Why did I write a book while you didn’t?

Last week in one of my classes, we watched a TED talk by Bryan Stevenson. Take a few minutes to watch it too:

So, I’m going to assume you didn’t watch. 😀 In his talk, Stevenson tells a story about his grandmother. When he was little, she took him aside and told him he was special and would do great things, he should never drink alcohol, and he couldn’t tell anyone about this talk because she was only telling this to him out of the myriad grandkids. Skip ahead to high school, and he was out in the woods with his brother and sister, who were drinking beer. Pressured to have some, he kept declining until his brother asked him if this was about that talk their grandma had with him, and everyone else in the family. To this day, Stevenson has never drunk alcohol.

The psychologist in me immediately wondered, you have two boys, both given the same talk. It inspires one of them but not the other. Why?

The same question applies to other fields. Upon hearing about bad stuff in the world, why do some people try to change it while others ignore it and go about their lives? Why do some people write that book, while others merely add it to their bucket list and go about their lives? What motivates the first group, the doers, and sets them apart?

Are you a doer or a dreamer/status quo-er? If it’s the latter, what’s stopping you from being a doer?

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