Over the last almost 9 years, I have used this website as a platform for voicing my frustration with some of the things that go on in our society. Those topics have ranged from people running red lights to the detriment of pedestrians, to calling out hypocrites on their hypocrisy, to calling out psychics for defrauding the public, to addressing a list of attacks on Justin Bieber as a way to encourage people to do research and not take things they read on the internet at face value. To date, there have been 99 articles written by me for this website. I feel like 100 is a good place to stop.
Over these past years, the content of this website has evolved from being a place for me to rant and swear into the wind, into a platform from which I can issue a thorough deconstruction of a topic we've all had to deal with at some point, and I sincerely hope that you've all enjoyed reading what I have to say along the way. As my final entry, however, I want to take a moment to address the other side of this topic, which I have not yet touched on even once: rather than correcting bad social habits, what are some good habits that you should develop?
Recently I attended a showing of the musical Once at Ed Mirvish Theatre in Toronto, Ontario. Before the show, during intermission, and after the show, audience members were invited on stage to mingle with the cast and crew, and to be served from the functioning bar that was there. I waited until the performance was over before I went up, and rather than talk to anyone or order a drink, I turned around to face the audience seats. And I looked up.
The ceiling of the stage area in Ed Mirvish Theatre is an ornate oval, and it overlooks about 1,200 audience seats on the floor and balcony. From the stage, the seats are difficult to see, because the lights are shining on you. All attention is focused on you, and there are 1,200 people who all gathered there specifically to watch and listen to what you do while you're on stage. I spend time writing music and stories as a hobby, and I have performed my own music exactly once for an audience. There were about 40 people there. As I stood on the stage and looked out at the seats, and at the 1,200 invisible people who would fill them during a sold-out show, I decided I wanted those people in those seats for me.
There is precisely one way for me to get to perform on that stage for a packed house, and it's the same way you get to Carnegie Hall: practice. You don't get to sell out theatres by being bad or mediocre, you need to put in the time, energy, sweat, tears, and effort that are required to excel. And here's the part that many people don't realize: saying you're going to do something and doing that thing are not the same. Anybody can say they're going to write a novel, but few people ever do it. Most people who say they'll write a novel never even begin the process.
The one piece of advice I would give to everybody who asks how to not suck is this: if there's something you want to do, don't psych yourself up for it, don't tell people about it, and don't fantasize about how great things will be when you're done; just sit down and do it. If you want to write a novel, sit down today and start writing. If you want to learn how to play guitar, go to a music store today and talk to someone there about how to get started. If you want to climb Everest, hit the gym and start training your body. If you want to ask someone out, walk up to them today and do it. Don't wait; do it now.
Because when it comes right down to it, now is all we really have. The past is gone, and it's not coming back. The future isn't here yet. What happens now will directly shape the future. More importantly, the more you don't do, the more you won't have done by the time you'll wish you'd have done it. Few people regret the things they did - they regret the things they didn't do. So if there's something you want to do, the only way it's going to happen is if you make it happen - you, yourself.
That is my true advice. That is how you make yourself feel good about the things you've done - by actually doing them. If you truly want to not suck, you need to actually do the things you want to do (provided they don't hurt anyone else), no matter how they turn out.
See you around.