Jessica Sanchez: I Just Do What I Do

Sanchez: "I just do what I do."

I LOVED the title quote, from Jessica Sanchez, American Idol contestant.

I am an American Idol groupie. American Idol has been my guilty pleasure since Kelly Clarkson days. I don’t seek spiritual transcendence from it, just entertainment, but I loved the spirituality behind 16-year old Jessica Sanchez’s kind of zoned-out response to Ryan Seacrest’s question. After she was “saved” by the judges last night, he asked, “What was going through your mind when the judges were coming up on the stage to save you?”

“Nothing,” she said. “I don’t expect anything. I just do what I do.”

Is anything more spiritual, more Zen, than that? More Zen than pure in-the-moment detaching yourself from the results?

Contrast that with AI contestant Hollie Cavanaugh, who hasn’t reached her stride yet despite an amazing voice. In trying to find that peak performance that the judges have been looking for, she picked the song “Perfect” by Pink, because that’s how she wanted others to see her. That’s what she wanted to be.

After her performance, Ryan asked Hollie what she was thinking right before she started singing. Tellingly, she said “I better not mess up.” The judges gently pointed out to her that “perfect” isn’t the right bullseye. Forget perfect pitch–perfect isn’t perfect, unless you are perfectly one in the moment–one with the task, with no expectations. A lesson for us all. Mind you, I’m not putting Hollie down–I relate to her. I was the only kid in my 4th grade piano recital who had to have my sheet music as a crutch because I was afraid of forgetting the notes.

A blog post in the blog Early to Rise calls out one of the principles in the Deepak Chopra’s book in which I first learned of this miraculous concept of detaching from the results:

As Deepak Chopra says in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, when you are constantly classifying, labeling, and evaluating, you “create a lot of turbulence in your internal dialogue.” The more internal bickering that takes place, the less time and room (in your mind) for constructive thinking.

This week I had a report to do, and frankly, I was stressed about it. I did what I usually do under these circumstances and I set my alarm for 4:30 am so I could get an early start to worrying. No, really, getting up early is my way of keeping distractions at bay. My way of thinking is, “if I’ve sacrificed the wee hours so I can get things done, I better not waste them!”

But in spite of getting up at 4:30, I felt I was still groping in the dark with this report by the end of the day.

On Wednesday, I finally got to the point where, in desperation, I prayed, “Dear God, I trust that you are going to work through me and allow me to present this material creatively, intelligently, and cohesively.” Then I let it go.

The next morning I got up (at 4:30) and by 8:30 it was lookin’ pretty good! I didn’t think about my client. I didn’t think about my job prospects. I just did it.

Jessica Sanchez, I’m going to tape your quote above my computer: I Just do What I Do. I Don’t Expect Anything.


  1. Nice post. I wish I had this reminder a month ago when I was also caught up in my own head with a design job I was stuck on (the spring benefit invites) that I ended up not trusting my abilities (or God) and fumbling through the process too concentrated on the client’s feedback and other people’s work. Lesson learned! Just do what I do, or as Emerson said “Listen to the inward voice and bravely obey that.”

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