Fear of a Truant Planet

So my online evolution has been an interesting one.

Think about it: I used to be a straight humor blogger. Then, I became a humorous business/tech blogger, and then I became a humorous business/tech entrepreneurial blogger with services and coaching and everything. But now I’m taking it a step further. Now, I have a chance to be black.

I’m sitting at my computer the other day when I get that bong thing that lets me know that new email has arrived and it’s Twply, telling me that someone has given me an @ mention on Twitter. (If this is Greek to you, you need to sign up for Twitter because you’re out of touch and will soon grow an oblivious unibrow.) I open up the new message, and I see this:

Oh, cool.

I’ve never been black before. Not even for a little bit, like how Tyra Banks was fat for a little bit when she wore that fat suit in public, and was shocked that everyone stared at her because she looked like some crazy broad wearing artificial fat pads. I’m into trying it. I’m not looking forward to the discrimination, but I am looking forward to 1) comedy clubs and 2) church. And also being able to dance well and dunk a basketball, and to no longer fighting my white person’s urge to wear black socks with shorts and listen to Conway Twitty.

Pretty soon, someone will become the Chinese Truant. And the Polish Truant. I kind of have a Jewish Truant lined up, assuming he can stop saying “Oy” after he says “Awesome” because to be honest, it ruins the vibe. I wanted to have a female Truant, but I’m not ready for that yet because I kept grabbing my boobs.

I’ll be everywhere. And then I’ll make some changes, dammit. This National GOYA Month thing I’m doing? It’ll be really effective once we’re a Truant Planet. I think that a lot of you out there are still sitting on your asses instead of getting off of them. I think you may currently be mentally inspired instead of full-body inspired.

That’s right. I’m on to you slackers. And frankly, I won’t have that kind of crap on my planet. Once we Truants are everywhere, we’ll institute a few new rules around here.

• On the Truant Planet, everyone will be awesome to each other and not discriminate, even if a person has a dick growing out of his forehead.

• On the Truant Planet, no balding people will be allowed to do a combover.

• And yes, on the Truant Planet, people will be liberated. They won’t sit in cubes all day, wasting their every nine-to-five typing reports and playing Minesweeper. We’ll do what we want with our lives.

Because — and this is key — we’ll all be willing to get off of our asses. We’ll be willing to commit to something.

That’s the kind of world I want to live in — the kind of world where a person says one thing and does… that thing. Where a person gets determined and… does what he or she determined to do.

So now, I’m talking directly to you. Yes, you.

Oh resident of the Truant Planet who claims to be getting off of his or her ass: Have you fully, truly committed to doing what you said you’d do this month? Or are your dreams of freedom and prosperity just big old retarded dreams?

Commitment means deciding, in the sense that you pick a path and cut off all of the alternative paths. Commitment means driving stakes into the sand and putting your money where your mouth is. And if you’re literally putting down cold, hard cash to commit yourself? It hardly matters what you’ve actually done with that cash. You could burn it. What’s important is that you’ve created a price of admission to your goal. This way, you’ll know that wimping out equates to burning that money for nothing. You’ll know that you chose to make that money meaningless by being a big quitting pussy.

You’ve heard the story of Cortés, right? When his ships landed in the New World, he ordered that those ships be burned, so that there could be no turning back.

See also: Burning bridges.

Now, that one’s usually given as a negative. People tell you not to burn bridges so that you’ll have a way out. But what if you quit your job and then did what Homer Simpson did, driving around in a golf cart and playing your boss’s head like a bongo? Would you ever be able to go back to that job? Nope. You’d have to succeed, or die trying.

Now, I’m not suggesting anyone do that, because of the whole “… or die trying” part. Personally, I’d suggest a less lethal form of commitment.

Maybe you tell everyone you know about your new venture, or you tell them that you’re going to quit smoking. Maybe you tell them that you’ll do something embarrassing if you don’t follow through, and tell them to hold you to it.

Maybe, if you’re trying to lose weight, you burn all of your fat clothes.

Maybe, if you’re starting a business, you hire a coach. I have one. Now, why do I pay Tim to coach me? Well, for one, he’s helping me. But even if he wasn’t, I know that every time we talk, he’s going to ask me about my progress. I’m paying him to give me ideas, and I’m just flushing that money down the shitter if I ignore those ideas.

