a long straight road only daunts the amateur

The creative path sometimes feels like a crowded racetrack: Dashing to capitalize on inspiration, weaving through fears, striving to catch up to (or surpass) your peers.
Sometimes it’s rough and hectic and feels more like bumper cars… or a crash test derby.
And sometimes it makes no sense at all and it feels like you’re riding a bull down a tightrope in the middle of an ocean filled with jelly donuts and cats.
Either way, you have to admit, it’s fun to navigate tricky terrain. Your raw talent shows up in all sorts of flashy ways — sharp swerves, skidding stops, dusty takeoffs…
The long straight road seems boring in comparison. It requires a whole new skillset: Stamina, focus, discipline. Instead of burning rubber and broken bones, days are filled with routine, iterative learning, and minor trial & error.
There’s no rush, no emergency, no enemy, just … length. And straightness.
This is often daunting to the amateur, who has no system for dealing with consistency. They literally don’t know what to do with 20 spare minutes, or an easy green light on a project, or a blank calendar.
They don’t know it but they’ve become addicted to speed. They’re entitled to the immediate gratification of chaos. Faced with a long road, they are impatient.
A professional, on the other hand, has a longer vision. They know that straight roads bridge the way between curved ones. They are committed to processes and values that hold up in the long run. They deliver results.
That doesn’t mean a professional can’t pull out a cut-throat handbrake turn or whip out a couple donuts when needed — it just means they can thrive when they don’t.
There’s a fine balance between impatience and complacency. And that line looks an awful lot like a long, straight road.

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