Let it Lead You
If you were a shepherd, your work would be to herd sheep. Pushing them along, keeping them together, and directing them where to go. You have to know where to go and then bring your flock there.
The hardest part of the shepherd’s job is to keep the wandering sheep in line with the pack.
And if you were a truffle farmer, your work is essentially training your pig and then following it. Put in all the work at the beginning, and let it wander as it picks up the smell of truffles.
The pig knows where to go, just trust the process.
One kind of work is pushing.
One kind of work is being led.
As creative people, our work tends to be one or the other– a sheep or a pig. We usually think of ourselves in terms of the shepherd, guiding and pushing the work. Keeping the wandering thoughts in order.
But what would happen if you followed the work? To trust the process and let it guide you. What does this work want to become?
On Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, Dave Chappelle talks about how ideas pick him up.
“If I have an idea, it’s the driver. The idea says, ‘Get in the car,’ and I’m like, ‘Where am I going?’ The idea says, ‘I don’t know. Don’t worry about it. I’m driving.’ Then you just get there.
Sometimes I’m shotgun, sometimes I’m in the fucking trunk. The idea takes you where it wants to go. Other times, me as my ego is like, ‘I should do something.’ There’s no idea in the car. It’s just me. That formula doesn’t work.”
If you’re feeling stuck (or feeling open to a little challenge), treat your work like a truffle pig today. Just let it wander and hunt for the good stuff while you just follow it.