I was tweeting about this statement earlier today I felt I need to write tonights article about it since it's such a simple but good reminder.
I learned this early on a long time ago as a little kid. My mother always had weird ways to raise us kids, and one was in particular outstanding and made a big impression on me.
My room was always a mess, I almost never cleaned up. My mother told me to clean up many times, but I rarely did it.
After another month without cleaning up my room, I came home from a "long" day at school. I opened the door to my room, and holy sh*t. Everything was cleaned up, it was magical.
At first I couldn't believe it, why would anyone clean up my mess? Especially since I resisted doing it myself for many weeks.
After further inspection I noticed that something is wrong. A lot of my personal items were missing. It looked like my mother cleaned up by just throwing away the majority of my stuff. Everything was gone, from clothes to my mp3 player.
I was upset and asked my mother why she did that. She just answered "I asked you to do it for weeks, you didn't do it, so I did - You're welcome" with a big grin on her face.
And of course she was right, she did clean up my room. The question is just how she did it.
This was the first time I learned that even if something I hate doing isn't done by me, someone else will eventually do it. The question is just, am I okay with the way it will get done?
"If you don't do it, someone else will" applies to pretty much everything else as well.
If I don't work on my dream project, someone else will.
If I don't give my partner the respect she or he deserves, someone else will. Same applies to my friends and colleagues.
If I don't establish my own opinion, the media, religion or other people will do it for me.
Everyday I try to remind myself of these simple facts. Instead of living a passive life where things just happen to me, I try to be pro-active, doing the things I want to do.
This also reminds me of one of my favorite articles from Tim Urban, the author of WaitButWhy.
Below is a graphic that represents a 90-Year human life in weeks. Every box stands for one week in your life, assuming your life span is 90 years.
It's kinda crazy to look at it this way. You can see each individual week in your life right there, on this single image. Every time you're alive one week, you can basically cross out one of these boxes.
Every time I think of "If I don't do it, someone will" I think of one of these little boxes being colored in by someone else.
And while starring at this image is already terrifying enough, knowing that someone else is trying to cross out these boxes for you makes me even more motivated to get right back to living my life to the fullest. The way I want.
Luckily it's Monday, my favorite day of the week. LET'S DO IT!
Hi, I'm Tobias, a German designer living in New York. I'm the author of this blog, nice to meet you!