What designers can learn from married couples

The other day I read this article about how designers could work through projects that don’t excite them anymore. Now, as a designer who is currently working on some projects I no longer have zeal for, I totally understood what the guy was talking about. That article made too much sense to me.

There is nothing as exciting as the prospect of a new project. The raw potential, the host of possibilities, the brainstorming, the sketching out of ideas, the project planning, the collection of the first down payment; these are the things designers look forward to droolingly. As the days go by, however, and these activities are slowing down, when you are faced with the mundane tasks associated with the project, the passion for the project begins to wane. Usually this is the time inspiration takes a leave. And so the designer begins to day dream of when the next high would

This is why some creative projects take so long to complete, because the middle point becomes a drag for the creatives involved and it becomes a test of willpower to see it through to the end. This phenomenon happens even when its your own project, or side project. Sometimes it seems easier to just give up.

Designers would know what I am talking about.

As I thought about this, I realised that another category of people have these exact same type of problem; Married couples.

Starting a marriage is like starting a project: the beginning is filled with the raw potential, the host of exciting possibilities (also known as kids) , the brainstorming ideas (for the wedding), sketching designs for the wedding dress, the project planning (also, family planning), the collection of the first down payment (or the dowry). And just as with designers, Married couples report, for I am not married, that after a time the passion also wanes, especially when you are encumbered with the banalities of life such as baby sitting your three toddlers who are hell bent on destroying all your electronics.

Unlike the designer, who would maybe have to refund money, or more often than not, not lose anything as a result of leaving a project midway, a married couple has a lot more to lose if they decide to leave their project midway.

The solution is the same, for both designer and married individual. A couple that has been together for a long time will tell you that the only thing that kept them together all the years they have been together is perseverance, the fact that they kept walking, because it was important that they did despite everything they might have gone through. Designers listen, once you have discovered that whatever you’re doing is important, something you ought to do, either because you are being paid to do it, or because it is meaningful to you as an individual, then you have to PUSH THROUGH. Forget the lack of passion, forget that you are not inspired, forget everything other than reaching your goal, other than finishing, and finishing well. Usually, in my experience, I’ve found that the longer you push, the easier it gets.