The Key To Creating Something Great Is To Accept Most Of Your Work Won’t Be
Learn to be OK with just being OK.
I want this post to be great.
But that doesn’t mean it will be.
I’m a decent writer, have put in 10,000+ hours honing my craft, and try my best to create things people value, but that doesn’t mean this post will be great.
It probably won’t.
Because most things aren’t great — no matter how much experience or desire you have.
Greatness takes time. Patience. Magic.
It’s not formulaic. It’s unpredictable.
Most of your creations will just be OK.
They may interest others. Make them think. See the world differently.
They may not change people’s lives, but hopefully will be worth the minutes others invest in them.
The Beatles are the greatest band of all time and yet…little of their work was “great” by the standard of its performance on the charts.
Of the 193 songs the Beatles released on albums (and hundreds more they wrote but didn’t release), only 17 went to number one on the charts.
That’s still an incredible accomplishment and nobody will doubt their greatness, but that greatness was enabled by a willingness to accept that the majority of their work would just perform OK.
You have to be OK with just being OK.
Most people aren’t. That’s why they quit. Or never start.
They don’t feel their work is great, so they abandon it.
They don’t think it moves others, so they bury it.
They refuse to settle for less than perfection, so they settle for nothing.
As a result, they never get to great.
Because being OK with being OK is a necessary step toward great.
It frees you to do the work you need to do to get better.
It enables you to create. To avoid being paralyzed by the pressure of your own expectations.
It allows you to evolve.
Great is never guaranteed.
Doing OK work doesn’t mean you’ll ever get to great.
But it means someday you might.
Be OK with that.