I often don’t have a particular quote or theme in mind for my napkin when I wake up in the morning.  I might read some blogs, tweets, news reports, FB updates, newspaper articles, hear something on the radio or watch a particular TV segment before I actually sit down to draw.  

This morning I was reading one of my favorite blogs, The Hollywood Housewife.  Our said housewife is a new mother, the wife of a successful director/producer she calls ‘The Gorilla’, a recent survivor of moving to a new home and a really cool woman.  I  found her blog because she is originally from Oklahoma and one of my Okie connections had her blog in their list.

She is about to turn 31 (happy birthday!) and she was ruminating on her busy life.  Her simian husband, the Gorilla (I suspect he has substantially more brain power than one of the giant apes) gave her the above quote from John Wooden, the incredible basketball coach of the UCLA Bruins.  As soon as I read it I knew I wanted to use it.  That is the great thing about using quotes all the time.  You really can’t be accused of stealing or plagiarizing since that is what quotes are supposed to have done to them!  I like that.

So, for HH and all my other over the top successful friends who are a whirlwind of activity but want to build a bit more achievement into your life, I have this to say.  You will never get rid of activity that seems a bit useless and mindless.  You will always have activity that takes up time but doesn’t seem to return much.  Life is filled with it and it won’t ever go away.  

Sound depressing? No, it isn’t. Here’s why.  Because now you know what has to change. It isn’t the activity. It’s you.  But if I am the activity you say, if that is what I am doing, then aren’t they the same?  Yes, they are! That is the point.  The activity doesn’t exist without you.  So, you either have to change an attitude towards the activity or you have to find something in it that you didn’t know was possible.

Here is one little secret I sometime use to help turn activity into achievement.  Love.  What I mean is this:  Go to Best Buy in a rush before a workout you are suppose to get to.  Wait for the tech guy to reformat something.  Notice the clerk with the giant pumpkin tattooed on her arm.  Go to her and love her.  Tell her how interesting the pumpkin is. Ask her if it’s there because she loves halloween.  Ask her if she kept room for Christmas tattoos elsewhere.  Make her smile.  Thank her for making your day.  Go to your workout.  Activity and achievement.  You loved someone.  You let them know they were of interest and value.  What greater achievement is there?

Brittany, The Girl with the Pumpkin Tattoo

That is my favorite way to turn my activity into achievement.

Drawing and commentary © Marty Coleman 

“Never mistake activity for achievement.” – John Wooden, 1910-2010, Basketball and life coach extraordinaire

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