Consistency Conshmistency

Stop trying so hard

Mark Cutts


Image by Pressfoto on Freepik

There’s a scene in the 2008 rom-com Forgetting Sarah Marshall, starring Paul Rudd and Jason Segel. Rudd’s character plays a surfer-dude, and he’s teaching Segel how to “pop up” (stand up from a prone position) on the board.

“Don’t do anything…Don’t do it. The less you do, the more you do,” he says.

After watching Segel “try” to pop up, he says,

“No, that’s not it…you’re doing too much…Remember, don’t do anything. Nothing.”

So Segel stays prone on the board. And Rudd says,

“Well, you gotta do more than that.”

Show up. Do the work. Put in the hours. Only people who work hard are lucky.

Pop up.

We live in a society built on the protestant work-ethic, and it’s hard to escape that sense of guilt if we’re not “doing”.

But what of rest? Rehabilitation? Repose? Retreat? Respite?

Pop down?

Isn’t that just doing nothing?

It seems like we can’t win.

Consistently trying is important, right? 1% better every day! Isn’t that the thing now? James Clear and all that? Forming better habits?

This is Type 1 behavior. Type 1 brains are focused, flexible, and emotionally stable. Ever feel like you’re none of these things consistently? Or that consistency isn’t always consistent with creating creativity? (My new program called the 4 C’s will come out soon (just kidding).

Elizabeth Filips says we can end up right where our “consistent, habit-forming friends are, without ever needing to be consistent or create habits”, if we would just stop trying to be them, and be ourselves. (Thanks to @heymaha for this link).

Consistency can be drudgery. I was consistent in my writing practice for years and it paid off in terms of cementing a writing habit and improving my skills (mainly I was scared because I felt so…



Mark Cutts

I’m writing & publishing fiction + sharing whatever I know / learn about the courage, vulnerability, and patience needed to create your own life