Put Down the Duckie

This clip from Sesame Street first aired back around 1988. I first saw it at Boston University in Walter Lubars‘ “Writing for Broadcast Advertising” class in around 1992.  Yeah, we watched Sesame Street in college.

Apart from being really catchy, and having a great celebrity cameo roll call, there’s a great lesson here.

Each of us carries stuff with us that prevents us from doing our best work. Call it “baggage,” distractions, a preoccupied mind… It could be something as simple or mundane as a chore you have to do later that’s on your mind now. If you hang on to those distractions, if you let them occupy the forefront of your mind, and steal your attention, it will be MUCH more difficult to do the other things that need doing.

So, in order to give yourself fully to whatever task is at hand, be it your job, a class you’re taking, your family, your spouse or partner, you have to lay those distractions aside. As the song says, “You have to put down the duckie if you want to play the saxophone.” You can’t play the sax with a duck in your hand, and you can’t do your job, or do well in school if you’re holding on to other worries in the meantime,.

The cool sub-lesson comes toward the end of the video, when the owl tells Ernie that he can just pick the duckie back up when he’s done with the sax. No one’s saying you have to forget the other stuff. Just set the distraction aside for now. It will still be there later — most likely, just as you left it.

It will make you a better employee, a better student, a better spouse, a better everything if you give all of yourself to the task at hand, at least for the time being.

Good luck! *squeak! squeak!*

By the way, how many of the celebrities in the video can you name?

At Slater’s Garage Ads & Audio, we help small businesses put a unique voice to their marketing through a combination of audio, video and social media. To find out how we can help you bring your marketing to life, contact us today.

One Response to Put Down the Duckie

  1. Great blog, Brett! And a simple lesson for all of us.

    Good to see you pop up on Twitter. Hope all is well.