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How Deep Is The Water? A Moment With Bill Reflection

Updated on March 20, 2014

A Lesson from the Civil War

On May 24, 1862, General Barnard and the 5th U.S. Calvary were pursuing Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and his men up the Peninsula. They reached the Chickahominy River so they stopped, and the officers sat down for a meeting to discuss a potential crossing point on that river. At one point during the meeting General Barnard could be heard muttering, “I wish I knew how deep that river is.”

Upon hearing those words, Captain George Armstrong Custer dashed forward into the river on his horse. He reached the middle of the river where the water was only up to the knees of his horse, turned to the astonished officers back on the bank, and said, “That’s how deep it is, Mr. General.”

I read about that incident many years ago and I still smile today when I think of it.

Bev finding out how deep the water truly is.
Bev finding out how deep the water truly is. | Source

So What’s the Point?

I will state this as clearly as I possibly can: some people are doers and some people are content to sit on the bank and watch the action.

I was notorious at the schools I taught at for my intolerance of staff meetings. I hated them. Instead of teaching for an entire day, classes were suspended at noon and then teachers would gather their lunches and sit for three hours discussing and debating possible actions to take in the future. Invariably no consensus could be found and predictably, then, no action was taken, and it drove me crazy.

I call it paralysis by analysis.

After the meetings I would go to the principal and ask him what he needed done, that I was more than willing to take on a new task and complete it, and he would always explain that we really shouldn’t do something until we were all in agreement. “Well hell,” I told him. “Then we’ll never get a damn thing done.”

Was I a bit impetuous? Most definitely! Was I a tad insensitive to the opinions of others? You bet your bippy I was!

And that is the curse of the doers of this world. While others want to analyze, debate, discuss risks and a myriad of possible outcomes, the doers just want to do. They want results. They want to mark off another item on their to do lists and move to the next.

Where Does This Paralysis Come From?

It’s an interesting phenomenon, isn’t it? If you think back you will remember seeing it during your

childhood. Some kids are just naturally curious and willing to risk it all to achieve something, while others will sit on the sidelines of life saying, “You can’t do that because this might happen,” or “You shouldn’t take risks like that,” or “No way am I doing that; I might get hurt trying.”

All the while life is passing them by.

As I write this I am sixty-five years old. If I live an average life span I have about thirteen years remaining; maybe a little more; maybe a little less. Thirteen years will be gone in the blink of an eye, and if you think for one moment I’m going to waste any of those thirteen years then you are sadly mistaken.

Risks? So what! There are risks just getting out of bed and driving somewhere in your car. What’s the worst thing that can happen to me if I take on a new undertaking? I will fail. Oh gee, how will I ever recover from failure? Well, the same way I have always recovered: I will pick myself up, dust myself off, and move forward. That’s what we humans do. We were not born to cower in the corner hoping against hope that bad fortune will not visit us. We were born to run headfirst into walls. We were born to squeeze every ounce of life that we can from this vessel we are traveling on.

I say God bless the doers!

Just one more inning, coach!
Just one more inning, coach! | Source

Why You Should Be a Doer

When I was fourteen years old I was pitching in a Little League game one fine summer afternoon. For those of you not knowledgeable about such things, a normal game is seven innings long at that level. I had pitched through eight innings in a 0-0 tie and I was getting tired. The temperature was in the eighties that day, and I had never pitched longer than seven innings, and my arm felt like a twenty pound wet noodle when I finished the eighth inning and came to the dugout.

The coach came up to me and asked me how much I had left in my tank. I told him I felt fine and I wanted to pitch the 9th. He said okay and sent me back out there. The first batter in the 9th inning hit a homerun off of me and my team lost 1-0.

My dad was there that day, and as we were driving home I was naturally depressed over costing our team a loss, and I told my dad how I had screwed it up for our team. He just looked at me and told me to knock that kind of talk off. “Did you try your hardest, Bill?” he asked me. I told him I had, but that I knew I was tired before that 9th inning. He simply told me that we will never know our limitations…we will never know what we are capable of…if we do not push ourselves beyond our known limits. And he said one other thing: he told me he was proud of me.

Fifty-one years later I still remember his words. I will never know what I am capable of if I’m not willing to push the envelope and find out.

No limits!
No limits! | Source

This World Desperately Need Doers

You don’t need me to tell you that. We’ve got trouble in River City my friends, and we need people who are willing to step up and get things done.

