“All Ya Gotta Do Is…”

“All you gotta do is…”  How many of you have had this one laid out on you?

I found this term in my industry at first–airplanes–when listening to the turnover from one shift to the next during heavy inspections.  The current-shift lead would say, “The stab actuator is most of the way in–all ya gotta do is cotter pin the mount bolts, connect the cannon plug, and ops check it, and you’re good.”  The lead who took the turnover would find out later on that the mount bolts are rediculously difficult to get to (thus severely limiting access to see where to put the cotter pin in), and the ops check procedure is eighteen pages long, and requires an engine run.  Yeah, “All ya gotta do is…”  Easy as pie.

I think it’s the most annoying because it’s as if success were just the simplest form of existence when someone says that.  You could ask Donald Trump how to get to the point where he’s at, and he’d say, “Well, all you’ve got to do is go to a good business school like Wharton (where he went–at $70K/year), then buy a couple of properties that no one wants, and turn them into the most quintessential big-city phallic properties anyone has ever seen.  Oh, and be enterpreneurial, relentless, and think big and kick ass.”

Well hell, there you have it.  The last 25 years of Trump’s career combined into one sentence.  What the hell are you waiting for?  Jump on it!

“How could I be a successful pilot?”  “Oh, well first you’ll have to get your certifications.  Then you’ll have to spend a few years doing what we call “getting experience and building hours,” and then you’ll have to find a flying gig where the hours and money are both good.  If you find the right gig, you can easily knock down $90-150K a year.”  

Easily, huh?  God–why didn’t I think of that?

I can tell you why.  The reason is simple–it’s because everything is more complicated than it seems.

My Dad always used to say, “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”  (Add that to the ever-growing list of crap that Dad was right about.)  The fact is that when I show up to work and someone tells me, “All you gotta do is,” I immediately assume whatever work is left over will be hard to accomplish.  Otherwise, the job would be done already, and I wouldn’t have to hear about it.  The fact is, it takes far, far more than simple persistence, drive, entrepreneurial spirit, or a dream to get big things done.  If you want to get big things done, of course you need some of these other characteristics, but there is no way anything you want to see happen will get done without the support of many, many other people.

One of my favorite quotes is by Niccolo Machiavelli, who said, “Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer.”  I love this quote because it really explains to you that, in most cases, success is a process, not something that simply happens.  This applies everywhere.  If you really put the effort into college, you’re more likely to have the ability to harness opportunity when it knocks on your door; if you don’t, you’ll end up like me–headed back to school at the dawn of my 30s, while most others have finally finished and gotten settled.  I would be completely guilty of saying it, too–I’ll probably tell my kids, “All you’ve got to do is go to school, do well, and you can move into whatever field you want to.”  But the truth is, the power of the world lies in networking.  Trump is a self-proclaimed bully in the business, but he’s got people under lock-and-key doing what he needs them to do (because they need paychecks too) to advance his agenda.  He didn’t do it alone, and no one else does it, either.  People like Tony Horton, Tony Robbins, Sir Richard Branson…every single one of these people has a legion of people dedicated to their cause, and they are able to accomplish things because they have convinced people of their message, and are actively working toward whatever their goals are.  It’s the reason, I believe, that Trump did not do well during the announcement of his 2012 Presidential run–he did not come off like a uniter of people; rather, he did interview after interview where he bloviated about his own specific accomplishments.  (For the record, this is consistent with the messages in his books.  Smart guy, but in social settings, sounds like a douchebag.)

The truth is, even the Village Idiot is a success, if only through the actions and support (however misguided) of the rest of the Village…and I’m sure they would like credit where credit is due for their part in it.

So, how have you been boned by “All you gotta do is…”?  There’s five bucks to Starbucks for whoever comes up with the best reply.  I want to know your stories, your reasons….tell me whatever you want, and I’ll reply to it.  Hope you’re having a good week!

