Stuckness: Lessons from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Nike


Just DO it!

I’m stuck. Just plain stuck. I know what I want to do, I have a plan for doing it. But I’m having trouble getting started. I just don’t know exactly HOW to start.

I’m stuck!

Well, as I pondered this, I recalled a book I first read over 30 years ago. For over 25 years, it has rested unopened on my bookshelf. I pulled it out today to find this on stuckness. It is taken from Robert Persig’s “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.” (pg 272)

“…stuckness, a mental stuckness that accompanies the physical stuckness of whatever it is that you are working on. A screw sticks, for example, on the side cover assembly (of a motorcycle). You check the owner’s manual to see if there might be any special cause for this screw to come off so hard, but all it says is ‘Remove side cover plate’ in that wonderful, terse technical style that never tells you what you want to know. There’s no earlier procedure left undone that might cause the cover screws to stick.

If you’re experienced you’d probably apply a penetrating liquid and an impact driver at this point. If you’re inexperienced and you attach a self-locking plier wrench to the shank of your screw driver and really twist it hard, a procedure you’ve had success with in the past, but which this time succeeds only in tearing the slot of the screw.

Your mind was already was already thinking ahead to what you would do when the cover plate was off, and so it takes a little time to realize that this irritating minor annoyance of a torn screw slot isn’t just irritating and minor. You’re stuck. Stopped. Terminated. It’s absolutely stopped you from fixing the motorcycle.”

How often do we all find ourselves in situations like this. Some minor annoyance completely terminates our ability to get on with whatever it is we are trying to accomplish. We’re already miles ahead in what we WANT to do, but we simply can’t take the first step. We’re… stuck!

We often find fault in scripture when we can’t find the exact passage to get us started. “I know what has to be done, but I can’t find the words, the justification for taking this action.” Stuck… kaput! Terminated! Can’t finish because we can’t begin!

Ain’t that frustrating… aggravating! I just plain get ticked off when I’m stuck on something like this.

Most of you are familiar with the corporate motto of Nike, the athletic equipment company: “Just do it!”

We get stuck because we have overlooked some of the smallest things, what we call details. And we know “The devil is in the details.”

Far too often, we encounter this stuckness because we look elsewhere for a way to overcome it. Check the manual, call a friend.

Far too often, this stuckness is avoiding our personal, internal responsibilities to get on with things.

So, right now, I’m stuck. I know what I want to do. I know how to do it. I just don’t quite know how to start.

But wait a minute… Where does one start? At the beginning… that seems reasonable.

So, let me start here: “In the beginning, God created… ”

Yeah, Art…

Now, get off your duff…

And Just do it!

Alive in The Word

About aliveintheword

Missouri, USA Married to Marty, 45 years 2 sons (with 2 daughers-in-law) and 2 granddaughters Life dedicated to serving Jesus Christ and delivering the Good News
This entry was posted in PRAISE THE LORD TESTIMONIES and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Stuckness: Lessons from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and Nike

  1. ptl2010 says:

    I enjoyed this blog very much for how true, the irrirations of life can block us from starting to achieve God’s plans for us in our lives. Yet, sometimes it is the small things that we must be faithful in which will carry us far in the plans of God.
    Luke 16:10 – “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.” (NLT) It is the small blocks that build the foundations of our faith and hold us in the storms of life.

    May the Lord help us in the little things which give us a good start to achieve the big things for God. The journey begins with the first step. Let’s take that first step in Him, with Him and for Him.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.