Would you like to know what really chafes my butt? I’ll spend ten minutes on Facebook and I’m assaulted by people who want to rant about the Democrats, rant about the Republicans, rant about poor parenting and rant about crappy schools. In the time they took to do all that ranting not once did they propose a solution that involved them doing anything.

Talk is cheap. Action requires effort. As much as I believe in Freedom of Speech and the Constitution, I’ve got to tell you that to those who just want to complain I have only one message: Shut up and be a part of the solution.

Meaningful change in this country will only happen at the local level. We can no longer sit back and wait for our national lawmakers to affect change for the common good. We must make it happen and it must happen in the towns in which we live.

If you are tired of ineffectual government then change it. If you are tired of inaction then be a catalyst for action. We don’t need any more critics. We’ve got more than enough of them. What we need are doers who are willing to risk it all so that something will be done.

Is there a risk of failure? Most definitely! So what? We all fail, and then we get up, and we move forward, and we try again.

How deep is the river? There’s only one way to find out. Saddle up, show up, ride out into it, and find out.

2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Love your dad's words and will say my mother was very much like your dad always pushing us to do our best and then some. Probably why I truly don't know how to stop and just keep going on and on most days. Thank you for sharing and you are right he world definitely could use more doers. Have a wonderful day now, as always!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 3 years ago from Arizona

      I knew where this was going from word one. I am an action person. I have a friend needing to work in the real estate area. Another friend mentioned she needed some one and they are meeting tomorrow. Everything in my life is always action first..And risks..You look up the word risk in the dictionary and you will find a picture of me. Actually I have something new brewing and will share when the T's are dotte and the I's crossed...No Bill I got that right.

    • profile image

      Vickiw 3 years ago

      True words Bill. I don't think those of us who 'do' every day will change the world, but as long as we change our immediate world it is a start. And a positive attitude goes a long way towards becoming a 'doer'. Your dad said a wonderful thing to you. Doers never learn how to set the bar low. They always reach for more.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Janine. Sounds like we both had great parents.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love it Carol. Put you and me in a room and we could solve a whole lot of society's problems very quickly.

      Good luck with your new venture. I hope to hear about it soon.

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      First on a lighter sense I have to ask, "So you send Bev out to see how deep the water is?" lol Now my experience as a worker that I think applies here.

      We use to have meetings all the time one place I worked and take 2 hours and lunch and all that waste of time to see how could we make our workplace more productive. First of all stop the meetings I thought and secondly open your eyes. Half the people were not even working and no big boss was around to see and the little ones just didn't care. One sold Avon, never lifted a finger, several hung around the group leaders desk and gossiped. Anyway, if they ever wanted to jump in the water (come around and look) they could have found out but they never did.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Vicki and thanks for the visit and the very true words. We will never get cramps from bending over, but we might strain a muscle from reaching so high.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I was quite content to take pictures of Bev testing the depth. LOL Actually nobody beats Bev when it comes to testing the depths...she is head first and damn the consequences. LOL As for that office you mentioned...perfect example of this article.

      Thank you my Southern belle.

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile image

      Kathleen Odenthal Romano 3 years ago from Bayonne, New Jersey

      another fantastic hub from bill! love your stuff!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      What a wise father you had! I'm with you here. If you go ahead and do it, you'll find out whether it's right or wrong, you'll find out the result of your actions and so will everyone else; hopefully we'll have all learnt something and then we can get on with the next thing or try another way - that will save so much time! Simple, no?!

      Our government and the oppositions are spending so much time at the moment slagging each other off. It's because the election is coming up (only just over a year away! - what?) and because yesterday was budget day. Both are a great excuse for a slanging match. The time-wasting is palpable and I'm screaming at the tv in frustration.

      I don't want to vote for any of these idiots. I want change and I'm going to find out how the local stuff works and try to attack it that way.

      We're waiting for some French friends to arrive for a long weekend - showing them the sights etc - and what's the forecast after all our sunshine? Rain, wintry showers and a drastic drop in temperature. Well, thanks a bunch! Will it stop us? No, we're going to enjoy ourselves with our lovely friends and show them as much of our lovely area as we can. Sunday roasts, cream teas, that stretch of coastline that you now know about and the beautiful city of Bath.

      Have a great day, bill! Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much Kathleen!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I have had it with national politics. I am going to work at the local level and make whatever change I can. At least I trust myself to get something done.

