Why people can’t get Sh** done?
Because people chase tags! (Also the benchmarks to achieve before you can use them!)
A lot of times, the very people who want to get work done, are their own worst enemies. Recently, a friend of mine started a blog detailing his account of a beach vacation with family. Frankly, the quality of the blog was average (like this one!), and he dutifully gathered feedback on his writing.
It was the first piece of writing that I had seen from him, EVER. A few hours later, a friend sent me a screenshot of his Instagram profile. It read:-
Blogger, Lawyer, Something else
With just one blog post, ever, that had just a few hundred views from close family and friends, he became a ‘Blogger’. And therein lies the cardinal fault that most of us are guilty of (including yours truly!). We pursue something only to get ourselves the ