How a Black Keys Video Can Bring You Enlightenment

Fit for Real Life - Endurance Athletes

(photo: me dancing on the beach to no music whatsoever)

The Black Keys “Lonely Boy” is one of my favorite music videos ever. Not that the list is long, mind you, since seeing an actual music video for a song these days is damn near impossible. Regardless, I adore the “Lonely Boy” video for reasons beyond the fact that the song has a sweet beat and a true rock ‘n roll vibe.

The man featured in the video is actor/musician/part time security guard, Derrick T. Tuggle and he is dancing his heart out. How can you not smile watching him get his groove on? And the pose he strikes at the very end? The best.

The entire video you see below was done in one take. No cuts, no edits, no re-do’s. And totally not the original plan for that song’s video.

Originally, Derrick was one of many extras who were going to go to a motel in the original video for the song, and as the edits came back, the band hated everything they saw…except for Derrick. During the breaks between filming of the original video, Derrick had been on set dancing along to the song as it played over and over again. The director saw him dancing and asked “can you perform?”, to which Derrick replied, “I can dance, anybody can dance.” (which was a bigger pearl of wisdom than he may have meant it as)

And just like that, the video was re-shot, in one take, featuring Derrick, just doing his thing. For what its worth, the video ended up being nominated for a Video Music Award, so clearly it resonated with others, too.

Imagine saying what Derrick said about dancing, but substituting in something you love to do, or wish you could do. “I can ____, anybody can ____.”

“I can get fit, anybody can get fit.” 

“I can start a blog, anybody can start a blog.”

“I can learn to cook, anybody can learn to cook.”

Deciding you can do it, is all that is needed. 

That’s the big reason I love this video so much. What Derrick displays in the video is an element of believing you can do something, and then doing your best version of it, that makes it awesome and energizing to watch. Yes, watching professionals do amazing things is cool to watch, but so is watching a regular person do something, and putting themselves fully and authentically into it.

Opportunities will present themselves. It’s not enough to be ready for them, as Derrick was. (He said that part of his acting classes is to do a song and dance as part of the class warm-up.) You’ve also got to be open and available for the opportunities.

The right stuff will show up exactly when it is supposed to and you’ll need to be ready to take the opportunity when it comes your way.

Derrick wasn’t dancing on set in the hopes of being noticed or selected for a bigger part in the video. You might think that being authentically you would take you further away from getting what you want. Especially when you consider that being authentically you means being different from everybody else.

But the reality is, being fully you takes you closer to what you are meant to be connected to – the people, things, and situations that were meant for you.

Lastly, you get one shot, no do-overs, no second takes, no nothing other than this moment right now. So you may as well be your fullest expression of yourself.  If the situation ends up not working out the way you thought it would, it just means there is something to learn from that moment, and that there is something else out there for you. Ironically, it becomes easier to let go of any attachment to outcome when you know that you’ve done exactly what was true to your most authentic you.

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