Everything Will Conspire to Stop You …
So What?

heart shot through

There are endless reasons and ways.

You’ve got three kids. You’ve got three teeth. The rent is four months past due.

You’re a big hit at the office. She left last week. The engine won’t turn over.

You just aren’t feeling it.

The wine went bad. Success arrived too fast. Success never arrived. You’ll lose their respect. You’re in the cancer game now.

That bus turned left, one block north.

You’ll do it tomorrow. The doubt, just behind your left ear. Thirty-three parking tickets.

Out of milk. The electric bill. What would Mommy and Daddy say?

Never went to college. Went to too much college.

The step onto a rotting board. Oversexed. Undersexed.

Et Cetera.

Et Cetera.

Et Cetera.

Everything will conspire to stop you. There are endless reasons and ways.

They are all common to everyone.

In the end you’ve got to pick up the pen and do the thing. And then you’ve got to do it again.

No matter the payoff. No matter the beating.

You are no different, better or worse, than any before you.

Their ink and blood ran in the gutter.

So will yours, if you want to finish this race.

So what?

About the Author: Robert Bruce is Copyblogger Media’s Chief Copywriter and Resident Recluse.

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Reader Comments (88)

  1. says

    Wow, copywriter poetry.

    Love it!

    Made me think “mindfreak.” But too bad Criss Angel runined that phrase from being used in conversation without thinking of him and his show.

  2. says

    typos – a bad thing

    more comments – a good thing

    yes, everything will conspire against you

    but you can right a wrong

    a make a bad thing

    not so bad

    with words

  3. says

    Beautifully written.
    Love the flow of the rhythmic ‘no’.
    Love the images of the forces that oppose.
    Your advice is poetry in prose.

    Whatever its form, I appreciate the nod,
    Wherever we’re from, we’re all a bit odd.
    What we all have in common is a calling of ages
    The white page has haunted us all; fools, saints, and sages.

  4. says

    Initiate, Ship, Initiate, Ship. What good is it to have an idea if you never initiate it? As Seth Godin says, you have to poke to the box and see what happens, and then you have to poke it again and again and again!! The word is GO, so do something and start something, and never let the resistance prevent you from starting.

  5. says

    Indeed, sage advice! The best way to get out of a funk is to DO something. When you don’t feel like writing a blog post, write one! You may find a renewed vigor when you are done. Ahh, now I am guilting myself into writing another mind-blowing post when I really don’t feel like it today. Thanks for the motivational kick in the pants.

  6. says

    That really was beautifully written. I especially loved this part, “Everything will conspire to stop you. There are endless reasons and ways.

    They are all common to everyone.

    In the end you’ve got to pick up the pen and do the thing. And then you’ve got to do it again.

    No matter the payoff. No matter the beating.

    You are no different, better or worse, than any before you. ”

    It’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves or compare ourselves and think we were somehow shafted of an opportunity and thus can’t do as well as someone else. But we determine what we will become by our decisions. We are no better or worse than anyone before us, so we’ve got to keep trying.

  7. says

    Thank you! I am so sick of hearing this and that went wrong from people about why they aren’t doing it. I must admit sometimes I want to go down that road too but I never have. This is going into a frame and being hung on the wall behind the desk so I can see it daily. Fantastic post.

    • says

      You’ve really never gone down that road? I mean, I’m doing it in spite of everything but I’ll admit that sometimes the obstacles knock me back a step or two, sometimes they knock me flat on my back.

      Great post though :-)

  8. says

    Lovely imagery, beautiful use of language and HIGHLY motivational.

    Thanks for the poetry…can’t write more gotta go make something…

    The very best HR director I ever had told me, when I was a young thing with boyfriend troubles, “Honey if we stopped this place every time someone had a reason to stay home, this place wouldn’t be here.”

    I liked the way you said it better…thanks!

  9. says

    Succinct and amusing. But yes, we write in spite of it all — if we write at all. The picture by the post does not show up on my computer screen, by the way. Just wanted to let you know.

  10. says

    Do you know me? :) love the article. Beautifully written and insightful. Thanks for my early morning motivation to pick up the pen in spite of.

  11. says

    Robert,

    This is powerful prose. The image is apt.

    Each line is another arrow. Death by a thousand cuts, or life by growing a new skin, or embracing the skin within, the most powerful one of all.

    When I was abiding by the unwritten rules, everything seemed ‘secure’, but nothing was pure. Since finding my voice, it seems like obstacles appear at each new bridge, to warn me, to scorn me for not standing in line.

    Thank you for the reminder.

    Conor

  12. says

    You know what stops me? Email and reading blog posts about what stops me. That sounds like a criticism but it isn’t. It’s the truth. I let everything and anything get me off track – especially when I’m in a panic what do I do next mode.

    The title alone on this posting stopped me.

    Then I read it and said, OH YEAH! That’s it!

    I’m trying to work on Focus, Focus, Focus and this is just what the doctor ordered for the cure.

    Now I really, oh truly, am back to work.

    Thanks for the punch in the solar plexus!

    It took my breath away but I needed it.

  13. says

    Robert:

    Really well done post. I like your writing style: it conveys a very useful message through carefully chosen words and good flow.

    Your post reminds me of one I did on self encouragement. Thought you and the Copyblogger readers might like it. The videos it links to are especially powerful, encouraging, inspiring, hilarious, etc., so take the time to watch them if you can (especially the video of Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED talk, which was a total game changer for me – it’s what inspired the post) …
    http://gooddisruptivechange.com/self-talk/

    Very cool blog you have. Just subscribed. Look forward to reading more of you. Thanks.

    Susan

  14. says

    Awesome post.. We are definitely our own worse enemy. The mind can be a tricky thing; I used to think mindset training was pure BS, until I got started.

