“It's always the hard part that creates value.”
“It's always the hard part that creates value.”
Start before you're ready. If you wait until everything is perfect, you won't get the feedback that makes your work better.
As Seth Godin writes, “habits are more important than fears.” Sharing and shipping your art alleviates doubt and strengthens the doing muscle.
You have to live with the fact that your production could always be better. But then you'd never show up. Says the South Park creators:
“We realized that’s stupid. You can always spend more time making something better, but really it wouldn’t make much of a difference. The show would be maybe 5% better if we took 4 times as long on it.”
Furthermore, contradicting yourself is a means of thinking. You only craft what you know right now. If you remain open to learning, your perspective will continue to evolve over time.
Blogging, tweeting, Instagramming are all forms of thinking in public. You're going to have to write a lot and take a ton of photographs before anyone considers it shareable. The more you make, the more selective you can be. Keep experimenting.
The thing about cliches is that sometimes they’re true. Take this one for instance: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Competition is the quickest way to demotivate yourself.
You may enjoy excelling, but you will realize the game is really within yourself to achieve greater personal growth. According to career analyst Dan Pink, there are two types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic.
Extrinsic motivation is rewards-based where things like fame or money drive your effort. Intrinsic motivation seeks a deeper purpose – it drives people to do what matters to them than what impacts the bottom line. Naturally, people that are intrinsically motivated play the long-game.
Purpose is what gets you out of bed in the morning and into work without groaning and grumbling — something that you just can’t fake.
A Gallup study shows making $75k a year does not make people happier; in fact, they are more likely to fall into the trap of jealousy and bitter competition. Dissatisfied people always want what they don't have.
They say that having a backup plan can demotivate you as well. As Mark Manson wrote, “Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, but also the cause of it.” The doing mindset creates momentum. If you want to be consistent you have to “put your ass where your heart needs to be,” says author Steven Pressfield.
When it comes to motivation, consider focusing on why what you do matters rather than quitting just because someone else does it better. A ‘trying' attitude put Jamaican Bobsleigh into the 1988 Winter Olympics–“being there” was like winning a gold medal.
When trying to stay motivated, try to keep perspective by practicing “objective optimism”:
“don’t replace “She’s better than me” with “I’m the best,” but, with something quantifiable, like “This presentation I made really looks great.””
The only way to hack motivation and avoid burn out is to enjoy what you do with purpose even if progress is slow. A thousand drips can fill a bucket.
“Music is part of being human,” Oliver Sacks wrote in Musicophilia: Tales of Music and the Brain.
Music can help you focus, meditate, and treat Alzheimers and Parkinson’s. Music is so powerful it stimulates the various parts of the brain at once.
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“When the brain is listening to music, it lights up like a Christmas tree,” Karageorghis said. “It’s an ideal stimuli because it reaches [parts of the brain] that can’t easily be reached.”
According to Costas Karageorghis’ new book, music also improves athletic performance — it's just as effective as a performance-enhancement drug. Music can also calm athletes down and get them out of their own head.
“Music is there to calm me down or pump me up. It fills my brain and blocks any unnecessary thoughts.” – Katie Zaferes, Triathlon
For others like Michael Phelps, music assists in helping visualize the completion and get into the zone.
Karageorghis even created workout playlists that match heart rates so you can build up to a higher bpm (beats per minute) as you intensify your workout.
Music is a hell of a drug, potentially intoxicating. Did I mention it is also ideal for pure enjoyment? Don't forget to sing along and dance. Here's what President Obama is listening to get started.
Do what you love. Love what you do. These cliches, however, are missing important pieces: Do the work and be good at what you do.
People think they can write a book, but they never set aside the time to work on it. People want to get in shape, but they never hit the gym. People aspire to be an artist, but they never go to the studio to paint.
“Everything is work,” writes Brianna Wiest. She continues:
“People usually can’t differentiate what they really love and what they love the idea of.”
Instead of doing what you think you love, do something you're already good at and that other people find useful. Never underestimate your innate talents. “Do what you have to give,” Briana implores.
Briana's advice is the opposite of a book I read this summer entitled Grit by Angela Duckworth. In it, the author praises the ethics of pertinacity. The book's message is trite but true, assuming the person succeeds. Other times, it might be wiser for people to quit and move on.
But there's also a third way to look at careerism. Instead of accepting your God-given skills or striving for success, you try new opportunities that come your way so you can grow your mindset/skillset. You decide to challenge yourself, fail, and learn quickly which takes a lot of courage.
People that excel at their job still need to be tested. Skills get you places. But so does curiosity and reflection. Remember Steve's wisdom, “don't settle.”
Your DNA runs on a floppy disk. You are who you are from the minute you're born. That's just the way it is. Deal with it.
While your genes predetermine your physicality and mentality, the latter is more malleable. My favorite stories are those that break the rules. Someone defies the caste system; they pick themselves instead of waiting for someone to pick them. They embrace the fear but do it anyway.
Everyone's got tendencies; most people let their doubt win. Staying pumped up takes practice. Believe long enough and supplement it with effort and magically things start to unfold. They have to. It's the law of momentum.
Persistence requires staying upbeat. As Muhammad Ali said: “When I win the fight,” he already predetermined the outcome. He was either going to be right or be upset but move on anyway. When they studied Ali, he apparently had none of the characteristics of being a boxer.
Prepare for the best by being at your best when your best is needed. What else is there to lose but the genes? The mind is naked. Break the code.
Dream wildly but be bluntly honest about what you need to do to get there.