      As for those French friends, I have to say this: if Bev and I visit you I really expect you to do a better job with the weather. We will be leaving rain to visit you so I expect sunshine. :) I know I can count on you.

      Enjoy your day my friend

      bill

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 3 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      Trouble is Bill that we are now living in a very risk averse society. When I was a kid I had two permanent scabs on my knees and elbows where I had come off my bike/swing/fence etc and quite often a bump on my head. I was jealous of my friends because I never broke my arm and had a plaster cast lol! Now you don't see that and kids are wrapped up in cotton wool.

      People really do think they can go through life without any bruises, pain or injury and are trying to cushion themselves from reality. They believe the government is there to protect them and run their lives. Trying new things is risky so people hold back and stay where it is cosy, even if it means living a much smaller life than the one they could have

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      "bet your bippy" "Chaffes my butt" and "trouble right here in river city" a wave of nostalgia for sure on those.

      I like to add to this notion the control freaks who have to have a hand in everything. With them it is always a delay while they contemplate. And since they are control freaks they are overwhelmed and take for ever.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      I will do my best! It won't be for want of trying.

      As it is, I've been willing the sun to come out and I expect at least a few rays whilst we're out and about over the next few days - the pier at Weston will be a bit wild and woolly if not!!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Another great hub; straight to the point and leaving much food for thought.

      I am a doer ;even more so as I get older. Voted up and hared.

      Eddy.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      CM, you raise excellent points and I agree with what you have said. I find that kind of existence sad and stifling, but that's just me. Thanks for a great comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      They do indeed, Eric, and I simply can't work with those people. Give me doers and we can move mountains. I'll work with you any day of the week my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, I know you will do your best. That's all I can hope for. Won't you be surprised when we show up one day?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Exactly, Eddy! As we grow older we understand the need to get things done...time does not wait for us, so it's full speed ahead.

      Thank you my dear.

      billy

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Probably, but very pleased!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 3 years ago from Southern Illinois

      All i can think to say is " Amen " We gotta ride that horse again and again until he stops bucking. Another great piece of writing...

    • profile image

      Alise- Evon 3 years ago

      Great hub, Bill. I find myself writing down my goals with more clarity, so that I will be more of a doer than just a "someday" dreamer. (You know, I do a whole, 2-night, community education class on complaining- the useless type like you're talking about. We learn how it literally can wreck your health, why we engage in such, and ideas for what you can do instead.)

      Voted useful and shared.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      It's funny. I look at myself now compared to when I was younger. I feared nothing when I was a kid and young adult. All you had to say was, "I dare you" or "I wonder what would happen if..." and I was on it in the blink of an eye. I'm not so daring anymore. I still take risks, but I have to muster up the courage first. I get there - just much slower.

      On another note, I wonder how many of your readers recognize your references to "Laugh In" and "The Music Man"? :-)

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Bill, I have no excuse for backing down from your suggestion to move forward. We're the same age. Thank you for being a good leader.

    • Ann1Az2 profile image

      Ann1Az2 3 years ago from Orange, Texas

      You're quite a motivator on this one, Bill! Can I have my coffee, first, please?

      Seriously, what you say is absolutely true. And if we don't get out of our comfort zones, we will never go anywhere or do anything. People who are claustrophobic get over it by going into tight spaces and surviving. People who are afraid of heights climb mountains. I know, I've climbed a few with my husband who is afraid of heights.

      Why is failure so scary to some people I wonder? I've failed many times, but by the grace of God, I've survived and so have you and for that, I'm grateful. We couldn't have access to these great articles if you weren't around.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      :) me too, Ann!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you so much, Ruby! I've got bruises on my butt as proof that I've ridden that horse. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alise, thanks for stopping by. I love that you do a class on this and yes, I do believe it can wreck your health. Thanks for mentioning that.

    • MarleneB profile image

      Marlene Bertrand 3 years ago from Northern California, USA

      Today, I learned that I have now been with HubPages for three years. I mention that because before I started writing for HubPages, I was afraid I might fail. But then there were a few writers like you and others who encouraged me along the way and now I am constantly writing about this and that. I still don't know how deep the water is, because the more I swim, the deeper I go. I'm just coming up for air this week.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, it's a valid question and I probably shouldn't have used them. I have warned others to be "audience appropriate" and then I dated myself. LOL Thanks for pointing that out.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dora, it is my pleasure. Good luck as you move forward my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, you gave me a laugh and for that I thank you. By all means go ahead and have that coffee before you go forth and slay dragons today. :) Thank you for a wonderful comment.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marlene, Happy Anniversary! I had no idea you had been here three years. Well bravo, and you deserve to take a break this week. The water will be waiting for you when you catch your breath. :)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      You hit the nail bang on the head once more with this hard truth. Unless we put ourselves to a task we will not know whether we can do it or not. Try we have to and try we must.

