It’s 8 PM, and the clock is ticking. You are lounging on the couch, switching between channels and channels. Nothing fascinating to watch, but you don’t feel like getting to work as well, even though you have a deadline at 9 AM tomorrow. At this rate, you shall have to wake up at 4 and work furiously while cursing yourself, but you can’t even make it to the table. You just can’t.
What you need right now is someone to slap Shia LaBeouf ‘Just Do It’ GIF in your face:
This GIF was from Shia LaBeouf’s motivational video. An online philosopher once said that there are only two kinds of people in the world: Those who’ve already seen this video of Shia LaBeouf yelling “Just Do It” fiercely at the camera and those who will. I would like to put it another way: There are only two kinds of reactions when you see that video. You either laugh at LaBeouf or worry about his mental health.
But why did the star of Transformer, Indiana Jones, and Wall Street become such a nutcase?
About Shia Labeouf
In case you don’t know, Shia Labeouf is an actor, performance artist, and producer. Most people first heard about Labeouf in 2000 when he played Louis Stevens in the Disney show Even Stevens. The role of a malicious little brother suited him perfectly, thus brought him many winged words from both audiences and critics at that time.
However, Labeouf didn’t want to be one of Disney’s glossy kids. Instead, he took on a thornier path. Within the next decade, we saw him appearing in some prestigious indie and art movies, such as 2013 Nymphomaniac. Labeouf’s name was only well-known as he starred in franchises like Transformer or Indiana Jones, but then he came back to his non-conventional projects and even hit some controversial, legal snags. As people said, age is just a number and he’s proving it.
“The star is a by-product of the machine age”, Shia Labeouf said in an interview, “a relic of modernist ideals, it’s outmoded.” That explains why he continuously made choices that were, let’s say, strange. Some of them included performance art projects, cryptic interviews, and swathes of time spent without showering.
And you might be surprised to know that Shia Labeouf ‘Just Do It’ GIF was a part of those art projects.
The Story Behind Shia Labeouf ‘Just Do It’ GIF
As mentioned above, the GIF was from Shia Labeouf’s 65-second “Just Do It” video. It features him standing in front of a green screen while enthusiastically screaming a clichéd motivational speech at the camera. As Labeouf is doing so, he bends forward, takes some invisible birdseed from one of his palms, and continues to enclose the space around his crotch. Overall, he acts as if his distress over your inactivity is exacerbated by severe intestinal pain:
Shia Labeouf ‘Just Do It’ Motivational Speech
Here’s the full text for those who need it:
“Do it. Just do it. Don’t let your dreams be dreams. Yesterday, you said tomorrow. So just do it. Make your dreams come true. Just do it. Some people dream of success, while you’re gonna wake up and work hard at it. Nothing is impossible. You should get to the point where anyone else would quit, and you’re not gonna stop there. No, what are you waiting for? Do it! Just do it! Yes, you can. Just do it.
If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.”
The platitude speech and gestures make Labeouf seems like he is completely out of his mind. The first time I watched it, he reminded me of a Nike commercial delivered by Charles Manson, or Tony Robins on a bad trip.
After laughing at his face, though, I wanted to know what the heck was wrong with him. Turned out that Labeouf was not as clueless as he seemed. He was just cooperating with art students in Central Saint Martins to complete a video art project called #Introductions.
Each member in the class was supposed to compose a brief script for the actor to perform in front of a green background, according to The Guardian. It took LaBeouf a single day to execute all 36 pieces of scripts in a studio in Los Angeles. The segments involved him wearing a helmet, speaking in a British accent, standing on his head, and reading out the lyrics from the 1982 song, “She Can’t Love You”, by Chemise.
The final result which consists of all 36 performances, despite its peculiarity, was oddly captivating. You can check out the full version here:
The student who wrote the “Just Do It” section was Joshua Parker. Labeouf’s speech was initially intended to be a parody of fitness culture. Parker uploaded his final submission for the project on his website, which featured Labeouf on a sporty background instead of a green screen. Unfortunately, the video was taken down after a while.
According to Parker, the speech was meant to satirize the effect of “Health Mania” on the contemporary lifestyle. “Particular emphasis is laid upon themes of commodification, simulation and the cyclical nature of consumerism within the health, beauty and fitness industry”, he said.
Fan Reactions And Viral Parody Trends
On May 27, 2015, user Mike Mohamed uploaded the 2-minute segment on Youtube under the title “Shia Labeouf Delivers The Most Intense Motivational Speech Of All Time”. Five days later, the video went viral with over 1.4 million views. On May 30, 2015, Redditor ‘ridtis’ posted a topic linking to the video on the forum and gained for himself 3,700 upvotes within two days.
