Gradualism

If you want to move the needle in some way or make a dent in some domain of life — and you can visualize what this project will look like — you will romanticize it. But it’s not some thing in a movie. And it likely will not resemble your initial idea as it deviates and develops over its course, so stop childishly clinging to that infantile visualization.

It’s a long, gradual process. It’s not sexy until it’s done and it’s never done, therefore, it’s never sexy. Sexy doesn’t exist; it’s a dumb and mythical concept.

But — and this is my realization — you have to make things sound sexy when you’re recounting them to people, either to make them give you money or just to get your idea across in a logistically feasible amount of time. Sometimes when we tell people about the progress of our projects, we let ourselves think it happened quickly because, from what we’re expounding to them, it sounds like it happened quickly… But it didn’t; it took time.

Human experience doesn’t transpire in sweeping strokes. Our subjective apparatus doesn’t digest our perceptions and going-ons as cognitive aggregations; we cannot actually see the image constructed by the puzzle pieces we weave together day to day as we live out our lives. We’re perpetually mired — maybe even caged — in the mundanities of any given individual puzzle piece.

Because of the inherent limitations of the laws of physics and the fact that no one cares about you or your ideas as much as you do, you cannot make them sit beside you and watch every single thing you do for however long it takes. So you have to summarize when you tell people. Maybe this will fool them…but do not let it fool you — about your own things and when people tell you about their things.

Recognize gradualism in others work despite how they display it— and never forget the necessity of gradualism in your own. Do not frame the passing of time as an inherently passive process that happens to you. Actively concede that a certain amount of time must pass in order for whatever it is that you want to come to fruition to acutally fruition — and, most importantly, be OK with this at a very internal level.

We call this patience.