One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Archimedes. He said, “Give me a standing place and I will move the world.” When I first read this quote (irregardless of how my daughters may think, I wasn’t there to hear him say it), I fell over myself trying to find a pen and paper on which to write the brilliant words.
This quote and I had a magnificent relationship until, some years later, I happened to be reading a collection of quotes by a personal favorite, Goethe. He said, “Make good thy standing place, and move the world.”
Game. Set. Match.
Do you realize how many areas of our lives this “quote off” could touch? How about the individual who badly wants an elliptical machine or treadmill? She sits around grieving for exercise equipment and feeling sorry for herself (because she doesn’t have one), feeling angry at the manufacturers (for making them so freaking expensive), and even envious of people who can afford such luxuries (lucky dogs). Her inner Archimedes screams, “If I had a treadmill I could work out and lose weight!!”
How about the man who drives his web designer and graphic artist bananas with his pickiness? “If that link color were a deeper blue… If that graphic was a little wider… If the navigation bar were a smidgen lighter… By God, then I would dominate my niche like it’s never been dominated before!”
How about the college student who believes a laptop would ensure them a place on the Dean’s list?
The examples go on and on and, make no mistake about it, we’d be able to find ourselves in the lineup somewhere. We’re always convinced that “this” or “that” holds the key to success, happiness, wealth, and/or peace. We often think that if our own “standing place” were just a little bit better, then magic would happen.
Goethe challenges us to make the magic come to us.
I designed a website for someone once who spent two weeks going back and forth over a shade of blue. A color! Because, I suppose, people would either visit her site again or shun her based upon the color of blue in her links?! I get countless e-mails from people asking me about setting up a blog, running a blog, writing posts, etc. (I’m actually working on a post about the topic right now.) But the number one thing I always tell people is this: Get started. Do something. Stop stressing over the minute little details and get things in motion. Don’t be like the golfer who stands over his ball thinking, thinking, thinking. Or the batter who keeps stepping out of the batter’s box to readjust his batting gloves. Just step up there and hit the ball!
“Make good thy standing place and move the world.“ – Goethe
If I didn’t hate needles more than decaf, I’d have the quote tattooed down one arm and up the other. I’d look a hot mess, but I’d be an inspirational hot mess.