Get Your Ass Off the Couch


Sitting on a couch

The 2013 Willow Creek Leadership Summit will forever been known as the “Two Ass Summit.”

Crude? Yes. Unwarranted? No. Confused? Don’t be.

Mark Burnett, producer of TV shows like “Survivor,” “Celebrity Apprentice,” and “The Shark Tank” sat down for an interview with Willow Creek’s senior pastor, Bill Hybels.

At one point, Bill brought up the topic of calling—you know, divine leading, guidance, etc. Without skipping a beat, Burnett addressed the question by saying:

With that statement, he became my favorite person ever.

Why? For starters, it was an honest, genuine answer to the question he’d just been asked. Second, it made sense. He wasn’t snickering like a junior high school boy who just said “ass” to his principal.

Lastly, and I think most importantly, I believe his statement to be true. More on that in a second.

Bill took it in stride and didn’t make a big deal out of it, which I appreciated even more. He knew there was gold in them ‘thar hills and let the moment sink in and be what it was (the audience at South Barrington even applauded this little exchange).

Why I Needed to Get My Ass Off the Couch

Burnett’s rallying cry certainly has spiritual implications. Most of us would agree to live a life of faith, one must practically apply the knowledge and teachings of said faith.

But this statement resonated with me for a different reason. See, I’m between this weird area building and launching where the fruit of my labor hasn’t yet been fully realized.

Creating the THINK DIGITAL Academy has been a dream of mine for years, but I never realized it until I started building. Resourcing individuals, brands, and organizations to build bigger online audiences and inspiring their audience to take action has been the underlying theme of every workshop I’ve ever led, every blog post I’ve ever written, every client I’ve ever worked with.

Join the Academy Insiders List! Get the best bonuses, exclusive content, and more when we launch in September →

I never would have realized it unless, prompted by some of the most amazing people on the planet, I got off my ass. It doesn’t guarantee success, but it puts me in a much better position to win. Sitting with my ass on the couch doesn’t. The only thing that guarantees is:

  1. Getting fat
  2. Increased laziness
  3. Bed sores (if I sit too long)

Catch my drift?

Why You Need to Get Your Ass Off the Couch

My guess is a lot of us have what Bill Hybels called “latent visions” built up inside of us. To put it bluntly, they’ll never see the light of day unless you get off your ass.

The girl you want to ask out on a date? It won’t happen unless you get off your ass.

The company you want to build? It won’t happen unless you get off your ass.

The 100 lbs. you want to lose? It won’t happen unless you get off your ass (much like my friend Dawn did…way to go, Dawn!).

If you were offended by Mark: Try to see past the language if it’s offensive. Maybe it’s a good thing the word “ass” grates on your sensibilities. It got a lot of people talking and, most likely, got you thinking differently.

“Get your ass off the couch” hits the decision-making part of our brains differently than “maybe you should go and do that thing you’ve always wanted to do.” It’s raw, real, forceful, and puts the onus on you.

What’s Next?

I think people got what Mark was saying. It’s a reminder we all need to hear, and often.

We’re all prone to laziness and diffused focus. A reminder like Mark’s helps us realize the life we want to live isn’t going to fall into our laps. We don’t need to wait to get picked. We pick ourselves.

I’ll close with a quote from Sun Tzu. It’s a tad more refined way of summing up Burnett’s charge:

[Tweet “Opportunities multiply as they are seized. – Sun Tzu”]

P.S. – If you’re wondering why I called it the “Two Ass Summit,” Burnett dropped another a-bomb later in the interview. Bill was less than pleased at the second mention, butt *ahem* he let it slide.


I help people share what matters most.