What is it that inspires me to get things done?

05/11/2010 by Michele R.J. Allinotte

I do really enjoy writing this blog every week. It gives me a chance to share information and sometimes to be creative and a little more “outside of the box” than I can, say, writing a legal opinion.

It is Monday night as I sit down to write this and I have to say, when I sat down, I thought “I got nothin’.” I was in training all day and I’m feeling a little drained.

So what do I do? It would be really easy for me not to send anything out this week.

But I thought about it, and I have made a commitment to myself that I would write and send this note/blog post EVERY WEEK. Not just when I had something inspiring (or at least something interesting) to say. That meant no getting out of it just because I didn’t feel like it.

‘Cause let’s face it. We are all friends here. There are a lot of things that we all do every day that we don’t like. Things that bore us, tick us off, things that are scary and hard and that would be really easy to not do if we didn’t just do them for whatever reason it is that we have to do them. Some times the reason we do them is out of obligation. Other times it is because we have set goals for ourselves.

And aside from the Nike slogan, what is it that makes us get things done?

Well for me, how I feel about a lot of things I do is explained partly by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love in her TED talk about nurturing creativity. You can see the whole talk herehttp://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius.html.

It takes a while for her to get to the point that speaks to me, but stay with it – it is worth the wait.

Elizabeth Gilbert talks about artists and how throughout history the way artists have been treated has changed. At one time, an artist was viewed as having a “genius” that was separate from themselves. If their genius helped them create a work of art, then it was the work of their genius. If their genius didn’t work it’s “magic”, well, that wasn’t entirely the artists fault. This notion of creativity helped prevent artists from becoming too narcissistic and self involved and also kept them from being tormented by the creative process.

Now, an artist’s creativity is viewed as being in them and if their work is great, they are great. If their work is not so great well, …. you get the picture.

The argument is that this change is a mistake. We should still think that one’s genius is outside of us, and that all of us “have” a genius who may or may not decide to show up and help us create something magical and special.

And what does this have to do with a thirty-something lawyer?

Towards the end of her speech, Elizabeth talks about just showing up and doing your job, whatever that may be.

While I’m not a dancer or an artist, the message did move me, and I do feel that way. There are lots of things we don’t want to do, or are afraid to do, or might be hard, but these things are important to us, or to others, or to our success. When you set goals for yourself, it is sometimes hard to get there. But if you do nothing, you will never achieve what you want. You may not reach your goals, depending on how things happen, but you have to try.

So, don’t be afraid, don’t freak out. Just show up. Do your job. Make the effort. Do what it is that you have to do. Push through the hard parts. The worst that will actually happen is not as bad as you think. The best that can happen is that you do something or be a part of something great. But to do nothing, well, then you don’t even have the chance at greatness.

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2 Comments

  1. I love “Eat, Pray, Love” – one of my favorites!

    Comment by Cari Rincker — 05/16/2010 @ 5:42 pm


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