I also bought Online Business School. That was not at all cheap, but it was my way of saying, “FUCKER, I’M GOING TO DO THIS.” Because why would I spend that much if I wasn’t? You know you’re committed if you make an investment that big.

(Now, to date, that commitment has made me close to ten thousand dollars. So I’m cool with the expense.)

I was in Spain, during college, with my roommate at the time — a guy named Marc. While we were traveling, my sunglasses broke. Marc had a pair of top-end Oakleys, which totally wasn’t my thing. He told me that I should buy this one $250 pair of Ray Ban sunglasses to replace my old $10 pair.

I told him that I never bought expensive sunglasses because I never took care of them.

And he said, “You need to get the expensive ones so that you WILL take care of them.”

That was over ten years ago. To this day, those sunglasses don’t have a scratch on them.

Look. This is GOYA month. And this is the Truant Planet. We Truants are everywhere, hiding, just like in Fight Club. (The book, not the movie. Come on, people.) You don’t want to be the one remaining lame-o who isn’t as cool as the rest of us.

Commit to your goals. Do something big. Don’t be stupid about it, but plant your flag for once. And forget about the fucking “money where your mouth is” thing for a second, because I don’t want you thinking this is a sales pitch. Yes, I offer coaching, and yes, I would very much like if you’d hire me. Yes, I have a big new product coming out in a few weeks, and yes, I hope you’ll buy it because it’s going to be so kick-ass. But you don’t have to do any of that.

This isn’t about money. It’s about commitment.

Do something. Burn a fucking ship. Tell the world. Get the expensive sunglasses.

If you commit, yes, you might fail. But if you don’t commit, you’re almost certain to fail. And if you fail without committing, you’ll be a big wimp for not really trying.

If you have a dream, commit to it. If you aren’t willing to commit, then stop pretending that you may actually get it some day. Just admit it’s nothing more than a fancy, and stop calling it a goal. Seriously. You’re embarrassing yourself.

That’s my vision of a Truant Planet. And dammit, it’s a good one.

(Oh, and 911 is a joke.)

Now that you've read this post, go here:


  1. kitty says:

    I have to admit, “oblivious unibrow” would have made me blow milk out of my nose, had I been drinking milk. Which I never do. Carry on.

  2. Tracy says:

    Hey! That’s pretty awesome. I bet Tim likes it much better when you mention him in your posts then when I do in mine, but that’s his problem, not yours.

    I’ve loved watching your evolution, you’re an inspiration man!

    And just to tie everything together, last night I was reading this book (with PORN in it) that Tim recommended to me called The Brain That Changes Itself. It was talking about rehabilitating stroke victims by putting their good hands in mitts so that they were forced to practice using the damaged side. And it worked!

  3. Tim Brownson says:

    Why don’t people named Babauta and Pavlina mention me in their posts? It’s worth thinking about.

    I don’t mind you flushing money down my proverbial shitter mate. That’s what I’m here for.

    @Tracy – Stop mentioning porn women. I can’t get that damn book off my mind now and no matter how hard I try I can’t find a Danish madam that needs shaving.

    I think we should just draw a line under this now.

  4. N.C. Winters says:

    Alright, alright I know it’s personally ME you’re talking to about commitment and getting off my ass with a specific goal and I need to do it. Keep pushing, every rant gets me closer to the dream. Also, I’m starting to think branding, stickers etc. for your Truant philosophy- your bullseye image got the creative juices oozing. We’ll chat privately about that later. Also may actually have to look into Tim’s services, though that may be too much of an actual REAL commitment. Argh, I’m running out of excuses.

    Keep on motivatin’!

  5. As a big fan of @Sean_Oliver, I bet he’d make a good black-anything. He would absolutely make a great Truant as he’s been instrumental in inspiring me to create a price of admission to my goal.

    Thanks for a great post. I was happily enthralled, enough so much that I even managed to burn my grilled cheese sandwich.

  6. Pace says:

    ROCK ON! This post kicks ass. This post kicks RICHARD NIXON’S ass. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds like something you would say.

  7. Tim Brownson says:

    @ Pace – That’s a terrible thing to say. You do realize he’s dead, don’t you? Have you thought of Dicks family and how they’ll feel when they hear about you condoning such brazen and brutal buttock bashing behavior?

