And . . . Action! (Or Getting Off My Butt & Getting Sh!t Done)

And . . . Action - Weegee Sachtjen
“Quiet on the set!” The booming voice of the first assistant director would echo through the location of our student film production. The entire crew would be huddle up against the wall, strategically position around lights, cables and booms as if playing some alternate version of Twister.

The director would focus on the only people with room and adequate lighting, the actors, posed for the next scene on his cue.

“And . . . action!”

The characters would launch into their movements and dialogue. There were times they nailed it the first try. And other times we were up to take 21 before the director decided something had to change.

My student filmmaking days was 18 years ago, but I still say “And . . . . Action” several times a day.

One of the biggest battles I encounter every day is inertia, the tendancy to do nothing or remain unchanged. I can even hear the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” in the various voices of my relatives.

Why change direction? Why alter what appears to be working? Why seek ways to push us outside our comfort zone?

Because those daily habits, rituals, ways of thinking, of being — creates the ruts in our lives. Without continual growth, we carve ruts in our lives that prevent us from shifting directions . . . even when we want to. Even when we have to.

Changing something we do daily is how we make changes in our lives. It’s how we get out of the ruts.

Inspirational speaker Mel Robbins book entitled “The 5 Second Rule” is about counting down from five to motivate you to lift off and do what you have to do. 

Larry the Cable Guy’s catch phrase is “Get ‘er done!,” which is just another way of saying “get off your butt and get shit done.”

“And . . . action” is what I use when I have to roll with a new scene, start a difficult conversation (like saying sorry or asking for help) or taking the first step on a project.

It’s how I quiet my mind, pull my resources together and launch into the scene.

How do you propel yourself into action? Into doing what lies outside your comfort zone? What is the words you say to yourself to get shit done?

Or do you need to find one?

“And . . . action!”

Cast Your Line to Attract the Big Catch

There are moments from my childhood where a small seed of wisdom was deposited into my subconscious that would blossom with age. One of those seeds was planted during a Saturday morning fishing trip with my father and younger sister.

It was one of those pouring rain Saturdays where, if you can stand the wetness, the fish were hungry and biting at everything.

My sister and I were old enough to have our own rod and reel in any catches, but young enough so that we didn’t have to bait our own hooks. Dad would put the bait on the line, cast it out into the cold water and pass the rod over to us to monitor and reel in.

Lessons Learned While Fishing with DadWith a curious mix of nerves and anticipation, my sister and I would stand on the muddy lake shore and wait for a fish to bite. The gentle waves would cause the lines to pull slightly, creating false hope that there had been a nibble on the line. A gentle tug or reel in of a bit of fishing line helped determine if there was a fish on the line.

It didn’t take long before my sister noticed that I was having a different fishing experience than her. I had reeled in two or three fishes, and my sister was waiting for a nibble.

My sister, a bit frustrated and fired up, accused my dad of putting the better bait on my hook. After hearing this line a time or two, my dad looked at the tip of my sister’s fishing pole and followed the water drips down my sister’s line.

He looked at my younger sister and said, “You can’t catch anything if you don’t put your line in the water.”

Sitting on the shore line, not far from where my sister was standing, was the weight and bait on her hook. She had gently tugged and reeled in her line to the point that it was sitting next to her.

My father helped her recast the line. This time, my sister was a bit more patient with the water turbulence. Which paid off when she started reeling in her own fish.

In the end of the day, the three of us were soaked through but exurberant over the eleven fish we had caught.

Years later, my father’s words sneak into my daily life. His little seed of wisdom continues to push me to throw my line into turbulent water and see what life brings. It is the line I recite before stepping out of my comfort zone.

It is the seed that has helped me blossom, and pushes me to continue to blossom.