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Do It ! - Explanation and Review

Updated on March 16, 2012

One of my favorite books is "Do It! Let's Get off our Buts" by Peter McWilliams.

As the title implies, it's our "but's" that are the key to why things aren't happening quite like we'd like them to sometimes.

We are experts at offering excuses for why we can't do something.

It's time to break through the obstacles you've allowed to hold you back and begin to realize as many of your dreams you have time to fit in.

Another favorite from the same author is "You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Negative Thought: A Book for People with Any Life-Threatening Illness". This is a great book for anyone, but especially those who find it difficult to see beyond an illness they are suffering with at the moment.

There are also some great links provided below where you can learn much more about Peter McWilliams' fight with AIDS and cancer and his struggle with the government to legalize medicinal marijuana usage. You could spend hours pouring over the material about him and his books.

I'm going to share my thoughts about quotes from his book "Do It! Let's Get off Our Buts" which include quotes from him and then quotes he has quoted.

Quotes from Others Contained in Peter McWilliams' "Do It !" Explained by KCC Big Country

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. by Sydney J. Harris

Living with regrets is a horrible existence and a waste of time. Most have looking back on things in their lives and wondered what the outcome may have been had they made other choices along the way. It is self-defeating to live with painful regrets once you've made up your mind that some alternative action holds some guarantee that the results would have been better with the alternative choices. You can't know that with certainty. Don't waste time doing this. Give yourself a pat on the back for making the best choices you could with the information, resources and frame of mind, you had at the time and appreciate that today you're wiser and in a better position to make even better decisions.

Do or do not. There is no try. by Yoda

Such a simple statement, but it has far reaching implications. Think about it, isn't it true? When you try something you're either doing it or you're not. Why bother saying you're going to try something. Just do it. When people say they will try something they are usually implying that they are unsure of the success they will have so they feel like they are buying themselves an out. "Well, I can at least say I tried".

It's all right to have butterflies in your stomach. Just get them to fly information. by Dr. Rob Gilbert

I remember the first time I took my children on a roller-coaster. They were not able to see what the ride looked like before we were on it just because of the layout of the park. It was a thrilling experience for my daredevil daughter, but a bit scary for her older brother. I remember Kevin turning to me afterwards telling me how his knees were shaking and how it had scared him. With a sparkle in my eyes, I smiled and told him, "but that's the fun of roller-coasters, Kevin, it's FUN to be scared". I have used that phrase with many people since then. Have you ever stopped to realize that being excited and being scared elicit the same butterflies in your stomach feeling? Oh, I'm sure someone trained in neurological responses, etc. may jump in and tell me technically I'm wrong, but I'm not concerned with it from a physical standpoint. I'm appealing to your sense of reasoning. That feeling is so similar. Next time you get butterflies, remind yourself that it's excitement, not fear. Then relish that feeling, it means you're alive and still responsive to the world around you.

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you cannot do. by Eleanor Roosevelt

Facing your fears takes guts, but not nearly has much as you think it might. People typically envision the worst and then multiply it by 100. Rarely is anything as bad as it could be or have the devastating impact you imagine it to have. Face your fears and move past them. You'll be stronger and more confident each time and more prepared for whatever comes your way.

One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. by Andre' Gide

You're never going to get very far out of your comfort zone if you've snuggled into your zipped up sleeping bag in that tent you have staked in the middle of your comfort zone. You're here for the adventure, so for good sakes, lace up those hiking boots and let's go somewhere!

Letting yourself move out into uncharted areas allows you to learn new things and have new experiences that will become invaluable to you. Push those boundaries from time to time.

The only man who is really free is the one who can turn down an invitation to dinner without giving an excuse. by Jules Renard

One of the things I realized after the death of my son was that I didn't have to answer the door just because someone knocked at my door. I didn't have to answer my phone just because someone was calling. Some find that behavior to be rude. I don't. Rude is expecting me to drop what I'm doing to speak to you on your timetable.

Don't worry what others will think of you. Most people will be envious and secretly wish they had the guts to be just like you.

People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them. by George Bernard Shaw

I love this quote. If you don't like how things are right now, do something about them. If you don't like where you live, move. If you don't like what you look like, change. If things aren't going your way, change things until they do. I can hear a million 'but's' on this one. Save your "but's" and do it anyway.

The higher up you go, the more mistakes you're allowed. RIght at the top, if you make enough of them, it's considered to be your style. by Fred Astaire

What a great way to look at so-called mistakes! Let your mistakes become your personal style. I guess you can laugh it off and say things always turned out just the way you intended.

The real secret of success is enthusiasm. by Walter Chrysler

Enthusiasm for anything will always generate positive results. With enthusiasm you allow your mind to be open and receptive to new information and ideas. When you're enthusiastic, you can't help but see the good in everything around you. You just can't be enthusiastic and depressed, or enthusiastic and sad, or enthusiastic and heartbroken. Tackle everything you do with enthusiasm and notice how much easier things become.