    I cried when David Frost gave Dicky those shoes outside his impoverished 37 bedroomed shack by the Pacific Ocean in Frost/Nixon, and quite frankly I am crying a tear for you now. I hope Jesus forgives you.

    PS I just asked him and Jesus says you’re not forgiven unless you send me $100 to forward on to him for a new hat he’s had his eye on.

  8. Johnny B. Truant says:

    @Tracy – I’m going to edit your comment to make it funnier: “PORN, stroke, hands.” Whole new meaning!

    @NC – Please don’t ooze in my direction.

    I really hope nobody’s missing the reference in the post title. That would be tragic. Of course, you’re all white, so there you go.

  9. Johnny B. Truant says:

    P.S: “Oblivious unibrow” = http://is.gd/16MRo

  10. Sean Oliver says:

    Yes, clever title. Most will miss it, due to its cleverness. Thats the literary cost of being pretty fly, for a white guy.

    I guess there are 3 lessons here.

    1. Always tweet as if someone might blog about it.
    2. GOYA. Get off your ass. Now.
    3. There is no commitment without action, preferably MASSIVE action.

    Gotta go, awesome calls.

  11. Pace says:

    @Tim: Jesus wears HATS?!?!?!?!?!

  12. Hey! How’d you know that I’m playing mindsweeper the whole day? Creepy.

  13. Casey says:

    But my ass is so COMFY and it doesn’t require decisions and it comes with a built-in sense of ennui and general malaise.
    Seriously – just when I think I’m about to quit thinking about doing something, you come along and kick me again. Yeesh.

  14. Tim Brownson says:

    @ Pace – Well no of course he doesn’t, but that’s only because you haven’t sent me the bloody money yet!

  15. Laurie says:

    @Tim- I am still laughing at your comments here. Do people hire you to coach them or to have a comedy hour? You are too funny. And yes, Jesus does wear hats and I hear only forgives if folks they send you or Joel Olsteen money. Has Joel been getting it all? That really sucks for you!

  16. Lyn says:

    Geez, Johnny……..that was a long ass post for a Saturday. And throwing the GOYA curve just wasn’t very nice. But thanks for the reminder.


  17. mr-crash says:

    Is the title of this post a Porcupine Tree reference? Because if so, that’s epic.

  18. Johnny B. Truant says:


    Everyone go Google “Fear of a Black Planet.”

  19. Epic FAIL on your commenters’ parts that you have to tell them to Google “Fear of a Black Planet.” Even I, who grew up in super whitebread Pennsyltucky, knows to what you were referring.

  20. Mary says:

    I loved your post even though I’m older than the dinosaurs and had no idea what the hell you were talking about. I would fear a Truant planet though. Because we’d all spend way too much time reading each other’s blogs and tweets and commenting and wouldn’t be GOYA-ing. I am proud to say that I *am* GOYA-ing and have been busy fine-tuning my plan and outlining my eBooks, eCourses, membership sites, coaching, training, and autoresponder messages and if I could only figure out all this keyword crap I’d be well on my way to success. Now stop luring me back to your blog so I can get on with it!

  21. Kelly says:

    OK, I’m loving this GOYA thing and here’s what I did so far: I called the health department to make an appointment to meet with the commissioner and find out what I need to have in place in order to operate my mobile food business, then signed up for the county’s small business association’s Small Biz Startup workshop. On the blog front, I’m writing more of what matters to me and getting back into commenting on other people’s blogs to be part of the conversation instead of just reading in my reader and nodding sagely or shaking my head in wonder without saying a word. One other thing in the works that’s just notes for the moment, but I’m taking real actions on that this week.

    enough mental masturbat*on. Time to get down to it.

  22. Andrea says:

    “Burn a fucking ship.” made me laugh out loud. Fantastic post!

  23. Kristasphere says:

    What I wanna know is: who’s Flava Flav?

  24. Miss the quote? This is the woman who treated Dryden New York to the only ‘white woman in a white minivan’ version of ‘Fight the Power’ they’ll ever hear. THESE 98s are definitely boomin with a trunk of funk. And all the jealous punks can’t stop the dunk.

    OK, I’m done now.

    As for goals, I’m working on one right now. Getting out of this soul-crushing job. I’ll let you know when my spoon stops digging dirt and sees sunlight. This tunnel is getting long.

  25. Dude.

    I SO needed to hear that.

    Electro planet, here we come!


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