Stop Talking, and Start Walking

For the last year to the day, I’ve run in the same pair of shoes. I think they cost something like 50 dollars. They’ve done close to a thousand miles. Holes showed up in the toes almost 4 months ago. The bottoms have long been worn smooth. They’ve been chewed on by four different dogs and pissed on by at least one them. Every week since June, they took the train from Los Angeles to Riverside. God knows how many times I threw them in a rage because they were the closest thing to pick up. All I know is that my walls have plenty of skidmarks. I soaked them in the rain and 100 degree heat. I have been known to purposely run through puddles. They’ve never been washed and they’ve definitely never been “put away nicely.” And my feet feel just fucking fine.

Running is a multi-billion dollar industry. This is despite it being the most basic sport in existence. People have fancy heart monitors, energy goo, gym memberships and fucking special running socks. They use two hundred dollar shoes. All of this because it’s a buffer between getting down and dirty and hitting the road. That’s the masturbation that Tyler Durden was talking about. Self-destruction…

I’m not the best at a lot of things. Most of the time, the stuff people talk about makes my head spin and I get confused pretty easily. But I make due with what I’ve got. Arguably, I’m doing a better job than most. I meant to get new shoes a long time ago but mainly I was too busy running to get around to it. I probably would have kept going for a lot longer, getting everything out of what I had available, if someone else hadn’t gotten me a new pair. And really, that’s reason I’ve got three separate jobs that Ivy League grads have gone out for and been passed over or why I’ve got a better Alexa rank than thousands of bloggers with more of a right to an audience than I.

For the next year, stop thinking about all the stuff you need before you can start and just act. It doesn’t matter that you smoke or you don’t have the right shoes or that you’re tired or you’ve got too much school work. If you wanted it to happen, it would happen. Being smart or talented or having the right equipment–none of that is all that rare. But to get up do a thousand miles or punched in the face or write a hundred pages or strike a deal or read a book or make a phone call without anyone telling you to? That’s almost unheard of. So stop preparing and start working, stop talking and start walking.

Written by Ryan Holiday
Ryan Holiday is the bestselling author of Trust Me, I’m Lying, The Obstacle Is The Way, Ego Is The Enemy, and other books about marketing, culture, and the human condition. His work has been translated into thirty languages and has appeared everywhere from the Columbia Journalism Review to Fast Company. His company, Brass Check, has advised companies such as Google, TASER, and Complex, as well as Grammy Award winning musicians and some of the biggest authors in the world. He lives in Austin, Texas.