There’s nothing truly groundbreaking in Hugh MacLeod’s new book, Evil Plans. No secrets to a four-hour work week, no promise of a life lived unconventionally and certainly no instructions on how to deliver happiness. But MacLeod’s understated brilliance doesn’t lay in those areas.
MacLeod’s most important point in his entire novel can be found on pages 75-79. This chapter, “Find You Moment,” discusses the exact point when a person takes charge of their personal, professional and creative strengths and decide to BE exactly who they should be. Call it a reckoning or call it a realization, but know this: this moment can and will happen to you once you’re ready.
But we don’t get to choose this moment. Just like most of life consists of our reactions to whatever happens around us, the moment is the chance to choose to be you. You get to be a leader, a writer, a painter or an accountant. Your role doesn’t need to be thought of glamorous, it just needs to be you.In reading Evil Plans, I couldn’t help but see similarities between it, Seth Godin’s Poke the Box and Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art.
All deal with getting out of your own way, trying new things and plunging down whatever path you choose. As a guy who has trouble finishing anything, these books were a reminder that my personal resistance (or lizard brain) kicks in not before I start, but right before the finish. Like too many creative types, I’m far more scared of success than I am of failure. Sounds stupid, but we all gravitate toward what you’re used to, and I’m getting pretty good at starting shit.
The events I’ve started are my own resistance. I use them as an excuse to shy away from my real work, which I know to be writing. While I’m proud of the community workshops I’ve produced, they are becoming a glaring distraction and, quite honestly, not much good to me. I’d hoped that my actions would spur others, and they often have, but my great challenge and my greatest fear is accepting my place as a professional writer. It’s been a dream of mine, it’s been something I’ve always done and it’s something at least a few people think I’m good at.
I promise I’ll learn grammar. Someday. But until then, I’ll have to fake it. I’ll have to blow past the resistance every single day, but it won’t be easy.
I have met the resistance. He is me.