Don’t Settle

When I was young, I wanted to be a rock star.

Not a pseudo-celebrity social media rock star…

A real rock star.

I didn’t become a rock star because I didn’t try.

I told myself I couldn’t do it, or maybe I was simply afraid to fail.

Knowing what I know now, I know I could have done it.

Knowing what I know now, I know I can do anything I truly want to do.

Not that it’ll be easy… just that it’s doable.


Skip directly to what you truly want to do.

Don’t substitute.

Don’t settle.


About the Author: Brian Clark is a new media entrepreneur and co-founder of Lateral Action. Subscribe today to get free updates by email or RSS.

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  1. I’m already feeling those pangs… I’d wish I’d read this when I was 15.

    Thanks, Brian!

  2. Beautiful. Just do.

  3. And of course…. “Do. Or do not. There is no try”. — Yoda

  4. Wow. See, this is why I like you, Brian. At Lateral Action and in comments. And via email.

    Inspiring in form, powerful in content, driving in rhythm.

    I’d love to have an entry from you in my contest, by the way.


  5. Straight to the point. Easy to Digest.
    Loved it!

  6. So, does it mean that you *are* going to become a real rock star, because you still have an opportunity as long as you live? Will you do what you preach?

  7. People shouldn’t be afraid of failure. They should be afraid of looking back at the end of their lives and realizing they didn’t even try.

  8. Yura, my ambitions have changed since I was young. But yes, I practice what I preach.

  9. DO must be on the brain for a lot of us today!

  10. F*ck yes.

    Not the most delicate of responses, I know, but that is exactly my reaction to this post.

    F*ck yes.

    Thank you, Brian.

  11. Brian, pick up an instrument today and

    “Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of your life. Your breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted.”

    Besides, you probably have another 40 under the hood. Plenty of time left.

  12. Thanx Brian, I came across this just at the right time. For various reasons I was starting to second guess my decision to start a golf blog. I think I will dig in my heels and hang in there.

  13. Great post, don’t settle, decide on what you want the end result to be and don’t “settle” until you reach your end goal.

  14. so beautiful. so simple.
    i must remind myself of this every day.
    we all must remind ourselves of this every day.
    follow our true intent
    i, too, intended to be a rock star.
    i settled. i’m not alone in my settling.

    neither are you.
    it’s a pleasure to meet you.

  15. Brian: Then, I guess, it might help to make sure the ambitions is actually what you really need/want 🙂

    But I completely agree with the point of the post. It’s always best to do what you love and get on with it 🙂

  16. Dear Brian,

    Of all the wisdom you’ve shared over the years, this is particularly inspiring, empowering and also very timely for me on a personal level.

    I’ve been *agonizing* over a fairly monumental shift in my business. Your message along with a couple others I just “happened” to receive this morning have helped pushed me over the top (in a good way).

    Despite your in-depth understanding of human nature and obvious marketing/business prowess, I’m not 100% convinced that you realize the fullest extent or nature of the impact you have on so many lives.

    In any case, thanks for being you.

  17. I wrote a post about this on my blog back in May:
    I think people get boxed in by The Fear. This neurosis makes the afflicted feel as if they are of no value to society unless they are earning an income (any income). We all fee this from time to time. Those with mortgages and children feel it even more keenly. It closes us off to possibilities and opportunities. Those that succeed are those that can overcome this fear. It is these people that “just do”.

    The worst advice to give such an individual is to have something to fall back on.

    Thanks for this excellent post. This is an excellent message.

  18. I learned this only 6 months ago. You need to ignore everybody who says you can’t or shouldn’t do it.

    Only insane people win.

  19. This post has the get-up-and-go of an energy drink. Nice.

  20. Kellie said it well, Mary Anne said it better. All I can say is, “perfect.”

  21. Great one B. We’re all gonna die…

  22. If you’re going to bust a gut every day working hard you might as well do it for something you love, because you might just achieve it.

    If you’re busting a gut every day doing something you hate, you’re only going to be really good at doing what you hate.

    Life is far too short.

  23. The problem today is way too many people settle.

    I am always striving for excellence, I couldn’t live with myself if I settled for second-rate.

    Whenever I see something I imagine ways to make it better, and if it is worth my time I do something about it!

    Never settle for anything.

  24. everyone comes to their calling from a higher ground…doesnt surprise me in the least you had that aspiration. Because the flavor and stylings you mix into copyblogger are reflective of musical skill. It’s why it works. You are not just another copywriter, but a reformed lawyer carrying a guitar.

  25. We could all benefit in one way or another by getting in touch with our “inner rock star” — in whatever form that takes.

    Sounds simple, like “Just Do It”, but it’s actually the hardest thing to do … and keep doing it, especially when the going gets lumpy, and bumpy, and you get grumpy…

  26. The first time I saw the word “doable” was in an interview, several years ago, in a magazine I’ve forgotten, with Steve Jobs. He spoke about long-term goals and objectives but, important to me was when he said, each day he broke down his goals into “doable” activities. Well, the end results speak for themselves. Thanks for your to-the-point email. I hope to read every article on your site, slowly. Absorbing, assimilating then taking doable actions. Errol.

  27. Brian you just got my heart pumping, my friend. Great, great, great stuff.

  28. So true! Great post! While I wish I knew this truth sooner, I am ever so grateful I know it now and can still do something about it!

  29. Amen brother.

  30. solid.
    the forces for mediocrity are everywhere, as Seth says in Tribes.
    wrote about this them t’other day.

  31. My first session. I like what I am reading so far!

  32. I’m glad I stumbled upon this site and have started with the lessons. I’m a college student and since I’m a creative individual I hear from my professors that it wold be preferable for me to get an MFA so that I have being a professor to fall back on since it’s a cold cold world out there in which our hopes and expectations are not always met. But I really dislike academia. I can’t stand profs now, why would I ever want to be one? Lol

  33. Thanks Brian for allowing me this chance to even eroll in your course. From what is written on this comment page, it seems like most commented last year, or before. Anyway, if there are any more like me (late enlistees’) so to speak, I (we) appreciate having this time now!
    I enjoying what I’m reading and digesting this far. Many of the points you bring, are what has been dancing in my mind for quite a long time, and all is true’. There is no time like the present, and with that, I’m headed for the uncomfrotable zone’ and looking forward to it. Thanks again, and please don’t stop it now!

  34. oh, how much courage it takes to ‘do’.

  35. I like very much your posts! Thank you.
    But what to do when you are tired of doing something and simple that”something” just doesn’t work.

    Sorry about my bad english.


  36. You are absolutely right! I have never been able to face what I want without fears. It’s a shame….

  37. I’m going for it! Walking out on that water of my dreams! thanks for the poetic command to begin the first steps into what i’m designed for.