When I first wrote about the Stop Doing List, I meant for us to each write a list of specific activities or behaviors. I chose Quicken.

But I’ve just come across a more philosophical list of suggestions in Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way (page 7):

  • Stop telling yourself, "It’s too late."
  • Stop waiting until you make enough money to do something you’d really love.
  • Stop telling yourself, "It’s just my ego" whenever you yearn for a more creative life.
  • Stop telling yourself that dreams don’t matter, that they are are only dreams and that you should be more sensible.
  • Stop fearing that your family and friends would think you crazy.
  • Stop telling yourself that creativity is a luxury and that you should be grateful for what you’ve got.

It really is a good book, one I read every year.

And I’ll add, for the cynical reader: Stop telling yourself that the above list of suggestions are silly. They aren’t. Words have meaning. Why do you defend yourself — with cynicism, of all things — against such life-affirming suggestions?

What are you afraid of? Is not the greater fear dying a cynic?