Quotes from Peter McWilliams in His Own Book "Do It!" -Explained by KCC Big Country

Fear breeds lack of experience: lack of experience breeds ignorance: ignorance breeds more fear. It is a vicious circle.

Think about that. When you were a small child you wanted to try everything, You didn't fear anything. You had no concept of the possibility of falling or getting hurt. Those early experiences, with the help of some adults who loved and cared for you, taught you about the limitations. But, most things had to be learned by experiencing them. For some reason, as adults we seem to let fear keep us from trying things in the first place. I'm not promoting reckless and careless behavior, but realize that many things you fear could be tackled with a lot less hassle than you imagine. If you let fear keep you from trying something you'll never have the experience to learn from. You'll be stuck there.

Hurt feelings and anger--like fear, guilt, and unworthiness--are there as energy to be used toward your goal, not as reasons to stop.

Peter McWilliams explains that tingling feeling of fear (that I equated to excitement/fun in my story earlier) is energy. Energy is what it takes to tackle something new. Learn to use this heightened awareness to motivate you, to get you excited!

Courage, contrary to popular belief, is not the absence of fear. Courage is the wisdom to act in spite of fear.

I think that many people do tend to look at those they deem as courageous as being fearless. This simply isn't a true assessment of courageous people. Courageous people have learned to harness fear and use it to their advantage and do thinks in spite of the butterflies. Some in fact, of learned to use the butterfly feeling as a signal to plow straight ahead full-throttle.

If you'd like to see the world, then make seeing the world your goal. If money is the necessary method for doing that, fine. It will come. There could, however, be other methods. You could, for example, meet someone who wants to hire a traveling companion: then you could get paid to see the world.

I'm as guilty of this as anyone. We seem to approach life with, "if only I had a million dollars". We put off all hopes and dreams thinking we can't even begin to figure out how to spend it until we have it firmly in our hands in crisp $100 bills. Then we wonder why we don't have it yet. Thinking you have to have red hot cash in your possession before you can make your dreams come true is exactly why you won't every have it. Start thinking of what you want to have and let the method of getting it work itself out. It's entirely possible to get everything you want without having to buy it all. You could win it, it could be given to you, you could trade something for it. Don't limit the possibilities by your limited thinking.

Just as the work expands to till the time available, so too, the needs expand to consume the money available. As John Guare pointed out, "The rich live hand-to-mouth, too--just on a higher level".

Many of you have probably not stopped to consider this. Have you ever looked at someone you presume to be rich (by the clothes they wear or the car they drive) and thought perhaps they might be three payments behind on that car? Or maybe they are on their way to their attorney to file bankruptcy. Not everyone that is destitute wears a cardboard sign announcing it.

It's important that you get a grip on your finances, no matter how much you make, or you could be doomed to making the same mistakes at a higher level. Better to learn the lessons while fewer dollars are a stake, huh?

Whatever comes along, look for the lesson. Assume it's for your good, no matter how bad it seems.

This is probably one of my favorite quotes in the whole book. It is a wonderful way to live your life. If you dare to take the time to look back on all the so-called "bad times" in your life, I bet you can now see the good that came out of them. No matter what, something good came out of it. Whatever it is, you will have used this at a later point in your life. If you haven't already, you will. I find that to be an incredibly comforting feeling.

Do You Have Something to Say?

Thank you for stopping by. Did you enjoy this article? Do you have something to add? If so, please leave me a comment below. I love feedback.

For more information about the me, KCC Big Country, please visit my profile page here on HubPages.

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    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you so much to the person who shared this on Facebook today! :) Hope it helps!

    • profile image

      Royce Blauta 

      7 years ago

      Thanks much guys! :)

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you Bilalnr & Angel!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      great quotes

    • Bilalnr profile image


      7 years ago from Islamabad, Pakistan

      Thanks for this Great Hub KCC Big Country!!!!

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks Cosmo...we'd all be better off if we remembered that there are no mistakes, only steps to perfecting something. Some things just seem to have more steps than others. :)

    • Cosmo Freebird profile image

      Cosmo Freebird 

      9 years ago

      Great Hub! Love the quotes especially the one by Fred Astaire~I use one similar to my kids. I tell them "One of the reasons I know more than you is because I have made more mistakes than you."

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Awwww...(((Hugs)))...MM you've always been there for me....glad I could give back just a little!

    • Mighty Mom profile image

      Susan Reid 

      9 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

      I can always count on you, dear friend, to come up with just what I need to read when I need to read it. Excellent hub -- I like the quotes and your interpretations. Great combo.

      This hit the spot for me.Thank you. (((KCC))) MM

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Awww thanks Wealthmadehealthy....those are just my interpretations of the quotes. I think I need to re-read them myself tonight. Everyone can use a pep talk.

    • Wealthmadehealthy profile image


      9 years ago from Somewhere in the Lone Star State

      These quotes were wonderful...I like the additions to them after you put the quote in....Wonderful hub!! Food for thought...

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks Rebecca, Partluck, and Elisabethkcmo!