      Thanks for this Bill.

    • cecileportilla profile image

      Cecile Portilla 3 years ago from West Orange, New Jersey

      Your dad was a very wise man billybuc. I think that you have gotten a lot from him judging by you ability to push yourself to produce so many high quality informative hubs. Problems and failure to achieve our expectations are indeed caused by giving in to the paralysis and not doing. As your dad correctly highlighted, if we don't push ourselves we will never know how much we can have achieved. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Rajan! I just hate to see people pass up opportunities because they are afraid to try. Life is too short my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Cecileportilla, I was a lucky kid. My dad didn't have book smarts but he understood life and what it takes to survive and thrive. Thank you for your kind words.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Bill, the allusions didn't detract from your article in the least. What it did do was give those of us who remember, a chuckle! I was in no way being critical.

    • tlpoague profile image

      Tammy 3 years ago from USA

      As I was reading this, I was chuckling. Not because it struck me as funny, but because you sounded very much like my hubby. (He is an action man.) Wise words your father shared with you.

      When my daughter was in labor, she kept wanting meds to kill the pain. I felt helpless. How do you help a child in so much pain? I did the only thing I knew how. I told her if she could endure having the skin removed from her leg, from a 2-3 degree burn, without the help of meds, (which was her choice at the time) she could endure this. Then I told her to suck it up. (I know, I know...I sound like a horrible mother.) She thought about it a minute. Then she agreed. After the delivery I gave her a hug and told her how proud I was. She felt proud of herself for finding her limits once she overcame her fears.

      Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom here.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      If we are still breathing, then we have no business sitting on the sidelines! When we see injustice or those being bullied, that is our chance to step up and take a stand and do something, whether it is necessary to just say ...Hey, that is wrong!" But if you do see something wrong and do nothing about it, then do not bother complaining! I am always amazed when I see someone take half a day or even a whole day to do what I can do before I even leave my house in the morning! Boggles my mind. Enjoy you day, Faith Reaper

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Enjoy your day ...sorry, my phone would not allow me to back up to fix that spot. Blessings, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I didn't think you were, Sha; no worries. Your comment did point out something I knew and should remember in the future. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Tipoague, tough mother but not horrible. There are times when that is the message that has to be delivered, and you did it out of love.

      Thank you for the visit and for sharing your experience.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....I know several like that, Faith. They spend so much time thinking about doing something that it barely gets done. Me, I'm the other end of the spectrum. I just go do it and then deal with the consequences afterwards. LOL

      Thank you my friend. Have a blessed day.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, don't even get me started about cell phones. I am a rookie and always will be. :)

      bill

    • dearabbysmom profile image

      dearabbysmom 3 years ago from Indiana

      Such true words! Every election year I find myself telling my grousing relatives to get off the rumor and criticism mills and volunteer to stuff envelopes, canvass for the politician of their choice...anything that might actually make a difference. The older I get the less time I find myself spending with people who aren't proactive. We have no way of knowing if any given day is our last, and there's a lot to do!

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      You managed to inspire and depress me all at the same time. I don't want to think about 13 years from now! As for being a doer, well that is who I want to be. Thanks for the extra kick in the tush to remind me that anything is possible. Up, interesting, useful and totally awesome!

    • jhamann profile image

      Jamie Lee Hamann 3 years ago from Reno NV

      Bill, you hub as really touched me. I have been writing poetry for awhile now and feel that I have enough good poetry to look into publication and other things. I am certainly driven to write but have such a hard time sharing. Either a fear of success or of failure. But this hub as helped a little, and maybe one day I can break from the security of my shell. Jamie

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      dearabbysmom, exactly the point! I don't have that many years left and by God I'm going to spend my remaining time doing something that makes a difference. I whined enough when I was in my crib; now I need to act! LOL Thank you for a great comment.