Since Labeouf was in front of a green screen, anyone could replace the background with any kind of photos and videos they chose. This is the same case as Filthy Frank ‘It’s Time To Stop’ meme or Mariah Carrey’s Michael Myers lookalike. As a result, internet users started to get all creative right after the segment went viral. Youtube user Michael McNeff only needed a few hours to create the most legendary TED Talk ever, which gained more than 1 million views after just two days:
Shia Labeouf TED Talk
Another parody, “Damn It Shia”, was uploaded on May 31, 2015, by Youtube user millerwa44. The video achieved over 775,000 views in one day:
Damn It Shia
A remix featuring Shia LaBeouf in a scene from Sonic Generations was uploaded to the official Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube account on July 14, 2015. The video’s sarcastic tone matches that of the company’s other social media platforms, particularly its official Twitter account, Sonic_Hedgehog:
Sonic’s Generations – Shia Labeouf DLC
190 Proof Entertainment had another way to honor Labeouf’s speech by making him the motivational coach for a reluctant Luke Skywalker:
Shia Walker Inspirational
Last but not least, we have my most favorite of the bunch: LaBeouf delivering furious retorts to HAL, the passive-aggressive spaceship computer from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s incredible how beautifully his speech suits the scene:
I’m Sorry Shia, I Afraid I Can’t Do That
There are countless parodies, most of which were created just one day after the original video was out. You can find a compilation here on Reddit.
The Shia Labeouf ‘Just Do It’ GIF was used as a reaction image in many social media platforms, as well as its image macro. I can totally see it if you receive this from your boss sometimes – what a wholesome procrastination meme to send your co-workers:
Just Do It Meme
Tips To Stop Yourself From Procrastinating
As a procrastinator, though, I know receiving a single meme (or even a whole motivational speech) won’t save you from procrastination. In case you feel the tendency to put off your work (which you probably are doing just to read this article), you might want to try out these tips:
Change Your Environment
Your surroundings affect your productivity. Just take a look at your workspace and see if it makes you want to work or put things off and sleep. If it is the latter, consider changing the environment.
An inspirational workplace might become boring after a certain period. In that case, you can change your working environment on a regular basis. Try to organize your work desk and decorate it with pictures or inspirational quotes. If you love your workplace, you will have more motivation to get things done.
Create A Comprehensive Timeline With Specific Deadlines
We often have only one deadline for our work, but it’s the gateway to procrastination. Since we are certain that we have plenty of time, we tend to keep putting things off until it is too late.
Break down your project into little parts, then build a comprehensive timeline with specific deadlines for each part. That way, you must get each work done by a certain date. Your timeline must be solid because if you don’t do this by today, everything else you have planned after that will be jeopardized. Do this, and you will feel the urge to take action.
Tackle Your Procrastination Pit-Stops
If you find yourself procrastinating a bit too frequently, it’s time to ask yourself whether you make procrastination too easy.
Track down the browser that consumes the majority of your time and move them to a less accessible folder. In your email client, turn off the automated notification option. Remove any distractions from your environment.
Some people tend to deactivate their social media accounts when they need to focus on something. From my perspective, it’s a bit drastic and extreme. Dealing with procrastination should be more about being aware of our behaviors than using self-binding methods. Still, if it is necessary for you, just go for it.
Meet Up With Those Who Inspire You To Take Action
One thing I know for sure: If you spend just 15 minutes talking to Bill Gates or Steve Jobs, you shall be more motivated than just lying on the couch and do nothing at all. The people around you have a great impact on your behaviors. Of course, you can’t even dream about spending time with Bill Gates or Steve Jobs every day, but many can help you get inspired.
Identify the people, friends, or coworkers who trigger you — they’re probably the go-getters and hard workers – and spend more time with them. You’ll soon pick up on their drive and spirit.
Stop Over-Complicating Things
Perhaps you are the type that always waits for the “perfect time” to start working.
If you constantly find yourself thinking “it’s not the best time because of X, Y, and Z reasons”, you should just get rid of that thought. There is no such thing called “the perfect moment”. You will never get anything done if you keep waiting for one.
One of the most common causes of procrastination is perfectionism. To me, perfectionism tendencies might be a curse rather than a blessing, or perhaps they are just an excuse to procrastinate and watch Netflix.
Shia Labeouf ‘Just Do It’ GIF – Final Thoughts
So you have fully grasped the origin of Shia Labeouf ‘Just Do It’ GIF. What’s the takeaway, then? We now know that a celebrity artist and young art students can accomplish in a few days what Pablo Picasso took a lifetime to achieve. Yes, this hilarious video was undoubtedly one of the most viral art pieces in 2015.
But if that lesson is a bit too much, there is still another thing you can learn from this legendary speech. Just. Do. It.
If you have to procrastinate, though, at least read something intriguing:
Top 18 Best Books About Confidence
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