    • Federal Booby Inspector
    • October 2nd, 2011

    Bloviate… Sounds funny. Yeah when I worked at Midas we had a dogdge dealership down the street who would bring us their cars for alignments because their machine was broken. Well they would bring in the big ram 2500-3500 heavy duty which unlike the rack and pinion on the 1500 ( easy as pie to set) have what’s called pitman arm setup. Great heavy duty set-up HUGE pain inthe ass to adjust properly. Well I learned from past experiences of spending literally 2.5 hours on one of those ONLY to test drive it and find out that all four ball joints were ready to fall out that if the ball joints are shot on those ( exceedingly common ) then your alignment no matter how long you’ve spent on it will never be accurate. The added movement of the wheel from the play also makes it next to impossible to get it set in the first place. Thus u spend 2.5 hours on it and get paid for .4. That being said we had their driver bring down an alignment and I was up for it. My heart dropped when I saw that beast roll into the parking lot. But I shook the front end down to find that, Surprise! All for ball joints had play… And alot of it. Well I go to explain to the guy that we cant do the alignment until the ball joints are replaced. And he says the, “why? All ya gotta do is set the toe?!” I wanted to lay him out…. But explained that the last time we “just set the toe on one of those beauties with loose components it took me 2.5 and still pulled a bit” he was not pleased. Later I answered the phone and it just happened to be the service writer at said dealership. And he just simply asked ey can we bring an alignment down? Well curious I asked,” what kind of vehicle” oh its a ram. “Really? Is it the heavy duty that was just here?” yeah he says. “well has the front end been fixed?” well no we just need the toe set. So I got irritated and explained to him why we can’t JUST set the toe on those. It was an irritating day…. Sorry for the confusing jargan I tried to keep the shop terms to a minimum. So where’s my coffee

  1. Great job on this one Jeff! I am way behind on my blog reading, because I was busy wasting time….doing something else that was not part of my self improvement plan. What I am learning is that people are lazy. The difference between the movers and shakers and average everyday folks, is that the movers and shakers have extreme desire to accomplish their goals. Then, they build a plan to achieve it and relentlessly pursue it to the exclusion of everything else.They won’t be walking the dog, watching TV, screwing around on the computer…..reading blogs. 🙂 Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, most of us just avoid the hard work. I’m not talking about the quantity of hours worked, I’m talking about the behavior changing work required to rise above the rest. Tackling issues in our thought process. Reprogramming the errors instilled by our parents, our schools, our lazy friends, and by marketers who are forever pummeling us with information about what we should want. These people have laser beam focus and drive. They have their objective in sight, and have broken their plan into bite size pieces that they implement every single day. They have spent the time figuring out what they really want, they have drafted a plan to achieve it, and they don’t stop until they get it. They don’t have time for anything or anyone that is not helping them get to where they want to be. They don’t care if anyone likes what they are doing or not. When they run into a negative self defeating thought, they reject it. When they encounter someone who is detrimental to their goals, they exclude them from their lives. The biggest difference is simply ACTION, and believing in what you are doing so passionately that you are not concerned about what anyone else thinks. The rest of the world wants you to be mediocre. Then you will be like them, and they won’t feel guilty for not working hard enough. Look around. The latest thing that got me going was the Facebook post about fat people being more beautiful than fit people. A whole story was crafted about how they have true inner beauty, and because fat people are fat, they are being real and true to themselves, while people who are fit, are generally vain and shallow. More political correctness and B.S. WE ARE TOO FRIGGIN LAZY. The hardest thing to change is our thoughts and learning to control them to our benefit. Mental discipline. It is the key to ANY kind of personal growth. The other big obstacle is fear of failure. The great successes of life don’t look at failure the way the rest of us do. They see it as an educational experience, and a chance to grow. They are right!
    I would clean this little rant up, but I need to go to the gym. I’m already late! 🙂 Keep up the good work my friend!

  2. G-Reg, your example is EXACTLY the equivalent of the things we have to deal with. People who dictate actions, but have no idea how they get done have always been (for me) the most frustrating to work for.

    Dave, I completely agree–and have been guilty of it myself in some areas, lately. I have been so focused on getting my application into Georgetown that I’ve been slacking on my time at the gym. In this particular case, my goal is to get into GU–I’m so focused on it that for this short time period, my fitness has suffered. But you’re right–I’ve enacted a plan which will give me the best possible chance of success, and I’ve stuck with it. When it’s over with, I’ll probably say, “Oh, you just have to do this and this and this, hope for the best,” but of course, it’s never that easy. I went through literally six drafts on my college essays. I’ve approached folks from work for letters of recommendation. I’m trying to score a meeting with someone from GU’s Admissions office. It isn’t easy, and much of it had required me to sacrifice sleep (due to my stupid work schedule), but it has been worth it, and it just needs to get done.

    Thanks for the comments, guys!

  1. February 8th, 2013

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