A Lesson About Common People

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On the Ron & Fez show, super-host Ron Bennington reminds us all that Joe “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” Jackson actually recorded a song with… William Shatner.  A cover of Pulp’s “Common People.”

Is it a great song?  Is it catchy?  Maybe, maybe not, but there’s a lesson in it: he made it anyway, and then kept going. I recognize that Shatner is not typically thought of as a motivational figure, but this is a guy who punched in in 1958 and has yet to take lunch.  30+ movies (including The Brothers Karamazov), Star Trek(s), TJ Hooker, 3rd Rock From The Sun, The Practice(s), 4 albums, over a dozen books… maybe they’re not all classics but he is evidently not wasting time on interpron.

He’s reached a level of fame and wealth beyond most of our dreams, but he has something that is probably much more valuable: longevity, activity, flow.   And he doesn’t let success or failure slow him down.  Most other people would be satisfied, or discouraged, after making only one picture or album; and while some of us lack the commitment to complete even one side project, he barrels through multiple ones in multiple areas.  Does he seem young to you?   He’s 80 this month.

Most people think the hardest part are the technicalities, “I have a great idea, but how do you actually publish?  How do you actually record?  Where do I get an agent?  A distributor?”  But anyone who’s completed two or more projects will tell you that’s rationalization, the hardest part is always the internal commitment, talent a distant second, and everything else doesn’t even register.  Get to work. 

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One Response to A Lesson About Common People

  1. glt says:

    The older I get, the more I realize that being successful, being healthy, etc etc, all of that boils down to habit and momentum. After getting out of an 18 month relationship, I was in quite a romantic and sexual slump for about 5 months. Finally, last week, I went on this blitz and asked out 5 girls in 2 days, 4 of whom said yes.

    I was finally so desperately horny that I threw caution to the wind and decided “you know what? I’m going to ask out that cute cashier at my grocery store.” So I did, and she said yes and it set off this chain reaction of empowerment. The second girl I asked out was the one who said no, but I was still so pumped from the earlier “yes” I had received that I couldn’t have cared less and ended up chatting up and ultimately getting the phone number of a girl on the bus.

    Anyway, the point I’m trying to make is that I just threw it out there and didn’t give a fuck about what kind of response I would get/was getting. I imagine that’s similar to what Shatner does: he just stays busy, stays moving, keeps that momentum flowing and doesn’t give two shits about what people say or think of what he’s putting out. People’s response doesn’t matter to him, all that matters is getting it out.

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