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop.....oh goodness....thirteen years...I'll be 78 yrs old. It can't be possible, can it? Let's not think about it and maybe it won't happen. :)

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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jamie, I hope you do. I know what a huge thrill it was for me to hold my first novel...and think about what a great legacy your book will be for your children. How cool would that be?

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      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      Okay billy, let's not think about it!!!

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      sheilamyers 3 years ago

      I'm definitely a doer and it irritates me when other people sit on their duffs thinking about what to do when I've already offered them several ways to do something. So why didn't I just do it? Because I'm a worker bee in the hive and the bosses only like ideas that come out of their heads. I love the situations when someone needs something done and they say "I don't care how you do it, just get it done". Need I tell you that bosses rarely give you that option?

    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 3 years ago from California

      You used lovely and engaging example stories. I love the intro story about the general and the not so deep river, as well as your pitching story.

      It is so easy to over analyze, and never take the plunge. I'm trying to get better at weighing the risks, then just jumping all in. It's very hard, but the more you do it, the easier it gets.

      “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!” -Hunter S. Thompson

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      breakfastpop, it's a deal! :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sheila, I've been there, and I hate it too. Things are never as complicated as some people want to make them. Just dive in and get 'er done!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....Jen, that is the perfect quote and says it all. Thank you!

    • alancaster149 profile image

      Alan Robert Lancaster 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      'Good morning Vietnam!' (Where's Robin Williams when you need him?!)

      He was a doer, wasn't he - the character in the film that is. Trouble was he got up everybody's noses and finished up being taken off air in mid-film. Still, he tested the water.

      Custer really tested the water, chasing after Sitting Bull, getting stuck without a paddle on the Little Big Horn and his underlings getting into a stew over 'obeying orders' (makes you think of somebody a bit more recent, 'obeying orders').

      General Haig knew about testing the water. He used his underlings to do that, didn't he, whereas Pershing tested his own. There'll always be them that does, and them that watches them do it - and take the credit for giving the order.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      More great motivational advice from you Bill. Custer sure was a good example of a "doer". The theme from Star Trek comes to mind, "to bravely go where no man has gone before". Well done, and thanks for continually challenging us all. I seem to alternate between doing and procrastinating. Sometime I need a prod to get me going , then I'm like a runaway train with no breaks...lol.

    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      I appreciate doers, a lot! The opposite makes me nervous, irritated and frustrated. Worst thing is when I have to do some teamwork with people that just like to talk and plan and so on... Great hub, as always:) I like to read your hubs! Voted and shared.

    • kgmonline profile image

      Geri Mileff 3 years ago from Czech Republic

      Thank you for a great hub. What a great piece to read as I end my day.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      As I read your post I was reminded of the saying: lots of talk but no action. I also winced reading about your teacher's meetings. I've been to a few of those long-winded sessions. I did walk out on one though -- I couldn't take another minute of the senseless chatter. Good message on taking initiative.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL...Alan, I can always count on you for the right perspective. Custer was a fairly fascinating individual, and I don't necessarily mean that in a good way. As for Haig....adjectives would not do him justice. :)

      Thank you my friend. Always good to hear from you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      John, your self-description had me smiling. Just don't derail my friend. LOL Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Linda, thank you and it is always a pleasure when you stop by. Planners drive me crazy. It's my own personal pet peeve and always will be.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well thank you kgmonline....greatly appreciated.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Dianna, it would take a teacher to understand what those meetings are truly like. All I could think about was the time I could be putting to good use in the classroom with the kids. :) Thank you!

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      People never get anywhere seeking consensus, as they failed to do in your meetings at the school. I have always disliked consensus seeking. There's always someone who is disagreeable, checked out or has a political agenda. I'm too impatient -- just do it and get it over with and then we can see how it played out.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 3 years ago from England

      I hate fumbling and blubbering away in the corner when doers want to well, do! it was like that back at work, they used to sit there for ages mumbling this and that, drove me insane! great hub as always bill!

    • Anna Haven profile image

      Anna Haven 3 years ago from Scotland

      You are definately a straight in the water guy. Which is the way it should be. As you pointed out time disappears and steals chances with it...so people get splashing!

      Clever and inspiring Mr Holland. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Flourish, I've lived that way my entire life. I don't regret any of the "wrong" decisions, but I know I would have greatly regretted not trying at all.

      Thank you and have a great Friday.

