Life is Like Going The Wrong Way On a Moving Sidewalk

“Life is like going the wrong way on a moving sidewalk. Walk, and you stay put. Stand still, and you go backwards. You have to hustle to get ahead.”

Casey Neistat

When you have to choose, do you take the elevator or the stairs?

Silly question, right?

But it does say an awful lot about your mindset.

Do you walk or do you stand? Do you act or do you wait?

You see, my mother lives at the 10th floor of a building. Two elevators. And she’s always surprised that I choose to take the stairs. Why? Because, as the cliche goes, there’s no elevator to success. Because most of those who take the escalator choose to do so because that’s their default setting. They stand because they hope the world will magically take them to where they want to go.

Meanwhile, the people taking the stairs are aware of the fact that you’ve got to take a lot of small steps if you want to reach the top of a mountain.

Instead of losing momentum, waiting to be taken to where they want to go, they build momentum. They build discipline, fortitude, and self-confidence.

Taking the stairs instead of the escalator may seem like such a silly decision, but it can change your mindset forever.

Whatever uphill battle you’re currently facing, which one is it going to be?

Are you going to wait for things to get better, or are you going to hustle to make them better?

The escalator? Or the stairs?

Which one are you going to choose?


  1. Great post.

    I’ll take the 3rd option, the space between the escalators and pull myself up that way. It’s getting somewhere, though having fun, too. Well, and then even MORE exercise when you get in a nice little run to leave Security in the dust.

    When I write policies, be it for a municipality or to inform myself and plan my own actions more effectively, and well, actionably, I only have one rule. Never, ever, nada at all use the word “maintain.” And the video reminded me of that to a ‘T.’

    ~ to maintain the garden. Something happens, anything at all that is less than helpful, and The garden backslides.

    ~ to enhance, reinforce, and strengthen the garden by amending the soil. NOW, I’m getting somewhere with a mini-policy, as I call infinitive statements in the How-To section of my ImaginAction book.

    “Are you going to wait for things to get better, or are you going to hustle to make them better?“
    I only have two allergies: boredom; starvation. So, I do not sit around dulling my senses in fantasyland smoking the narcotic of hope, but fill up the tanks with a good dose of dreamland and get going. Experience is all what you make of it, perspective is great, though to have a living experience or living perspective, well, you got it… you’ve gotta hustle at whatever pace is appropriate and whatever gear is appropriate for each portion of it at each time.

    I switch focus and redirect scale all the time to run up and down the gears. Sometimes I Sidestep the clutch at 4,500 RPM. Sometimes, like on a thin mountain road with lots of animals around I take in the scenery and just allow the car to move by slowly releasing the clutch at idle until I’m basically gliding slowly and only steering, no foot on the gas. Requires a car with a ton of torque to smoothly do that without killing the engine.

    I think that last paragraph wrote me into my response. I make sure I’m engaged in what I’m doing, have all the creative and actionable torque I need, to move myself forward at whatever speed feels resonant to and effective for the process at any given time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll take the 3rd option, the slippery slope up the muddle between the escalators, and get some extra exercise in a good run when I slip security at the top and leave them in the dust.

    “Are you going to wait for things to get better, or are you going to hustle to make them better.” I have two allergies: boredom; starvation. I’m going to enhance, reinforce, and strengthen amending the soil in my creative garden, and NEVER EVER nada at all going to use “to maintain” in my priorities and mini-policies of infinitive statements. Use “maintain, and many occurrences with take it South of zero. Then, with the reinforced, enhance, and strengthen intact, I’ll “hustle” at whatever effective pace is appropriate to the situation to make things happen. I don;t believe in control, it’s all just Nature and experiences. I do have a driver’s license though, so I will actively drive and navigate with actions to get things done.

    Liked by 1 person

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