On Cycles

So it was only three weeks ago that I made a video saying that I would release a work out into the world everyday (meaning in my head [then and now] Monday-Friday). Whether this is an article (like now), a song, a design, a painting, or a video, or something else I haven’t even thought of yet, I wanted to commit myself to doing this.

This came out of another habit that I have setup for myself with exercise. Early last year, while backpacking in the Middle East and eating a lot and exercising not at all, I realized that the story of my life, and really the story of pretty much everyone else I know, involved lots of quick starts and equally quick fades. With exercise, this meant for me committing to doing an hour of workouts everyday, sticking with it and going strong for two weeks, missing a day, and then slowly but surely stopping altogether.

So that fateful day in Egypt, I made a new pact with myself and with God. I would do a single sun salutation each day for a year. Then, the following year, I would add another, and so on and so on such that by my 25th year in, I would be doing 25 sun salutations per day.

My reasoning was as follows. I figured that if I couldn’t do 1 sun salutation–an exercise which takes approximately 45 seconds–than I, Otis Funkmeyer, actually had larger problems than an inability to workout. I had problems sticking with things.

Lo and behold, this plan turned out to be the best that I’ve ever devised, ever. I’m now a year and a half in, doing 2 sun salutations a day, and my life has forever changed. Because I find that no matter how far I sink into despair or hopelessness, I show up and do my sun salutations and in that moment I realize that I am still moving forward, still expanding, despite what my external reality seems to be showing.

So, being full of chutzpah, I decided to add another daily commitment, as you read above. 3 weeks in and I stopped doing it. For a whole week. I lost the momentum. And before sitting down to write this article (which starts me anew), I was filled with terror, feeling like what’s the point, this is stupid, I can’t do it anyway.

And that brings me to the point. It’s really just about showing up. We live in a dimension where time spreads out before us. Each day, we wake up, do some shit, and fall asleep. We repeat that until we “die” and move on to another type of reality.

I’ve thought a lot about this and I think that in this dimension, the most important thing we can do is develop good habits, especially good small habits. Because things add up. And they add up surprisingly quickly. Often, it’s not the big ideas that end up counting, it’s the multitude of small ideas which as days and months and years roll by, add up to become quite a force to be reckoned with.

I find myself moving more into a place of empowerment, into a place where people are asking me for advice, and how I am able to do what I do. And I am seeing more and more that it comes down to habits. It comes down to showing up everyday whether you feel like it or not, doing your thing, and waking up again and repeating. Over and over and over and over.

Along with this comes getting back on the horse. No matter how stupid you feel, how shitty the last thing you did was, how useless it all feels, you just get back on the horse and do it, because well, you are here on Earth and you might as well do something.

Take this article for instance. Some of you might read it and find it useless or a waste of your time. Others might think what an awful writer, and hopefully a couple will find something in it to take with them. But my focus is simply on getting it done. On writing what was closest to my heart tonight, the act of getting back on the horse myself.

To end, let’s look at it mathematically (I love looking at things mathematically)! If you release something five days a week, every week, for five years, you will have release 5*52*5=1300 creative products.

I went to a gallery today featuring art that was pretty good. That old familiar “I could do that” voice came up in my head and I had a new realization. Your god damn right I could do that but the reason that I’m seeing the other guy’s work in the gallery is because he DID THE WORK. He had a large enough body of work such that when someone came along looking, he could supply them with a gallery’s worth of material.

So, I’m telling you, just do it. The best thing about it is that when you have to release something everyday, you are bound to have off days where what you release sucks and you get OK with sucking. You realize that no matter how great you dream of being, you are still the totally flawed and imperfectly perfect human being that we all are. And I’m telling you, once you get that creativity rolling along, it does NOT want to stop. It will launch you into a whole new dimension.

That feels good. Later skaters.

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