    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 3 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      You are so right . Feel the fear and do it anyway. The saying being a bull in a China shop has often been quoted to me, since i.m a tourus. Great hub.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      We have to get going no matter how we feel facing up to challenges can be scary but if we don't try we will never know. Another great hub from you.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, I just checked out this forum post by writinglover. Two of your hubs I notice are listed as stolen. One is a chicken chronicles. You may want to check it out. http://hubpages.com/forum/post/2564229

    • Nancy Owens profile image

      Nancy Owens 3 years ago from USA

      I really enjoyed this article. Currently I am on the board of directors for a local and well-known chapter of a non-profit organization. It is written into the bylaws that we should all treat one-another with respect and kindness. Sometimes, though, I just wish people would say what they mean. It would make the decision-making process so much faster. All in all, though, I think we do a pretty good job of getting things done. I especially enjoyed the videos in this Hub. Very motivational. Shared and voted up.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nell, that's one reason I am no longer in the workplace. Working for myself I only have to rely on one person. :) Thank you my friend and have a jolly good weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Get spashing indeed, Anna! I'll meet you in the middle of the river my friend. Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nadine, then give me ten bulls like you and we'll get much done. Thank you and enjoy your weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you, DDE, for summarizing it so well.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you John. I will do that soon.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Nancy, thanks for sharing your experience. When you find a group of people that are productive, I say hold onto that group of people. :)

    • JayeWisdom profile image

      Jaye Denman 3 years ago from Deep South, USA

      Bill - I share your opinion that most staff meetings (in any environment--academic or business) are too long, their agendas too padded and rarely do they accomplish anything of note. During my career, I spent far too many hours sitting at a conference table that could have been spent more productively "doing" rather than "discussing possibilities" (i.e., talking something to death rather than doing something about it).

      These days, I only need a concensus of one before I make a decision and take action. If any time is wasted, I have only myself to blame.

      By the way, I enjoyed your Civil War anecdote that gave this hub its title and understand why you remember it. Sitting on the bank rather than riding into the river to test the water's depth well illustrates the difference between "doers" and "talkers."

      Voted Up++

      Jaye

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      Alan Robert Lancaster 3 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

      Expletives are more in line for General Douglas Haig, rather than adjectives. He was well known for emptying the counties of their manhood with his weird ideas of strategy.

      There are doers, and there are 'doers'. He was one of the latter.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jaye, those of us who have sat through those meetings know well the frustrations that are inherent in them. Doers were meant to do rather than discuss. Give me five doers and the sky is the limit.

      Thank you my friend; have a great weekend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Alan, true words my friend. Let history judge the General Haigs of this world in unflattering light.

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Thanks for sharing another amazing hub, Bill!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Have a great weekend vkwok and thank you!

    • suraj punjabi profile image

      suraj punjabi 3 years ago from jakarta

      Great hub! This world will definitely be a better place if we didn't have to go through so much hassle just to take action. When you do too much risk calculation it MAY reduce your chances of failure but you will for sure loose precious time. It would be better to fail in time than to find out too late that the only way to make progress all along was to simply take action. Voted up!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Suraj, you stated it perfectly. I don't have enough time left in this life to weigh risks. I just do. :) Thank you my friend.

    • mylindaelliott profile image

      mylindaelliott 3 years ago from Louisiana

      It's also my experience that a lot of people also don't like the doers in the world...

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mylindaelliott, you have a valid point. I have seen that too. Oh well! :) Thanks for that point.

    • Mr Archer profile image

      Mr Archer 3 years ago from Missouri

      Sir William, I read this the day you posted it, and again the next day. I struggled with what to say, how to respond. I believe in what your words mean; I understand what your intent is and wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment: it is time we got off our fannies and did something to better ourselves and our world. As you said, we need to find out how deep the water is.

      I endeavored to do this recently, as you well know. I posted a hub showing my intention to run for office, for President. I was serious about that offer; and it took some doing for me to stick my neck out on this issue. For some time now as you are aware I have felt we need to do something different, that one of us needed to step up, to find out how deep the water was. Well Bill, I found out.

      I garnered few reads on my hub, and fewer comments. I begged others to share the hub if they wanted a change.

      No one cared. No one shared. Just you, Old Poolman, and Cheyenne took the time to comment, to read, to do anything. I suppose I jumped into the water and found it was over my head.

      I have pulled the hub as it is too painful to realize that America is fine with where they are at, because no one desires to take steps to change it. I stood up, as you have. I offered my services and found that I was not taken seriously.

