Zadra Creative Blog

“At Last I Think I’ve Discovered the Secret.”

TRUMAN X JONESSome of the best advice we ever receive is also the simplest.

Many years ago I drove from Seattle to San Francisco to spend a few days with the most interesting man alive—my cousin and mentor, Truman X. Jones.

Truman is an accomplished artist, sculptor and designer, and the creative force behind T.X. Jones Design. He is also a street-wise philosopher and truth seeker. Many times through the years a few well-chosen words from TXJ have changed the way I think about something forever.

On the last day of our time together, Truman and I were standing on the sidewalk in front of his place in the Russian District when he suddenly turned to me and said, “Dan, at last I think I’ve discovered the secret: Do whatever your heart leads you to do—but DO it.”

Some of the best advice we ever receive is also the simplest. On the drive back to Seattle I thought a lot about Truman’s 11-word insight. I began to realize that there were several areas of my own life where I had been taxiing down the runway for years, but never actually taking off.

I decided to take Truman’s insight to heart. I even rewrote my personal Mission statement to something similar and put it in a frame on my desk where it remains today: Live your life so that your children can tell their children that you not only stood for something wonderful—you acted on it!

Through the years that philosophy and spirit—do whatever your heart leads you to do, but DO it—has changed my life for the better, and for obvious reasons. “The tragedy of life,” wrote W.M Lewis, “is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.” One of our greatest illusions is that someday we will have more time to take action on our dreams and aspirations. But one thing leads to another, and someday never comes. While we are busy postponing the things that really matter to us, life speeds by.

Right now, there’s something (or several somethings) you’ve been wanting to do, try or launch but just haven’t gotten around to. What exactly are you waiting for? This is your life, your one and only life. Don’t let your dreams remain dreams.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about touching the Great Wall of China with your own two hands. Or starting your own business. Or writing your first book. As my cousin Truman might say, you can’t finish a book that never gets started.

Today is the best day to take a first step toward making your dream or aspiration a reality. It’s easier to do one small action now instead of thinking about some grand action someday. It’s actually pretty easy to live life in alignment with your dreams. Just do whatever your heart leads you to do—but DO it!


  • Never postpone life.
  • You will never have more time than you have today.
  • Don’t let your dreams remain dreams.


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