    Stupid little gremlins always talking behind your ears, telling u you’re no good, telling you people will laugh, and telling u you’re wasting your time.. U got to SHUT those damn gremlins up if you want to win, or at least get really good at ignoring them.

  15. says

    This hit home; so many of the excuses you listed I’ve been using. But when I read “you’re in the cancer game now…” I felt like you were looking right at me. My dad was diagnosed with cancer last year and has been fighting it…until yesterday. He quit chemo because he can’t afford it. When I read this article it sounded to me like you were saying that I needed to quit making excuses and do something..anything and then maybe I can help him. Thanks so much for your inspiration; it came at the very right moment.

  16. says

    So Bruce

    you’ve proved some interesting stuff. Keep it short, sweet, mention sex, use lots of off-the-wall nouns, be imagination personified on dope…

    and they flock to hear it.

    I mean, you’re writing here the way Seth Godin does in email. It’s fascinating. This totally disrupts the traditional blog model that infects me and lots of other people

    I shall think on this

    thanks man

  17. Dustin Renner says

    Awesome post! So true! Keep your focus and don’t let anything get in your way. We all put our pants on one leg at a time. Anything is possible with the right mindset, commitment, energy, passion and effort!

  18. says

    Even with all of the more tactical posts you’ve written – this one has to be one of the most inspiring I’ve seen. It hit home with me and I am saving this one. Thanks a bunch!

  19. says

    In other words, focus on the reasons you CAN do something instead of all the reasons you CAN’T.

    “A rap song in the making.” That was my favorite. :)

    Hiram

  20. says

    I love this poem. It is truly beautiful. I was just screaming to a friend that I feel like I keep hitting a wall as a writer but this reminds me once more that there are many that have come before me and struggles are universal.

  21. says

    Well it matters how will decide to look at the things that are happening to us. If we choose to believe that we just suffer and life is terrible then we will really never achieve what we want.
    or we can do the opposite.

  22. says

    Troubles may slow me down but my determination keeps me going. My advice for people when it all too overwhelming is to grab a hot cocoa and take a power nap. Your brain is telling you it wants, maybe not a reset, but at least some time to assimilate what’s been coming in. Or maybe you need to find someone to ask for help. Not always easy to find, but sometimes easier than the asking itself. We are a culture that purports to admire those who stand on their own, but in fact there is no one who has not looked to another person for something supportive at some time.

  23. says

    Just sitting here thinking about how I might as well wrap it up and how I accomplished nothing today because blah blah blah…

    Then I read your post and laughed all the way through! Are you looking in my window?

    Thanks!!!

  24. says

    Yes, everything will conspire to stop you!

    We’re each on a hero/heroine’s journey and the obstacles make the game here on Earth more of a challenge. No challenges, no reward.

    Enjoyed the simplicity of this post! Thx, Giulietta

  25. says

    Hi Robert!

    Touche! Yes, yes, indeed. Everything will be there to make us want to stop but if we really want it, we will find a way to do it. It’s the will in us that makes us hurdle all these obstacles. In the end, it’s how we handle the situation.

    Great post!

  26. says

    What? I’m not supposed to throw a tantrum and sit down and refuse to budge when something goes wrong!? Oh, okay.

    Seriously, this is a great pep talk we all need on a semi regular basis. I don’t give away my dog because she leaves crap in my backyard, so why would I give up on a business that’s going through a crappy time? But sometimes I’m tempted. So thanks for the smack upside the head. :)

  27. says

    So true. And like someone already mentioned, it sounds like a great Nike ad (the world will always tell you “no”, but you will tell it “yes”). Don’t let anyone or anything tell you that you’re out of the game, and don’t let anyone put a period in your life where God has put a comma.

  28. says

    I agree that we can’t let most of the obstacles we encounter throw us off course. However, I’ve also learned over the years that every so often there are circumstances or choices I’ve made that I just can’t put my head down and plow over them. I need to sit in them and feel what it is that’s going on inside me, and then it’s out of these moments that new life springs.

  29. says

    Okay, so now you have to go and ruin it for me! Dang reasons for NOT doing the thing:)

    Appreciate the motivation!
    Clara.

  30. says

    This reminded me a lot of one of the points in Steven Covey’s Book The seven habits of highly effective people. The point about learning to be proactive instead of reactive.

    Liked this post-short and sweet and deep.

  31. says

    This was something I learned many years ago from Mr Shorofsky, the music teacher in the TV show “Fame”. His prize student Bruno Martelli was in pain over a tricky decision that might determine his future, and he just couldn’t make a decision. When asked fro advice, Mr Shorofsky just said, “Do something“.

    I do disagree on one thing though. Sometimes, just “getting on with it” is the worst thing you can do. The belief that success comes by ploughing forwards no matter what gets in the way is a flawed and sometimes damaging one. Sometimes, the very best thing to do is to allow yourself to stop and fully experience any hurt, pain or block that might be there.

    Ploughing forward regardless is how you accumulate unresolved emotions and miss out on some of the biggest things life wants to show you.

  32. says

    First time reading a poetry on Copywriting. Loved it. Yeah whatever happens at the end of the day we need to move on and do the works we usually do.

  33. says

    Good inspirational stuff! Can’t agree more.
    The reality is we have to sit down and do our best in spite of it all.
    And yes as long as we want to give our best, things are never as bad as they seem.

  34. says

    Well said! My problem, of course, is that I think, therefore I am distracted. Still, on other days, the root of all evils is procrastination. Some might say six of one or half a dozen of the other … but one thing I know for sure is that 12 school years of looking out the window will do that for you!

  35. says

    We can all overcome can’t we? Took me a long time to realise this but I’m glad I did. Learning the hard way os the best way I reckon.


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