What Happens When a Fireman Poses as a Policeman?

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Nothing. The simple answer is this absurdity does not happen. Why? Because we know that firemen put out fires. They do not make traffic stops, get in gun fights or eat donuts. Instead they focus on keeping people safe from fire.


What happens when every day people start to write? An oddity occurs. The oddity of personal passion and public pursuit. The desire to share something but also the desire to be known for sharing something. It can quickly shift from personal to public. The oddity occurs when we start to downplay personal passion and focus on public pursuit.

Part of the problem with living in the information age is that we can watch videos, read books, and even see traffic stops in action, but it doesn’t make us a cop. We just become pretenders with no real authority.

The draw to take shortcuts to notoriety never works. It is an imitation that will quickly be found out. It requires starting every day and realizing that it is a slow burn, your motives start to shift and the pressure starts to cease.

Seth Godin was asked recently about this post and it’s origin. His answer was that it took him 20 hours to finish the post. What seemed to be something that he sat down one morning and scribbled out a list post of ideas to gain traffic in reality took him 20 hours total of writing, editing, and refining.

Julien Smith was asked about this post and said that it took him weeks to write and edit. Even to the point of stressing over which italics to use on certain words. What was a post that certain led to a lot of change for a lot of people was something meticulously crafted for weeks. Not something he wrote before he went to bed the night before.

Sometimes things are not always as they seem. 

The reason firefighters focus on putting out fires and not arresting people is because they do not have the time to focus on both. They have the task of knowing everything they can about fires and how to prevent them. You have the task of being faithful to your craft, letting it breathe, and being true to your calling. Realizing that just because it seems that the people you admire seem to put out great content overnight but really work hours to refine their craft is one of the first steps in this process.

Focus on your fire and do the work.

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Kyle Reed

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I create websites, conversations, and ideas. Advocate for the 20 somethings. Looking to connect everyone to a mentor. Married to my best friend, Ginny. I like my coffee black and my dog Jack. I currently live in Nashville and work at Sony Music/Provident in Nashville
  • http://compellingparade.com Ryan Tate

    Mmmm, thanks for writing and sharing this. Whether you wrote it last night or over the past two weeks, it is darn good.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

      Thanks Ryan. I actually have been working on it for the past two weeks in the morning. Glad to let it breathe a bit. It has really changed in shape over the past two weeks which I am glad to give it some space.

  • http://marshallheppner.com/ Marshall Heppner

    Great post. I think to a large part I agree that our words that we write need to carry weight and likely what was a passion at 2am last night might have been just the taco I had 15min earlier talking… With that said, we live in a culture and for some reason continue to cultivate a society in which we believe our opinions and taco thoughts are worthy of a HBO mini-series. We raise our kids telling them that everything they touch will turn to gold and then go and watch the Kardashians prance around with their silver spoons in their mouths and call it entertainment. I don’t know if you saw the SNL last weekend with Harry Potter as the host. There was a sketch that spoke so brilliantly towards this.


    We are a YouTube and Twitter generation where we don’t know the meaning of wisdom anymore. It’s sad.

  • http://goinswriter.com/ Jeff Goins

    well said. in an age when anyone can do anything, the true discipline is to do something.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

      Thanks Jeff

  • http://www.atlumschema.com Andy Mort

    Thanks for this post. It is so true. And kudos for getting your point across in such few words.

    The key to looking effortless is to put loads of effort into it. Great sportsmen/women look effortless when we are watching them, but only because of all the effort that has gone in when we are not watching.  So often we forget about the process because of the perceived demands our society puts on us – instant news/instant success/instant everything.  It is the disconnect between reality and our perception of reality. Right, I’ve got a frigging fire to go and put out if you’ll excuse me…

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

      Good word Andy