Last week I told you the best preparation is practice. If you want to get good at doing something, practice doing it.  You want to stand up for yourself, your business, your family and your ideas, so start standing up. Lots of you, especially you women, reached out to me about this one. You said that you’re always waiting until you feel ready, and you spend your energy and time getting ready. Listen up. “You are ready.”

One of my favorite authors is Seth Godin, and in one of his blogs he said we can get all of our ducks in a row, but what will we do with the ducks? I loved the blog but it occurred to me that I didn’t know where that phrase “getting my ducks in a row” originated.

I looked it up. It refers to a mother getting her baby ducklings in a row before they can get moving. If you’ve ever watched a mother duck with her babies, or if you ever lined your own babies into a row, you know one thing for sure. Ducks don’t stay in a row. They do their own thing. Ducks wander off. They grow, and they change. If you keep waiting for your ducks to be in a row before you move, you won’t get anywhere. 

You want to be your own best advocate, so start advocating for yourself. Don’t wait until everything is lined up perfectly, because it is very rare for things to line up perfectly. There are no straight lines in nature. But even if you do get every one of your little duckling ideas and plans into a perfect row, they won’t stay that way. Things change, and you change. Prepare, yes, but know that the best preparation is practice. Get going and do the thing. Make way for ducklings!

2 thoughts on “Ducks Don’t Stay In a Row

  1. I have a lot of ducks in the air. They’re all grown up, and not prone to rows. Some are rubber ducks and some are live, and they all look alike. The live ones need attention. They are the spouses, moms, dads, kids, livelihood, ideas, “stands,” communities, and practices. One day the ducks are flying in formation, pointed toward a common destination, the next day, some of them need extra feeding and care, and suddenly one day they are sitting on someone’s island making a lot of noise.

    So for many, “do the thing” is a navigational issue, not a waiting issue. One can start “the thing…” then the mom decides her life is beyond her control and enters hospice. The husband doesn’t eat his vegetables for 40 years, follows through on many bad ideas and ends up with a serious disease, which needs attention, which husbands don’t take kindly to. Or simply someone uses the car, brings it back with a broken headlight and a flat tire, says nothing, and one finds out as s/he is leaving for work. You know, the life story. People we love. Heartstrings pulled. Feelings to express. Behavior to maintain (or the ducks make a real ruckus (and leave lots of feathers to clean up after).

    So as we all know too well it’s not usually solely or even a majority about “the thing.” It’s about discerning between the live ducks and the rubber ducks, choosing which to pay attention to, and when. Then, to add mud to the puddle, there are times of total discombobulation, where the rubber ducks and the live ones all come into the house and quack unintelligibly. What do you do then? I would suggest go to the Angle Room on Facebook [@itschavahrochel – if that helps].

    1. This is a perfect example of how ducks will never be in a row. None of these things will ever line up, which is why you have to do one thing at a time, without imagining that you need to have everything lined up to begin. It looks like that’s exactly what you’ve done at the Angle Room! Love it!

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