The lazy fan and getting things done
I think we are all inherently lazy.
That's not a bad thing of course. Laziness prevents us from starting projects that we'll never finish, or that we didn't really want to start. Laziness helps us to ask all sorts of questions before actually doing a lot of work. Laziness sometimes even helps us to put off doing things until we don't have to do them at all, as can be the case with responsibilities.
It's a bad thing when our laziness prevents us from doing the things that we want to do. When we lose sight of our goals. When we put off doing things that we enjoy, things that better ourselves.
This past weekend was Anime North. I hadn't put a lot of thought into it, but this was the 10th year that I have been attending. It's a lot of fun, and I think that it (as I'm sure any convention would) really drives the idea that passion matters.
This year was different. This year, more than any other, there was a purpose.
For the first time in forever, I had the chance to attend with two of my best friends (and a lot of my good friends).
That in and of itself is not so spectacular. What was spectacular was that recently the three of us had started a podcast. We were not only there to have a good time, to learn, and see the sights. We were there, to some extent, to spread the good word, so to speak.
One might argue that we didn't do a heck of a lot in terms of promotion: We took advantage of a few Anime North hashtags, tried to hype up a few things, and barely even plugged the podcast itself. What we did do was learn a lot. We learned about youtube, as we scrambled to produce and edit a con report or three. We learned about the challenges that can arise. We learned how much of a pain hotel wifi can be.
More importantly, we learned what can happen when you overcome laziness.
That wasn't the only thing we did either. Though we had talked about it over the past ten years, we, or at least I, had never been on a panel. Given our success in overcoming laziness with the podcast, I wanted to do a panel that would help other people out (as my friend, Steve Savage, had done in his panels). Rather than steal his thunder, rather than talk about careers and jobs and such, I decided to do something a bit smaller, something closer to home.
I did a panel on "The Lazy Fan's Guide to Getting Started".
Did it come together in a rush? Sure (though, we did try to plan ahead). Was it a bit rough? Absolutely.
It almost didn't happen because we could not find another person interested in helping others get started. Fortunately, we had someone help us out, Sarah, and because of her joining us and our collective hard work, it happened.
We overcame laziness and made it happen.
I won't dive into what we talked about too much (I'll save that for another day, or perhaps another convention, or podcast) because I want to emphasize what can happen when you can overcome that laziness.
On the way back from Anime North, I was a bit disappointed, as I always am, to some extent. The convention is full of such passionate, exciting things: people in costume, celebrities, everyone having such a good time. Coming back though... coming back is like coming back to a completely different world. A world that is (understandably) more mundane, and grounded.
But I realized as well that the perspective I have is just matter of perspective, and laziness. Coming back, its easy to slip back into the same routine, to be lazy, and comfortable.
One of the things that was mentioned in our panel was the Eisenhower Matrix; a grid with axes of urgent (vs non-urgent) and important (vs non-important). Every day, we spend time working on things that are urgent, and important. As well, we get distracted by things that are urgent, but not important. Rarely do we take the time to focus on things that are important, but not urgent.
After coming back from the convention, after attending that panel, I was reminded that if you want things to be exciting (and not mundane), if you want things to happen, you need to go out and do them. Nothing happens on its own; things don't progress by inaction. The important things in your life won't happen unless you do them yourself.
Every day you need to focus on whats important to you, and work towards your goals. To fight that laziness. To make progress.
Its not easy to determine what is important to you. Sometimes, you have to go through hard times to figure it out. You may think things are important to you later to find that they weren't, sometimes not until you've actually made a lot of progress on something.
And it gets worse: once you know what's important, you need to make progress: take steps, move forward. You need to turn big messy piles of ideas and turn them into something meaningful to you. It can feel like you aren't progressing at all, or that you're waiting your time. It can feel like you're failing.
But once you know whats important to you, once you keep doing things, once you overcome laziness... then you'll be doing what it is that you want to do. The work thats important to you. The things that matter to you.
It doesn't matter if you fail: Failure means learning, and learning means progress. It doesn't matter if people don't like what you did: You did something that you wanted to do. Even if you're unhappy with what you did, you made it happen: You accomplished something, and no one can take that away from you.
And that all starts by overcoming laziness. One step at a time.
Even if it means writing a tiny, scrawled together blog post.