An aspiring athlete doesn’t question the value of training.
In basketball, you shoot the ball over and over again so that during the game, you can be relied upon to sink the shot.
In martial arts, you spar again and again so that when the pressure is on, you can see your opponent’s punches coming.
In eSports, you scrimmage against the top teams so that match day presents the least amount of surprises.
As an athlete, you train so your skills are sharp. Your endurance is at it’s peak. Your mental game is tight.
You train so that when game…
Some time ago, you made a promise.
And now it’s due. But you do not act.
You distract yourself. Find excuses. Run from responsibility.
You’re only cheating yourself because this procrastination doesn’t make life worth living.
Laden with guilt, you’re only partly engaged with whatever you spend your time on. Your mind and body are separated because deep down, you know that you’re avoiding what’s important.
And then you have the nerve to complain that you’re stuck. That everything feels like a chore.
What is it that you seek?
If the promise you made doesn’t excite you, why did you…
Whenever you judge any creative work against perfection, you always find that it’s not.
Critique the writing in your favorite book and you find cliches and compromises.
Measure the proportions of your favorite artwork and you find asymmetries and shortcuts.
Check the tunings in your favorite song and you find sharps and flats.
Why do we let everyone break the rules but hold ourselves to the fire? Why do we only judge our own work against such ridiculous standards?
Perfection seems to be a criteria we impose only on our ourselves.
It’s not acceptable to put out work you’re not proud of. But it’s also not acceptable to give up doing the work you love the most.
To a painter, a new canvas is a new beginning. To someone that doesn’t paint, a new canvas means nothing.
To the wealthy, a little more money isn’t much. To the poor, a little more money is the world.
To the believer, the world is full of meaning. To the doubtful, the world is full of chaos.
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In any field, there are tool-nerds that profess the must-have tool for the job.
Most of the time, they’re sharing over-priced technologies with excessive features that they rarely use themselves.
Ignore them. Yes, it’s fun to talk tools. But let’s not pretend the tools make the story.
What makes a story? The story.
If you want to write, all you need is a laptop and a keyboard.
Want to design? Get a simple tool that lets you make shapes.
Want to program? Get a free IDE.
Across fields, you’ll find endless articles about the right way to do the job.
Are you doing the work? Or do you need to learn just one more thing before you start?
Maybe you’ve started but quickly veered off-road fearing that you just don’t know enough.
Your intent is great: Learn more so you can make something you’re proud of. But is it always coming from a productive place?
Maybe your pivot to learning instead of making is a symptom of fear. Maybe you’re comfortable learning, and you’re taking the opportunity to stay in your comfort zone.
When done right, research is just-in-time, scoped and time-boxed.
This is what productive creative work looks…
We idolize consistency.
When someone’s consistent with their words or actions, we perceive them as reliable, stable and honest. We like consistent people and try to keep them close.
On the flip side, when someone changes their mind often, we consider them erratic and undisciplined. We keep an eye out for them and mark them as “trouble”.
This relationship with consistency has an internal effect that’s toxic to our personal development.
Because we judge others based on their consistency, we judge ourselves too.
So that we’re liked, we hold on to past thoughts and beliefs irrationally. We work hard to…
Yes, listen to the greats before you, but question them too.
Disregard how many followers they have or degrees they carry. Ignore what the critics say about them. Be not persuaded by their presentation.
Take from them only what you feel necessary, let the rest go and be kind and respectful about it.
You carry in you the same life-energy as any other. You are nature. You are an integral function of the universe.
You know, better than anyone else, what makes your life worth living.
The next step is yours to choose and make. And rightfully so.