Production

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“For your dreams to come true you gotta wake up.”
–Joe Budden

I’m struggling right now to define myself as someone who makes things happen, as opposed to being someone things happen to.

I doubt I’m alone in being someone whose proudest moments are times when they stepped up: proposing to my wife, negotiating for a new job with confidence, starting Detroit Diaspora. It’s invariably more awesome being the golf club than the golf ball.

But I beat myself up about the times when I let circumstances dictate my state of mind and/or productivity. Yeah, I wasn’t feeling 100%, but why didn’t I make that phone call? Why did I let fear over what the doctor might tell me enable me to put off physical therapy for 2+ years?

I was scared. I still might be. But I need to flip that fear on its head. Maybe it’s more “fear” as in “fear of the Lord” I need, the kind that really means respect, trust, and confidence.

Being productive, being a “pro,” means being willing to put yourself out there. To get hit, hurt, or embarrassed. To fall down, but to fall forward.

That takes confidence that can only be built through experience. If you think about it, we respect people that go all in for stuff in this world. Basketball players who throw their bodies after loose balls and entrepreneurs that bet on their ideas have this in common. So do great teachers and soldiers.

I’m challenging myself on this in small ways with my health and habits. Less consumption and more production. That motto should get me pointed in the right direction.

Happy Black History Month. Now go make history.

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About Garlin Gilchrist II

I'm from Detroit. I created Detroit Diaspora and am a National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org. I currently live in Washington, DC with my beautiful wife Ellen. After graduating with degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Michigan, I became a Software Engineer at Microsoft. By day, I helped build SharePoint into the fastest growth product in the company's history. On my personal time, I sought out opportunities to connect my technical skills with community building efforts across the country. This led to my co-founding The SuperSpade: Black Thought at the Highest Level, a leading Black political blog. I served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, and then became Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change. Today I work at the crossroads of traditional political organizing and online activism. I speak before diverse audiences on empowerment in revolutionary new organizing spaces, increasing civic engagement & participation though emerging technologies and protecting civil rights in the age of the Internet.

3 responses to “Production”

  1. Jim Bowman says :

    Nicely said, SS. You meant fear of the Lord, right? But quite well said. The b-baller going for the ball, yes. And the basket, of course. I recall watching that nutty Phila. player of a few years back dribbling all around the court while the others watched, then going for it. Good luck.

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  1. Go man go « Blithe Spirit - March 1, 2012

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