The Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee Guide to Getting Epic Shit Done

ButterflyMuhammad Ali told the world he’d, “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” to become the world heavyweight champion. To become the champion of your own life’s story and get epic shit done, there is one key principle to follow. I’m not one for a lot of swearing or trash talking like Ali but sometimes a well-placed expletive really helps. Getting epic stuff done doesn’t really have the same ring does it?

Want to get epic shit done in your life? Start before you are ready.

That’s it. No long step-by-step process. No multipart action plan. Just start before you are ready.

You’ll figure out how to do it by the time you get there.

I’ve recently been selected to speak at TEDxAnchorage. This is epic. I’m honored, thrilled and more than a little bit nervous to give the “talk of my life.

Right after I heard I’d been accepted, I ran smack into Resistance. Resistance loves to hold us down and keep us small. It tries to keep us safe.

Life’s too short to stay emotionally safe.

My Resistance loves to tell me I’m not good enough. Ka-pow. That was me kicking Resistance to the curb. Try it. (Hint: It works even better when accompanied by Ninja-like moves.)

Sometimes your Resistance might be from the people around you. They want the status quo. They don’t like feeling uncomfortable. Doing Epic Shit takes a blowtorch to the status quo and obliterates it.

More than once when sharing with friends about my TEDxAnchorage talk they’ve said, “I could never do that.” This is exactly why I am giving a TED talk. Because,

I know you could do it, even if you don’t.

You can. Maybe not today. Maybe it seems too “out there” for now. Too far to the right on your personal fear scale. I understand.

But it isn’t like I jumped into doing huge things all at once. Each one has been series of small actions. Small steps (and some going-for-it leaps) that increased my confidence and comfort zone.

Giving a TED talk feels uncomfortable but doesn’t trigger full blown lizard-brain-panic like it might for you. I’ve been creating a “new normal” in my life. Little by little. One action (or interaction) at a time.

Looking back, I would have never guessed I’d be flying an medevac helicopterleading a mentoring program, or writing for Alaska Magazine.

People don’t do things because they can’t. They do things because they tell themselves they can’t. Or the people around them tell them they can’t. Most often it is us telling ourselves I’m not _____ enough to do that. Or we want to wait until “someday” when we are more qualified, more adept, more _____.

You are enough. Right now, today.

Once You’ve Gotten Started, Create a Rock Solid Support Structure

Muhammad Ali didn’t become the greatest boxer of all time on his own. He did everything in his power to become the greatest. Some might even say he went a bit too far. Regardless, he had a team of people helping him get there.

Ways to Enlist Support

Put People in Your Corner. Develop Connections. Create a community of supporters- either online or in person. Preferably both. You are the average of the 5 people around you. Choose wisely. Banish the “Debbie Downers” in your life. When people connect with you on a deep level, you inspire others to take action and together you accomplish the impossible.

Google is Your Friend. Someone has done something like you want to do before. Find them on Google. Talk to them. This is where stalking is appropriate. Ask them what worked. Skip what didn’t work. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel.

Form a Mastermind Group. These people are your accountability partners, your cheerleaders, and the ones to give you a nudge when you’re playing small. Here’s a great guide to forming a mastermind group.

Join a Revolution. Surround yourself with passionate people. Passion is contagious. Infect Yourself.

Train Like a Champion

Practice as you want to become, not as you perceive yourself to be.

Get a Coach. Coaches and mentors are associated with higher job satisfaction and higher success. You’re worth it.

Find some Theme Music. Maybe Chariots of Fire or the Rocky theme song isn’t your thing. But what is? What gets you up and moving? Put that song in your daily playlist.

Be Unorthodox. Muhammad Ali was know for his “unorthodox” style of fighting. Something is only considered “unorthodox” until it has been done before. Create your own “new normal.” Find your “sweet spot” for change.

Get out of the stands and into the arena. We’ll be there with you. Start today. Take a small step.

What are you starting before you are ready? Share in the comments.

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  1. Terrific post and I’ll be sure to watch for your TED Talk since I am a huge fan. I actually have a song I use to motivate myself – it’s How Bad Do You Want it by Tim McGraw. In fact, I think I’ll play it right now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Thanks for a terrific post. This made my day! Very encouraging! Congratulations on the Ted talk.

    • Thanks Connie! I’m glad I could offer a little encouragement. Looking forward to hearing more about what you are “starting” in life.


  3. Yes, saying bad words does have a better ring to it lol.. I made the leap to start being a freelance web content writer, even before I researched how to write pitches, craft epic posts, or even how to invoice and get clients. But I’m learning along the way!

  4. Fiona McKenzie says:

    Great post Lorena – and great timimg for me in terms of the message. And congrats on the TED talk.

    • Thanks Fiona- I’m looking forward to the opportunity. As terrible as death is, it teaches us the importance of really living. Best to you.


  5. Lorena, your post title gave me a fun chuckle. Congrats on the TED Talk!! I’m in your corner. ;)

  6. I’m so glad I found you (through Twitter following TEDxAnchorage). I just moved back to Alaska a few months ago from Los Angeles and seeing you’re an aviatrix made me finally pull the trigger and call a flight school today. Time to do this now and stop waiting to be “ready.” Time to do Epic Shit now because, “Someday isn’t a day of the week. Do it now.” Looking forward to hearing your speech at TEDx – will be there myself. Great website & great article. Glad you’re living your purpose, it’s the best way to inspire other people to seek out theirs.

    • Jill-
      I’m glad you found me as well! I look forward to meeting you at TEDxAnchorage and hearing how your flight lesson went! Very exciting stuff- congrats on making someday happen today. :)

  7. Fantastic post, Lorena– you’re an inspiration. “Start before your ready” is something that should be tattoed in lots of prominent places, and assembling the right circle of support is essential. I’m working on it! So much great content at this site and I look forward to returning often, especially when I need a pick-me-up.

    My mantra this month: “Don’t settle” (for less).

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