🤔 What's the alternative to advice?

Covered in today's share:

  • motion vs. action
  • timing + capacity
  • advice vs. inspiration

Motion vs. Action

Yesterday I was listening to Brené Brown and James Clear in their Part 2 conversation on Brené Brown's Dare to Lead podcast.

James Clear spoke directly to my present experience:

JC: Oh, I have fallen into this before, all of these pitfalls are things that I’ve personally experienced, I like to define this as like motion versus action, so motion is…
BB: Sorry, go ahead.
JC: Motion is planning to do something or preparing to get a result or prepping for the researching, the thing that is to come, and action is a behavior that can actually deliver the result that you’re trying to achieve, so like a classic example, going to talk to a personal trainer, it does not matter how many times you talk to a personal trainer, it will never get you in shape. Doing a set of 10 squats, that is actually something that could get you the result that you want, and so talking to a personal trainer is motion, doing a set of squats is action, this doesn’t mean that motion is useless, that you should never do it, doesn’t mean that you should never prepare, never research and never plan, but it does mean that there’s a time where planning becomes its own form of procrastination.
BB: Oh, God.
JC: And I think that a lot of the time we fall into that, it’s the reason that we like motion is that because we can tell ourselves the story that I’m making progress, that I’m doing something, that I’m moving forward, right?

Highlighting the real zesty zing zing:

"...so like a classic example, going to talk to a personal trainer, it does not matter how many times you talk to a personal trainer, it will never get you in shape."

Brené Brown's laughter, if you didn't already figure it out, is because you know... we've all very likely been there!

(The thing about podcasts too, is that listening to them can also be a form of motion instead of action, right? We'll gently place that to the side for now. 😉)

There's a great deal of nuance here, though. Differentiating between motion and action is so incredibly personal. Determining when to shift between motion and action is too.

Sometimes it takes meeting a ton of different personal trainers to find one who you really connect with and who understands what you need. It can also take a lot of motion before one is ready for action. And all that is okay.

(What I've noticed about my own process is that I know when I shift from necessary motion to unnecessary motion. I might not admit that I know it but I do know!)

Timing + Capacity

Now let's dig deeper past the duality of motion vs. action to two new co-existing realms: timing and capacity.

These two realms help me in shifting between motion and action.


Where am I in a project's* lifespan?

  • Am I at a phase where I desire to keep this project tucked in close to me, just for me?
  • Am I at a phase where I feel open to bringing in something new from beyond myself and my immediate surroundings?
  • Am I at a phase when I need to do! – act, share, show, send, or ship?
  • Am I at a phase when I need to expand the project's reach?

*a project is anything with multiple necessary actions to complete it. Strengthening your muscles is a project. Making meals for your household is a project. Starting a business is a project with a multitude of projects within!


How full is my tank of inspiration?

And.. what is it full of? What is it lacking?

I fill my tank of inspiration with a mixture of:

  • inspiration that comes from my own body (the aha moment connections that arise when I'm practicing yoga),
  • inspiration that comes from my natural surroundings and the more-than-humans surrounding me (sitting by a creek, listening to the wind, dipping my fingers in the water while Ernest splashes through the water),
  • and inspiration that comes from other humans (through direct conversation, reading, witnessing art, listening to podcasts...).

Sometimes my tank of inspiration simply needs to be topped off by a walk with Ernest through the small yet bustling downtown a short drive away. Receiving inspiration from humans I walk past, shop window installations, and the shifting weather.

Advice vs. Inspiration

Look Out: Observe What Other Humans Share

The thing about inspiration from other humans is that it can sneakily and easily transmute into advice-giving. And advice doesn't mix well in the tank of inspiration – it actually needs its own container.

Humans are great at giving advice. Simultaneously, humans are not so great at discerning another human's timing and capacity needs. Nor are humans that great at determining another human's need for motion or action.

But you can be great at discerning your own timing, capacity, motion and action needs! And that's what really counts!

I'm not saying advice is inherently wrong or bad. In my experience, it is very challenging to successfully give or receive it. On the other hand, inspiration is often incredibly simple to share and receive.

Whether I'm on the receiving or giving end, I experience advice as a well-defined path with trail marker stakes hammered in by the advice-giver.

➡️ This is the way to go. ➡️

But inspiration.... inspiration is this!

Inspiration flows in all directions and will flow with you whichever ways you choose to grow.

Inspiration can provide comfort, courage, or energy... whatever the human receiving is in need of.

Advice provides something much more narrow.

Neither is right or wrong, bad or good. It's certainly a both / and situation.

Recently, I've found my boots stuck in a muddy path of advice.

I love reading. I love learning. I love hearing what others around me think. And the Internet is full of advice!

I'm in the process of launching a new project, an email-based publication about the co-creation process. I've started talking about it with some folks – and have been eager to share about it with you, dear reader.

I wrote a month or so ago about dreaming and building in public. This new publication will be chockfull of intentional collaboration and cooperation. It will also act as a stepping stone towards my dreams of starting and working within a cooperative business.

The thing is... the closer I am to launching this project, the more I am finding myself looking around me and beyond me for next steps. I've been reading posts online about paid newsletter set-ups, pros and cons about email newsletters, niching down to build an audience, and much more. I've read a bunch of good information, some absolute gems, and a whole lot of repetition.

And yesterday, while listening to James Clear and Brené Brown, I realized overnight I had shifted from necessary motion into unnecessary motion. I realized my inspiration tank had become tainted with advice from all those articles online.

So, I invited some awesome folks (who I am hoping will serve as guest contributors for this new publication) to virtually gather with me in the coming weeks. I feel my realm of timing shifting – I am at the phase where I need to do, act, share.

I am shifting into action.

And with that, I decided to take a break from reading articles online about how to launch a successful email publication.

What I'm landing with right now is the foundational need for trust. A lack of trust keeps me churning in that unnecessary motion. A lack of trust has me seeking endless amounts of advice. A lack of trust has me feeling full of overwhelm and empty of inspiration.

Trust is a confident relationship with the unknown. - Rachel Botsman

Botsman, author of Who Can You Trust?, shares that trust is a bridge between the known and the unknown. She writes about her concept of 'trust leaps' a ton, here's a short piece with a sweet gif:

Trust Leaps
Why trust is VITAL during times of transition and cultural change.

My wish is that by sharing my own process with motion, action, timing, capacity, advice and inspiration, I gift some valuable inspiration to you.

Til next week,


P.S. Several more days for you to add to our Collective Retrospective! I'm going to close it this Sunday 12/5 (my birthday 🎉). Password is toucHINGintogETHER!? Check out this post for all the details. Check out this video to see a short "how to" use Mural.