Zing. Your Thing. And Secret Decoder Rings.

Secret decoder ring!Once upon a time, I had this thing that I totally wanted to do.

A project I was seriously stoked about.

When the idea initially landed, I was all hell yeah! about it.

I was totally amped.

And I immediately set forth scribbling a ton of notes in my Moleskine like a mad man.

Must. Catch. It all.

I felt the momentum.

Everything was zing-ey.

Life was good.

At least for a second.

Poof. Dead. Gone.

Then things got decidedly unzing-ey.

Because I got in the way.

I started thinking about the thing.

And how I’d probably need forever to make it happen.

And how I totally didn’t have that kind of time anywhere in the calendar.

And how this whole thing pretty much just sucked now.

Because the thing had mysteriously turned into a Thing.
And now I can’t do it.
At least not until, like, 2014.
And, by then, who cares?

That hawt hell yeah? Gonzo.

And the momentum? Buhbye.

And all the zing? Later, tater.

The zing was dead.

And it was all my fault.

Zing killer.

Quick! Look that way.

So the thing-that-was-now-a-Thing just sat there on my to do list.

Taunting me.
Torturing me.
Throwing off some solid stink eye.

I felt totally acked about it.

Because I wanted to do it. And I couldn’t. But I wanted to.

The guilt. Ohmygawd.

Eventually I just kind of avoided looking at that whole chunk of my list.

I can’t hear you.

The suck. It burns.

Why not?

Fast forward to last week.

The thing-turned-Thing popped into my head.

And I had a little nugget of free time.

A couple of hours.

So I figured, why not?

I’d play around. See what I could get done.

Probably not much.
But who cares?

Two hours later, the heart of it – the part I thought would take forever – was done.

A few days after that, the whole thing was done.

It’s gorgeous.
It rocks.
And I love it like crazy.

Turns out the thing wasn’t a Thing after all.


Nosh. Kill. Suck.

Why do I do this?*

Turning things into Things.

It’s so insanely unhelpful.

The whole cycle.
It sucks.

It starts by noshing on my energy + killing my zing.

Which throws me into full-on avoidance mode.

Then cue the shame + the guilt.

Which sucks up even more energy.

Rinse + repeat ad nauseam.
With an emphasis on the nauseam.

The whole thing is totally unawesome.

And totally unnecessary.

* This is not a real question. I know why I do it. It’s mostly related to the perfectionist stuff. And the Chicken Apocalypse stuff. And the what-if-everyone-hates-it-and-thinks-I-suck? stuff. All legit. But, oy.

Oooh! This!

I’ve been drumming on this a lot.

Which is my way of digging deep + understanding stuff.

I wanted a trick. A key. A secret decoder ring.

Something to help me catch myself when I needlessly start making a thing a Thing.

Because some things actually are Things.
But a lot of things aren’t.

And I found a delicious nugget of aha! nestled between the booms.

Here it is:

It’s all about the space.

If I’ve made a thing a Thing and put too much space around it, the zing goes buhbye.

It gets swallowed up.

But if the thing really is a Thing, the extra space amps up the zing.

{Psst. This is the flip side of the whole making space thing.}

It’s ultimately about creating the perfect container.

And the perfect container always magnifies the mojo.

Sharing is caring

I kind of love this aha!

Because it’s so simple.
And so right on.

When I look back at the pile of things-that-turned-into-Things I see where too much space ate the zing.

Again and again and again.

It’s all super clear now.

Which rocks.
Because this stuff is messy.

And this is me sharing the secret decoder ring with you.

You know, just in case you’re turning things into Things.

Which sucks.
Because the world needs your zing.

So check the space around your thing.

Adjust accordingly.

And go forth with maximum zing!

When do you make a thing a Thing?
Have you done it with any of your current things?
Or do you do the opposite and not give your thing enough space?
Too much. Or too little. It sucks either way.

Flickr creditLeo Reynolds

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7 Responses to Zing. Your Thing. And Secret Decoder Rings.
  1. ericka hines
    April 14, 2011 | 10:22 am

    3 words: ALL THE TIME. I make it bigger, grandiose, harder than it needs to be. But just a few weeks ago, the thing, the big idea, the game changer ( even if its only in my head) got written down. How long did it take? Uh about an hour. Not 4. 1 hour. Now, it needs refining and I am still cuddling it like a stuffed animal but I am much closer to putting the idea out there into the websphere and seeing if it takes hold. B/c I decided I don’t want to just be all self drunk on it alone. I am willing to let other take a drink if they like it. So thank you for the reinforcements. Thank you for being a good FB cool dude. Thank you.

  2. Fabeku
    April 14, 2011 | 10:57 am

    @Ericka – Right on with rocking the game changer in a new way! Go, go, go! And I love what you said about not being all self-drunk on it. (p.s. Stoked to see what it is, too!)

  3. Grace
    April 14, 2011 | 3:16 pm

    Sometimes the question I ask is: what’s the smallest next step possible?

    Because when it gets to looming too large in the imagination – that whole Thing thing – then it feels like it needs hoursnhoursnhours to work on.

    But what if it just needs a five-minute step now … and a fifteen-minute step later this afternoon … and hey, an appointment got cancelled and here’s a whole hour … and whoosh, before you know it, Serious Progress.

    Incremental does it!

  4. Fabeku
    April 17, 2011 | 7:44 pm

    @Grace – Totally smart. And I totally agree about incremental. For me, the key is to break it down into teeny tiny steps before it’s turned into a Thing. If I can do that, I’m all good. Otherwise the bigness of a Thing makes my brain totally blank out on those wee bits.

  5. Alia
    April 30, 2011 | 4:16 am

    LOVE this! I just read what you wrote in “23 things about you” and think its just awesome that you write love letters to Yoda. I seriously am going to do that. Thank you for your inspiring energy.

  6. Fabeku
    May 5, 2011 | 8:03 pm

    @Alia – Thanks you! Glad you dug it. Thanks for stopping by + saying hey. And love letters to Yoda! Yes! Go go go!

  7. Stacie
    June 29, 2012 | 3:26 am

    Ohhhh, and I thought I was the only one. My “swipe” file is so long and scary to look at. All these ideas…started. Then turned into things.

    I’ll have to try the secret decoder ring. Plus I have to do the boring/no fun stuff too.

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