July 30 would have been the 31st birthday of my stepdaughter Michele. Reminds me of the time I had the great opportunity to teach her how to dive off the board into the pool. She was 9 years old. She could dive off the side of the pool real easy, however head first off the board was a different conversation. Over and over she would come to that place that we’re all familiar with: the very edge of the diving board, with her toes hanging off the very end, shivering with a combination of fear and cold. I kept encouraging her that she was a great swimmer and she could do it. However the voice in her head was louder, convincing her that she couldn’t.
Finally after many failed attempts and aborted efforts, she was once again on the edge. I had run out of pleasantries and supportive slogans, and finally I just said “fuck it Michele, just dive in the pool!” She looked at me shocked, like I had just committed the mortal sin of a lifetime. Then she looked at the water, looked back at me, and dove off the board. Of course as soon as she poked her head out of the water I hugged and praised her like she just won an academy award. She was thrilled, I was proud and when the summer sun finally set in the back yard, it was a milestone day to remember.
There are only a few words or slogans that provide so much wisdom and provoke so much action: “One day at a time,” “Be Here Now,” “Live and let live.” However “Fuck It” has a certain finality to it. It’s loaded with power and filled with commitment. To finally arrive at “Fuck It” is to finally get to that place where procrastinating has lost it’s lure, fear has loosened it’s grip, frustration is at it’s highest peak, and pettiness is something you are no longer willing to put up with. To finally arrive at “Fuck It” means that your commitment to your work is now resolute.
I’m not sure, but it just could be that “Fuck It” is the secret password that finally opens the door between amateur and pro.