Dale and Brennan ask their parents if they can build bunk beds.
They’re both sweaty. They launch into why they should be allowed to do it.
Robert Doback, the father says: “You don’t need permission from us to build bunk beds, you’re adults. You can do what you want.”
“Sooooooo…” Brennan says.
Robert explains: “Am I not making myself clear? I don’t give a fuck. Now you both have several interviews tomorrow, I would think you’d be focused on that and not building bunk beds.
The step brothers still don’t get it. “Soooooo… We can? No?”
Nancy, the mother cuts in: “Yes. Yes you can make them.”
Dale and Brennan run out the room laughing.
Sometimes I feel like we’re all dependent on someone else to give us the go ahead, just like Dale and Brennan.
When we have an idea our first reaction isn’t to start working on and testing it. It’s to ask someone else’s opinion. “What do you think? Should I do it?”
But like Robert, most of the world doesn’t give a fuck whether we build our bunk beds or not. To them, whether you pursue an idea or not is irrelevant as long as you don’t disrupt their lives.
The oft-quoted but rarely followed wisdom is to beg forgiveness rather than asking permission.
Yes ask for feedback. But stop waiting for someone to give you the nod. Stop waiting for others to congratulate you and tell you how much they’re looking forward to seeing what you can do.
From childhood onwards we’re trained to do this.
At school: “Miss, can I go to the loo?”
At home: “Dad, can I have some friends for a sleepover?”
Buying a house: “Please Mr Banker, can you give me money to buy a house?”
In the workplace: “Can I have these two weeks off to go on holiday?”
But it’s all just an illusion. We all know it but nobody wants to admit they’re playing along. So we do as we’re told and ask permission for anything out of the ordinary.
But you are not a child anymore. And you can stop playing the game anytime you want.
All you have to do is take it upon yourself to execute on your own ideas.
“You don’t need permission from us to build bunk beds, you’re adults. You can do what you want.”