Michele Woodward

Michele Woodward

Getting Unstuck

The College of Lennon & McCartney

Who told the Beatles they were qualified to be the best band in the world?

Posted May 04, 2011

When you think of it, it's fun to ask: Which conservatory did John Lennon and Paul McCartney attend?  Who gave them permission to write music?  Who certified them as capable?

Lennon and McCartney simply wrote what is arguably the most successful catalog of pop songs in history, because they wanted to.

You know the story:  two lads from hardscrabble Liverpool meet, share a love of American rhythm and blues, put together a band, and pen some songs which they sing in a cave in Hamburg, and the rest is history.

Unlike Paul and John, most people become stuck because they're waiting.  Waiting for some external approval of their internal drive to create. That one thing that's their big dream. They're waiting for someone to tell them it's OK to proceed.

A lot of  people say, "I think I need to go back to graduate school and get an MFA in writing before I attempt to write my book." Which is, really, just a convenient way to postpone something which seems hard. Do you need a degree to write?  John and Paul didn't. [Of course, there are some fields in which a license is absolutely necessary - brain surgery comes to mind. I don't know about you, but I want my brain surgeon to have the most training and experience possible.]

People wait to create because they've forgotten the inherent joy of doing something they love, something which connects them deeply to what's most important about themselves. As a coach, what I've learned is this: If you have to write - like Lennon & McCartney - you'll almost feel compelled to write.  You'll write through your fears, write through your hesitation, write through your worries.  You'll write right on through.

Because you just have to.

So if you want to paint, go ahead - get yourself some canvas, some brushes, some oils.  You'll be following the lead of Grandma Moses, a self-taught master.

If you want to teach, go ahead - find yourself a venue like the YMCA or the library or a park, and teach.  You'll be following the lead of Marianne Williamson, a powerful communicator.

If you want to write, go ahead - put your words to paper.  You'll be following the lead of Stieg Larsson, a man who changed fiction.

What's holding you back?  Why are you waiting?

Know what I know?  You've got it in you.  You're enough.  You know enough.  You can do it.

Do it for yourself.  Don't wait.

Do it now.