Back To the Future (and other notes on self improvement)

So in honor of Back to the Future Day, I thought I would share this quick post from a text conversation as I was working out last night at the gym.

We were talking startups, business, and lessoned learned. Dave is about 7 years younger than me and is one of my favorite people to bounce ideas off of. He challenged me to an interesting exercise that I wanted to share with you.

here’s a random exercise I just thought of for you. might be fun to do…start with 2014 and list the biggest lesson you learned each year going back as far as you want…as in, what lessons are changing you so that you don’t repeat the same mistake(s) twice…is there a pattern or theme, where are the holes? The point is so you can say with peace, here is why I am where I am today.

Simple right? So as I hit the elliptical, I started pondering and really digging into the past two decades+ I have spent as a professional creative. From songs to social strategy, I have spent almost 25 years getting paid for my creative work and while happy with what I have accomplished, I am not satisfied.

I feel like I am not living up to my full potential. A friend of mine once said, “the hardest job of a creative is to motivate yourself everyday.” I agree to an extent, I think it’s equally hard to know what’s next, how to pursue the right ideas and trust your instincts.

My biggest reveal from looking back on my past successes and failures is that I find myself being an early adopter, getting bored easily and then abandoning ship before the masses are fully on board. I have spent the last few years working on the patience and discipline of slowing down and learning to wait.

So take a few minutes and do the exercise with me, look back as far as you can remember and jot down your big wins and losses. I would love to hear the results. Drop me a line at shawn@swagbot and happy Back to the Future Day to us all!

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