We’ve all been there – that heart-stopping moment when you’ve hit rock bottom, where you feel trapped and have nowhere to turn. The cold fingers of absolute panic creeping up your spine to your cerebral cortex, freezing your brain into a loop of “this can’t be happening this can’t be happening” as we slip into a static state of denial. After the storm subsides and we’ve accepted that this is the new reality, we have reached that magical space where we have No More Fucks to Give. *cue angelic choir
It’s liberating to be at a point where you can say “screw it” and move on. It’s like a cleansing rain after a long, hot summer, rinsing away all the dust, the dirt, coaxing forth new buds and shoots. Everything looks shiny, new, rebirthed. There’s nowhere to go but up.
And that’s where the creative juices really start to flow, because you no longer have to worry about the worse – you’ve experienced it. When you’ve got nothing left to lose, your mind has the luxury of imagining everything.
One of my favorite NMFTG moments is from the best movie ever, Raiders of the Lost Ark (saw it 24 times in the theatre when it came out, still in love with it and yes, I’m 12 years old). There is a scene where Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) is chasing after the Nazis in a crowded market. The throng parts to unveil a blackclad swordsman swinging a saber with wicked delight, all ready for a showdown with our hero. Instead of engaging in a fight, Indy shoots the guy and moves on because he was busy and had NMFTG. The scene is pure brilliance for its unexpected badd-assery.
What’s interesting is the story behind how that scene came to be. Shooting in Tunisia, most of the crew and cast had come down with dysentery, including Harrison Ford. Originally, the script had called for an epic bullwhip/saber fight but the day of shooting, Ford was so sick he said, “let’s just shoot the fucker”. With NMFTG, his creativity was cranked up to 11 and, thus, one of the greatest film scenes was born.
I had a NMFTG moment 13 years ago and it changed my company profoundly. During my first year of business, I was the full-time wedding planner for a travel agency. One day, the owner and I didn’t see eye to eye on something and boom, we parted ways.
Which I was not expecting.
Of course, I panicked. I’d just hired a full-time assistant who was depending on me for a livelihood. Without the leads from the agency, where was the business going to come from? Where was I going to get money? How was I going to survive? OMG I’m a failure, the sky is falling and the earth is going to swallow me whole!!!
Then came the calm and shortly there after, I had exactly zero fucks to give. Fine, you don’t want to work with me? I’ll work for myself. And that’s exactly what I did. Built a website, reached out to hotels, had my weddings published in magazines and when blogs emerged, started the first wedding blog in Costa Rica. Five hundred weddings later, being set adrift was the best thing to have happened to my company because it caused me to step up to the plate and take charge. I created my business on my terms.
When things are going well, we get complacent. We keep on keeping on. Change – why? Everything is groovy. It’s not until the rug is whipped out from under us and we’re lying in a heap wonder what the hell just happened that we spring into action. Fight or flight.
So here’s my challenge to you. What is your biggest worry, the one that keeps you up in the wee dark hours. Got it? Imagine it’s just happened. For reals. Scary, isn’t it? Now imagine all your fucks are gone. What do you do? How do you move forward? What’s the new game plan? Got it? Write it down.
Now, what’s holding you back from making these changes?
Go forth like you have NMFTG and watch the magic happen.