“Willy-Nilly” (Aimless pursuit)


Let’s talk about “willy-nilly.” Specifically, its uses.

  • Creative flow
  • Creative exploration
  • and…
  • and…
  • and…

Nothing else… Maybe openness to adventure?

I can think of no practical pursuit that benefits from doing something willy-nilly.

Just looked up the definition to be sure:

2. without direction or planning; haphazardly

Wait, #2?! What the hell is #1?

1. whether one likes it or not

REALLY?! That does not track with what I know of the word. So, the most commonly used meaning of the word is #2… That really throws me off…

OK, let’s update this:

  1. There will always be things in life that we have to do, even though we don’t enjoy them. Resilience is developed when we consciously engage in doing those things. All of life is pretty much “willy-nilly,” according to this definition. Buckle up, buckle down, engage, make it happen.
  2. Very little comes from directionless pursuit. What the heck are you pursuing, exactly? Moving around “willy-nilly” implies to me that one is moving without awareness. “All who wander are not lost” is only a valuable sentiment if one isn’t focused on achievement. And frankly, only enjoyable if you are aware and alert enough to enjoy the journey. Not focused on achievement? Have fun! 🙂 Truly, honestly, have fun. Wandering is awesome. “Doing” rather than “acting,” on the other hand… Different issue entirely.

American culture seems to have a heavy emphasis on DOING, even if the doing isn’t moving us toward the desired end. Slow the fuck down, consider your goals, call my friend Mike, get yourself together. Then ACT.

Talk about willy-nilly — I’m composing this at nearly 1AM, when I should really be asleep.

“WTF, Ryan… Go to bed.”
Cool cool. Sounds good.

– Ryan

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