The Most Practical Advice on Accomplishing Anything

The most pertinent piece of advice if you want to accomplish anything.

I’ve always had immense trouble with following through. I get these wondrous ideas that ricochet in my head for days, but they never make it down to paper. Or they do, and they just never develop from there. This is because I talk about them.

Instant gratification, my friends, the bane to all of my work thus far. Now, bear with me, as I read this on the internet last week on some website I can’t recall and I’m about to quite loosely paraphrase it for you. It essentially says:

“When you get an idea, a new idea for a project, a business, etc., STOP TELLING EVERYBODY ABOUT IT. The science behind it is says that when you come up with an idea and haven’t begun to flesh it out, yet you still talk about it as if you’re actually working on it, your brain somehow thinks it has put some legitimate work into the project. So you go to a dinner party, tell everyone about this screenplay idea that you came up with and are working on, now everybody thinks you’re this genius screenwriter (and you revel in it), so you go home and sleep like a baby because you feel as if you accomplished something. You didn’t. It has to do with the power of suggestion, “speaking it into being” etc.”

This is what I’ve always done. After high school and before I moved to Los Angeles, I was working full-time and saving up money for that move. I wasn’t in school; so whenever I went to college parties with my old friends and I’d talk about my plans they’d say, “Oh my god that’s SO cool that you’re gonna be an actor and like living on your own in L.A. and like I’m just an Economics major like ugh.” That shit made me feel so good. Even though I hadn’t moved yet, I hadn’t booked a single role, I still felt as if I had already accomplished all of that; because they already envisioned me as that person. The work was done.

But therein lies the problem, because you haven’t done any work.

This is why when I began to read for pleasure (something I had never experienced before), I didn’t tell anyone about it. I knew that if I told people I started reading all the time, they would tell me that I’m smart. Thus, I would think I was smart. And I’d stop reading. So I didn’t tell anyone; and now I can’t stop reading. I’m doing the same thing with this blog. Not a single person in my life, except for my girlfriend who I couldn’t hide it from because she sees me type the posts :), knows about this. And I intend to keep it that way until I’ve built something worthwhile of this burgeoning domain.

What I’m Reading:

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, up to Chapter 9 (hey, at least I wrote today!)

What I’m Listening To:

Emergency & I by The Dismemberment Plan

Exactly!

Yeahhhhhhhhh buddy! Two posts in two days! To be honest, I didn’t think I would be posting a second contribution to this blog for at least three months. All it would say is, “Hey guys! Sorry for not posting in three months. Gonna get right back at it!” And that would be the last post on Exactly Ethan. But no, not today my friends! Today, I thought I would take the time to try to explain why I named the blog Exactly Ethan.

It all has to do with the nascent self-awareness of a young adult. In middle school, I never understood why my classmates ostracized me. I knew I was cool. And I was a pretty funny child, so I didn’t understand why everyone acted like I was so standoffish. It wasn’t until I reached the age of fifteen that I realized it’s because I had dyed my hair jet black, wore super skinny white jeans, listened to screamo, and had a Buzz Lightyear backpack (with spring action wings I might add!) This was when my brain had developed enough to the point where I could begin to perceive what others thought about me in an accurate way. I now sought to not have to resort to retrospect in order to discern the person that I was, so in the latter years of my high school career I endeavored to analyze how I represented myself every minute of every day. My strategy was simple: Do what I always do, but look at myself as if I was someone else, and respond accordingly. This has ended up being extremely detrimental to my mental health (more on that later), but boy did it work.

That’s why I chose to start this blog. It exists as a record of the person that I am every day. Because that changes — not in signficant amounts over days, but months and years? This post is a direct reflection of the person I am today, and in five years when I look back at it, it will no doubt be foreign to my eyes, as if an entirely different person had written it. So what you’re getting from my blog is this: Exactly Ethan. You will receive me, in my purest form, every single time. My beliefs, faith, political affiliation, morals, and dreams may all change, I will change. Therefore, anything I write on this blog remains the same; because it is Exactly Ethan at that point in time, every time.

What I’m Reading:

Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham – Up to Chapter 9.

What I’m Listening to:

Lo-Fi Hip Hop, mostly.