So recently I posted about finally making Blilk – which is essentially milk with blue food coloring.

Now mixing blue food coloring and milk, two items that are readily available in any supermarket, is not that big a deal, so I can understand why plenty of my friends would roll their eyes and wonder why I’d take so much joy from this seemingly tiniest of tiny achievements.

But you know what? It’s something that I’ve thought about for a really long time (like maybe a decade) but I’ve been continually putting it off until now. So when I finally got it done, I did feel cause to celebrate because I finally did it.

It’s like that tiny item at the bottom of your to-do list, ranked in the lowest priority. It’s an easy task that you can do at any time, but because there were always so many more pressing things to do, it was also a task that you were never able to complete. Finally being able to strike it off your to-do list is a very fulfilling moment!

Think about all the other small tasks that you’ve been meaning to do but have never found the time to do so. These are probably really simple and mundane tasks, like tidying up your work desk, changing that flickering light-bulb in the bathroom, or finally breaking up with that controlling girlfriend of yours.

You might not think it would make much of a difference, but once you do it you will still feel that little sense of achievement in having completed a goal that you set for yourself. A small goal is still a goal, and an unfinished task, no matter how simple, is still an unfinished task.

Once you start ticking off all of those little tasks, you’re probably going to find yourself in a position where you’ve accomplished a whole bunch of things you’ve always wanted to do.

I remember that this other time, I bought myself a ninja costume off the Internet for about $50, because as a kid I was obsessed with ninjas. Well, I guess in many ways I still am. But who wouldn’t be? Ninjas are awesome!

Once again, the criticisms poured in:

  • “Why do you need a ninja costume? What would you use it for?”
  • “You’re probably only going to wear it once, and never use it again.”
  • “It’s just going to be useless clutter in your closet.”
  • “You could’ve used that $50 to buy a lot of hash browns.”

All of these arguments are completely valid, and it’s true – I only wore it once, and now it’s just taking up space in my closet. But you know what?

I fulfilled a childhood dream, and I did it for less than $50.

How many people are able to say that?

I look really stupid, but for 10 glorious minutes I was living my childhood fantasy

So take a moment to think about all those little things that you’ve been meaning to do. It could be a really dumb childhood dream, it could be a really mundane household chore, but it doesn’t matter because it’s something that YOU want to do.

Then go do it. Just do it.

At the end of the day, a simple achievement is still an achievement, and you can rejoice about it as much as you want.


Side note: In the Dragonlance novels, a kender named Tasslehoff Burfoot once asked his dad why he was so small and defenseless, and why wasn’t he as big as the humans and elves, and able do great things like them.

His dad said: “If you look at the world closely, you’ll see that they are really made up of small things joined together, and it’s the small things that make a difference in the end.”

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About Drew

I love videogames, movies, my wife and my dog (in no particular order).

11 responses »

  1. letizia says:

    You really have me laughing today 😀 The photo of the “Bilk” the other day and now the ninja one! But you’re right, we really should take the time to have fun and indulge our childhood fantasies – play is so important and we forget that too often!! 🙂 That’s why I love chasing my dog around the house like a 5 year old and laughing; it’s so fun! Now I’m going to think of other silly things I can do – thanks for remind me of the importance of doing that!

    • drewpan says:

      Hahaha sometimes there’s nothing more fun than chasing the dog around – unless it’s to stop him from chasing a cat and getting into a fight!

  2. paralaxvu says:

    Good point…I once bought a pig mask and dressed up as a pig stripper for Halloween. That Halloween is long gone, but I still have the memories–and the mask;-) As for the blue milk, I drink it all the time–it’s called 0%, or fat-free, and it looks blue to me…

  3. Actually, Drew, you don’t look stupid … you look pretty cool! and having just seen The Dark Knight Rises for the third time, you almost look like you could be a member of — dare I say it? — The League Of Shadows???

    • drewpan says:

      Hahahaha! I don’t remember anyone from the League of Shadows wearing glasses! Though that was taken before I had LASIK done… maybe I could be a proper ninja now!

  4. … and I can say that! after dreaming all of my life of being the Riddler for Halloween, three years ago I finally made my own Riddler costume for my friend’s big Halloween party, and you what … it was freaking AWESOME!!! I know exactly what you mean … the sense of accomplishment was amazing! and I felt so cool … I was channeling Jim Carrey in (the god-awful) Batman Forever.

    Oh, and having found everything I needed at thrift and second-hand shops, the whole shebang cost maybe 30 American dollars.

    • drewpan says:

      You know you totally have to put that picture up on your blog now, right? There’s this phrase used a lot in a local geek forum: “No Picture No Talk!” hahaha!

  5. I agree wholeheartedly. Life is too short for regrets that only cost $50 to fulfill. I’m a perpetual list maker so I have many things I want to do. I have a lifetime bucket list as well as a bucket list of 10 things to achieve for every season. It’s a bit ambitious, but I guess I’m pretty hard on myself! Thank goodness for my blog because I can blame all my ongoing projects as “for the blog”.

    • drewpan says:

      Wow! That’s awesome! And from the ongoing nature of your list-making, it sounds like you’re pretty successful in ticking off the items on the list. Keep it up!

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