Today I saw a woman walking out of a parking lot carrying rolls of toilet paper under her arm.
A lot of people do that, carry toilet paper. I mean, everyone needs to buy toilet paper. (Or not, I guess, depending on your lifestyle preferences... I ain’t judgin’...)
But this woman... She was maybe in her early forties, a little pudgy, and she had this blank, bored look on her face.
Like she was just going through the motions of day to day living.
Or, rather, day to day existing.
“I would rather be ashes than dust!
I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot.
I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.
The function of man is to live, not to exist.
I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them.
I shall use my time.”
- Jack London
A lot of people have this blank zombie-look on their faces as they go about their day.
I’m not afraid of a lot of things, but man... that is scary as fuck.
I don’t want a day to go by where I am in that kind of state.
I shudder at the thought.
This is a reality you quickly get hip to as you start understanding what marketing is about. That is... MOST people are walking around like zombies. Just going through the motions. Keeping up with the Joneses.
The zombie-look quickly starts setting the moment you stop moving. It’s highly symptomatic of someone who has decided to just stop in their lives.
You could map out anyone’s life on a line between points A and B. What they are headed away from, and what they are moving toward.
Zombies have completely lost sight of that thing they were, once, moving toward... decided that their current spot was good enough... planted their feet... and just stopped moving.
No matter where you are, what situation you are in. High or low. Far away from, or damn close to whatever your heart desires... there is only ONE thing you can do to stay alive...
Just keep moving.
A while back I talked about the idea of “Idea Velocity” -- a term I came up with which describes what happens to new business ideas. When they first show up, they carry tremendous energy. Your job as an entrepreneur is to ride it, and keep up the momentum of the energy. If you don’t start moving soon, the energy of the idea will die out and it will become exponentially harder to ever get moving on it. Hence, get moving.
I said that business projects were like sharks. They gotta keep movin’. If they stop, they drown. (They need to move forward to push water and oxygen through their gills).
But now it occurs to me that the very idea of a life well lived is also like a shark. You gotta keep moving, or the fire inside you will get extinguished. You’ll cut off its oxygen supply, and it’ll die a slow and painless death.
That’s what is dangerous about it. You don’t even see it coming. It’s so tempting to settle in. Sit down. Catch your breath. Before you know it, you’re back asleep and no one in the world knows when -- or if -- you’re going to ever wake up again.
Don’t settle. Don’t sit down. Don’t get distracted by the easy route.
Seek out the path less traveled. Enjoy the struggle. Fight to keep your fire burning.
And above all... just keep moving.