    • elisabethkcmo profile image


      9 years ago from Just East of Oz

      we all need these words of wisdom!

    • partluck profile image


      9 years ago from Edison, NJ

      If you really want some great and effective bibliotherapy and guidance then read work by the Late Great Albert Ellis.

    • Rebecca E. profile image

      Rebecca E. 

      9 years ago from Canada

      Really Great quotes here, thanks.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      You're so welcome, Create a Page. We all need the 'push' sometimes. It's easy to let excuses stop us. Sometimes we just have to push through the excuses and let things unfold.

    • create a page profile image

      create a page 

      9 years ago from Maryland, USA

      KCC I think you were writing about me when you started quoting excerpts from "Do it...". I inadvertently find excuses for not doing things that I think are too difficult, but then there is a rush of excitement when I finally accomplish them. Great quotes...great thoughts and exceptional hub. Thank so much for the inspiration.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks Maggs! I'm really glad you enjoyed them! Thanks for stopping by!

    • maggs224 profile image


      9 years ago from Sunny Spain

      Loved the hub and the quotes you chose to share and loved the way you shared them. A delightfully written hub with lots to enjoy and ponder upon.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks, artrush! That's a good one too.

    • artrush73 profile image


      9 years ago

      Great Quotes, thanks for sharing. Here is one I like. "Impossible is nothing" ~ by Mohammad Ali.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      John, you're right about "You can have anything you want, but not everything you want" is one of Peter's bits of wisdom. I didn't touch on it because I think I could actually write a whole hub just on that. I think what bogs people down is thinking that whatever choice they make is the LAST choice they can ever make. For instance, they are afraid to imagine the perfect dream home because they're afraid they may leave something out they want and never have another chance to build another one. You don't have to decide what you want FOREVER, you only have to decide what you want for now. Peter's explanation for why you can't everything is simply because you'll run out time before you do.

      Carmen, that is so right. There is no way to fail as long as you're continuing to pursue your dreams. When you stop, you have now failed.

      Thank you both for stopping by!

    • John Chancellor profile image

      John Chancellor 

      9 years ago from Tennessee

      I think the point of the quote is that too often we seek perfection or an idealized state of something. Take the following: Career, mate, house, automobile, friends. If we made a list of all the traits we considered necessary in each, we would probably find it difficult to find any one that "totally fit the bill", that is had everything we wanted. We generally must make trade offs in life. Often we become stuck seeking "everything" instead of deciding what is acceptable and striving for that. We might find an automobile that was our dream car in every way except the cost. Same for house. Our friends often come with some faults. Point is we have to make choices. Striving to get everything too often we do without.

    • Carmen Borthwick profile image

      Carmen Borthwick 

      9 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

      I think it depends on your definition of 'everything'. One of my favorite quotes is 'You never fail until you stop trying'.

    • John Chancellor profile image

      John Chancellor 

      9 years ago from Tennessee

      One of the bits of wisdom from Peter McWilliams that I really love is, "You can have anything you want, but not everything you want."

      I see this played out every day. People expecting they can have everything. Life is about choices. And a successful life is about making the right choices. Trying to have everything often leads to having very little.

      Great Hub.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks Dohn. I'm glad you enjoyed them. I guess that's the key...doing something with the information and finding a way to improve one's life with it. It doesn't do a lot of good to just read them. Thanks for stopping by!

    • dohn121 profile image


      9 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I really enjoyed reading these quotes. Let's just hope the readers of such great quotes utilize the lessons that they've learned. All of us need to get inspired and then perspire to make all of our dreams come true.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      So very true, Christoph. That is one of my favorite lessons too. I think it may have been mentioned in this book as well.

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 

      9 years ago from St. Louis

      One of my favorite inspirational stories along these lines is of the circus. When elephants are babies, they learn that they cannot get free by pulling on the chain around their neck. As adults, the trainer has only to drive a stake into the ground and secure the elephant to it to keep the elephant in its place. Obviously, the elephant could quite easily pull the stake from the ground, but it doesn't try, having learned in childhood that it is useless to pull. It is similar for humans, not doing something because we have been conditioned to think we cannot succeed. Just pull and you will be free.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Thanks Mardi! Your last quote reminds me of a plaque I found in an arts and crafts book years ago that said "In this office everyone brings a smile to my face, some when they enter, and some when they leave".

    • Mardi profile image

      Mardi Winder-Adams 

      9 years ago from Western Canada and Texas

      KCC, inspiring hub and I am definitely going to browse through those recommended sites. I have a bunch of quotes I keep on post-its to provide good old common sense. Am adding that Yoda one right now!

      One I try to remember each time I go somewhere is by Frederick L. Collins and it is " There are 2 types of people. Those that come into a room and say "Well here I am" and those that say "Ah, there you are". I hope to always be the second.

    • KCC Big Country profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Central Texas

      Thank you, Smireles!

    • Smireles profile image

      Sandra Mireles 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Great quotes.


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