“Always Do Whatever’s Next”
That quote is one of the more mysterious yet powerful anecdotes from the late great comedian (a.k.a. stand-up philosopher) George Carlin. I came across this quote a few days ago after I picked up a LIFE magazine book recapping the last decade in amazing full spread photos and captions. The book was a great reminder of all that we have been through and the changes that have resulted in the first 10 years of this millennium. At the end, the last few pages were dedicated to some of the legendary writers, politicians, actors, musicians, and other celebrities who have passed away in the last decade. Each photo had simply their name, occupation, dates, and a quote that captured their spirit and life’s contribution to the rest of us. I scanned through and one quote in particular caught my eye. It was simple, yet deep, and obvious, while mysterious at the same time. “Always do whatever’s next,” seems easy enough. I wondered for a little while why this was chosen for George Carlin’s quote? Surely throughout the decades of his stand-up career and television shows something more interesting (and raunchy) could have been chosen. Such as “fighting for peace is like screwing for virginity.” And I am sure the seven words you can’t say on television were neglected for obvious reasons. The simple, yet profound quote stuck in my mind throughout the weekend and rang true for a few things on the deck right now.
For me, the quote had a few different meanings and applications. It meant that one should simplify one’s goals and path toward reaching them to avoid becoming scattered and frazzled. Set a goal, whether it is to get that promotion, stop smoking, ask out that girl you’ve been after, etc. Then work at it until you’ve accomplished it. If you can focus on it, it will help to motivate you to get it done. Then, move onto the next goal. If you try to pile on too many at once, chances are you won’t accomplish any of them and the stress of failure and overexertion will drag you down. Of course, it being the beginning of the new year, New Year’s resolutions came to mind in relation to the quote. But making a New Year’s resolution usually means overdoing whatever you’re trying to cut out in the days leading up to New Year’s Day, making your resolution that much more difficult to tackle.
Focusing on one item before moving onto the next can apply to the truck world as well. Chances are all of us have a few projects either lying around being worked on, or in our heads waiting to be fulfilled. For example, while it would be cool to completely tear down your truck for a complete rebuild, and with some this may be the only option, you can make a goal of something as simple as getting the truck running properly so it can be driven and enjoyed for a while first before moving on to the next step. Finishing one project before moving on to the next gives you a chance to focus your energy and funds until you have gotten the truck to a stage you are satisfied with. Trying to tackle too many projects at once will add to your stress level, lack of floor space and the chances of one or all of them going dormant is much higher. (Ahem, Mike A!) Sure, a lot of us have truck ADD and wrench on our trucks until something else that’s cool or cheap comes along and catches our eye, but the satisfaction of completing something and moving on to the next project while enjoying your current truck is always better. Having finished my red truck for the most part (some tinkering will always occur), I have been working on Project Greystone, my daily-driven crew cab Silverado that has been seen in a few tech articles recently. A large portion of the customizing has already been completed so far. (At least until it is paid off and then the rockers will most likely see the ground!) That being said, I am about to dive into a full fresh project build that you will soon be reading about thanks to the guys over at Status in Rockwall, Texas. Of course, there is also still a little old body-dropped Ranger sitting at my parents’ house, but that got bumped lower on the list of whatever’s next!
Who knew you’d get some life advice from a truck magazine? Now I just have to make sure that I stick to it myself!