If you have job where you have to create things all the time, whether it’s writing, videos, photography, design, strategy, campaigns or just about anything, it can be really hard to come up with a good idea. Even more difficult to constantly throw down great ideas. When you get paid to make things the pressure is always on. This is even true in our personal work. You become your worst critic. I haven’t met one person that hasn’t had difficulty finding constant inspiration or motivation to make things all the time.
When you do finally create things you are proud of, people notice. It’s a cool feeling. The real bummer I’m going to tell you is that how you perceive the things you make today, will not be how you perceive them in the future. The rest of the world feels the same way. It’s the natural half life of the things you create. Remember that awesome album that came out in 2012? Sure it’s still awesome, but you don’t feel as ecstatic about it anymore. The adrenaline is gone.
Everything eventually fades and you can learn a lot from that. Every year something better comes along. Whether you create it or someone else does, you have to learn to deal with that. This is the natural course of time and all things in the world. Everything has a half life.
So what can you learn from this?
What you make isn’t always who you are.
Whatever it is that you do is definitely a part of who you are, but it doesn’t represent your true self. Outside of work and projects you have friends, family and a ton of other facets that reflect your character. If all you do is talk about work when you come home, you have to learn to separate that. Work is not everything. Your heart knows that. Don’t forget to invest in your personal life because it definitely influences your work. The healthier your personal life is, the happier your work will be. You do the math.
Everything you make will eventually be less meaningful.
This is not saying that what you create does not matter. Your blood sweat and tears definitely matter. What this idea means is that what you create today will not be as important as things you create in the future. There may be a few exceptions to this idea, but for the most part everything you do won’t feel so important a year from now. Remember that thing you made in high school? Yeah it was fun, but it’s definitely not as important as the things you work on right now.
The present should have all of our attention, but don’t let today tell you what your future looks like.
Letting go provides room for opportunity.
Hope is fuel, it moves us forward and it amplifies our best work. – Seth Godin
If you can replace the defeat with hope it will allow new ideas and opportunities to come into play. Letting go of something means you have more space to work with. That includes having more focus and energy to work on the things that matter. Opportunity doesn’t always have to be a new idea. Opportunity can be a chance to renew old ones too. Maybe you need to stop growing new things and start fixing things that don’t work in your life. And when you have hope, you have a better chance.
Perfection is possible, but don’t let it hold you back.
Expectation is the killer of joy, the shortest route to disappointment. When we expect that something will happen, we can’t help but be let down… – Seth Godin
If perfection is your only expectation, you are doomed to fail. Just because the things you make will eventually fade with importance, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give your all. Aiming for perfection or creating a great polished product is a goal that tests us to be come great at the skills we do. Have great goals, but be flexible with your expectations. Failure will happen. You cannot deny that.
The struggles you have somehow make you happy.
As a musician, I don’t write or play for the fame or money. I just thoroughly enjoy doing it. It is one of the few things in life that I can always count on to make me happy. What gets upsetting is when you feel like you have no inspiration and just feel like what you are creating is just not good enough. As odd as it can sound to someone that doesn’t write music, the struggle still makes me happy. I simply enjoy the process of discovering myself and my ideas. The struggle and the joy go hand in hand.
If you truly love to do something, even the struggles of it will make you happy.