, family..."
"I don't even know where to begin. And who am I to think I can paint?"
"I don't have them money to start this."
I've definitely used excuses. What are they good for? Ultimately, excusing yourself from knowing the truth. What might that truth be? How powerful we are.
To attain anything great, we must first realize that we are capable. Once we become too entwined in our own self-doubt, we begin to create roadblocks that actually block us from moving forward.
I can't tell you how many people widened their eyes and told me how impossible publishing a book can be. But the only way I can become a published author is to first write. If I don't write and only focus on how difficult the road may be, I'll never take the first step to get published. Does that mean those thoughts don't occur in my head? No. I just focus on the task at hand, which is simply to write.
There are pundits at writing conferences that say you have to network, have a web presence, have white teef (teeth for you ghetto challenged), walk the walk, talk the talk, and be one with the all mighty universe (that would be Oprah) to get published.
Be as you wish to seem -Socrates
But none of that is important until I write. Writing to a writer is the most important task. Obvious write (right)? This simple philosophy is lost at writing conferences.