      So I guess I will fade into the woodwork, just become another writer who does fluff pieces, things about life, not Life. My voice was not heard, so why continue to try? I honor you and all those who continue to fight the good fight against the rising tide of those who could not care less, who accept their lot in life, who trudge along, complaining yet doing nothing to change anything.

      This was an inspiring piece, Bill; yet I fear we are a community of writers who write but do not follow up, who will not step up to do anything beyond write about change. Our readers are content to set on their behinds and shake their hands in the air, but will never take control of their destiny. Well written Bill, like all of you works. But we are simply voices in the wilderness, creating words heard by few, and please acted upon by fewer yet.

      Take care dear Bill. Blessings upon you and Bev.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning Mike!

      I have no rebuttal for your statement. I have found the same thing. We have a writer on HP....Mark is his name....who is currently homeless. He once had a great job for the Air Force and is now disabled. So he started his own line of products online and sells them. Do you know what he does in his spare time? He helps the homeless, collecting funds and cooking meals for them. That's where his money goes from his products. And few on Facebook...fellow writers...will buy his products...few will make the effort to reach out to him...it makes me sick. This is a good man who is working to make things better, who needs his peers to step up....and no reaction at all.

      But I'm not going to give up. I will work at the community level and make changes there. This I know I can do. Let others be complacent; that cannot change who I am.

      Blessings to you and yours my friend

      bill

    • Donna Kay Bryan profile image

      Donna Kay Bryan 3 years ago

      Well I have to admit that I'm one who complains on FB about the politicians, but at least I'm an equal opportunity complainer--I gripe about all of them. And about poor parenting, etc. However, I've spent a great deal of time in the last two months on the phone with local, state, and national politicians. When I get a standard form letter from one of them, they hear from me again. They are not going to get rid of me that easily.

      Otherwise, I did take a risk and did what was the right thing to do about something else. I'm proud of myself for doing what should have been done, however there have been extremely negative consequences which I won't go into here. I will fill you in sometime in private conversation as there is pending litigation. For now let it suffice to say that I walked the talk. I have found that the water is well over my head, but I'm learning how to swim. They can't shut me down that easily.

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Good evening my twin brother Bill.

      Straightforward experiences carbon copy of mine own. All my life since childhood my father has the same influence on my working habitude as yours on your working ethics. What happened to you, inevitably happened to me once when running for life from communistic intolerance, second time here, " You want us to involve in working results"- my big boss concluded. "" And that is the BLESSING of the doers of this world."" would be my version for the doers concerning - US - who not only want to do, but doing for the sake of happy process of the life's race. A pay-day is coming-- I was taught to know and remind others , read for yourself you'll be persuaded of that what universally stands, that each one will receive his pay according what he has done - not what he has been talking about. My mission will stop with my last breath,- until that second my positive influence on almost everyone coming across my path, will hear and see what the duty of every single human being is : you are obligated to know what is right and do accordingly… ( Why are you looking at me like that ?-my phrasing might not be in best of English ,however the message is. !) …

      Voted up, useful and interesting.

      Good night my friend.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Donna, without knowing the circumstances, I still say Bravo! It isn't easy to jump into the deep end with no idea of how it will turn out, so again, bravo!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, if you saw me looking at you it was only with admiration. Do what is right....very simple philosophy which seems to elude so many...do what is right!

      Thank you for another wonderful comment, and good night to you.

      blessings this week

      bill

    • ALL4JESUS profile image

      ALL4JESUS 3 years ago from USA

      What a wonderful tribute to action! It is not only hard but as you stated, we must test the waters. I am saddling up again and needed this motivational hub. Very well done as always my friend.

      Blessings to you and your family.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      ALL4JESUS, I thank you kindly. No, it is not always easy, but it is often necessary if we are to reach our true potential.

      Blessings to you always

      bill

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      You said it, Bill. Talk is cheap and until we really do set out to take action, all will be lost. I speak out for animals, birds, and our natural surroundings. Now that I have a local column, ad I can do it even more. Today a man walked with me when I was on my way home and we discussed birds. He said that nobody believed that he has seen a pelican on the lake. I told him that pelican that he mentioned was there all the winter before this one, off and on. I now have an ally and he loved my column. Now, how hard was THAT?

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Deb, I could have predicted your success a long time ago. You found a niche that you love and your passion shines through in your writing. Well done my friend.

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