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February 10, 2015

How Alanis Morissette Helped Me Shoot down Procrastination.

 Alanis Morisette

Sometimes I’m overwhelmed by creative ideas and positive thoughts.

In these moments, it feels like nothing is out of reach. The problem is, those creative ideas and positive thoughts don’t always materialize into action. The vibe can disappear more quickly than a snow cone melting in hell.

Ditto anyone?

For much of my life, I’ve struggled to convert my abundant thoughts into action. I would take too much on and get stuck. Knowing where to start was half the battle. I would typically start by consulting those in the know and that would take me down a myriad of never ending rabbit holes.

Heck, if making inquiries and researching was an Olympic sport, I’d be draped in more gold than 50 Cent.

But clever ideas without action is just dreaming.

“Thought without action is a daydream, action without thought is a nightmare.” ~ Japanese proverb

I’ve always had great intentions, but I’ve suffered from what business magnate T. Boone Pickens calls the “Aiming-aiming-aiming syndrome.” This is when we aspire to greatness and search, search, search looking for the perfect solution, but never pull the trigger.

I was always busy but rarely effective. Eventually I’d collapse into “paralysis by analysis” and end up procrastinating the days away. It was a cycle that repeated itself with the assurance of death and taxes.

When I’m feeling stuck, I’m drawn to highly animated folk, in hope that some of their energy might rub off on me. I can trace this behavior back to my teenage years, when I developed a strange fascination for Alanis Morissette. She taught me a few important lessons.

I remember when she first came on the scene—with all of that fire, audacity and contrariness. The Rolling Stone magazine summed her up beautifully, “Her music is layered and slick, but the lyrics are unvarnished and raw. She unflinchingly explores our deepest emotions, the ones that many of us are too ashamed to articulate”.

The first line of her “Jagged Little Pill” album was apt, “Do I stress you out?”

My response to that would be, “yes you do.”

I think she stressed a lot of men out. But many of us enjoyed the confrontation. Her volatility was alluring. Secretly, I hoped she’d never find domestic bliss. To imagine her saying trivial things like, “can you put the lid back on the honey jar please” would be a tragedy. No! A tranquil, well-adjusted Alanis is like Dwayne Johnson in suspenders and stilettos. (Hold that thought—now push it away).

But seriously, what I and many others came to love about Alanis Morissette was her authenticity and courage. A diminutive Canadian girl, who didn’t let eating disorders and anxiety get in the way. She told the world all about her crazy thoughts. And the world loved it.

Through her music, Alanis Morisette reminds us that life isn’t perfect.

Life will always be a roller coaster of events that triggers all types of emotional responses. She shows us that success and perfection are not linear. In fact, if we let it all hang out, if we stay authentic and pull the darn trigger—we might give inspiration to all of the other self doubters out there.

They might become our greatest fans.

Whenever I get stuck these days, I meditate. I turn my attention to my heart and my gut—I listen to them. I go down that path and I don’t look back.

Relephant read:

Procrastination Isn’t What You Think It Is.

Author: Richie Warr

Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock

Photo: flickr

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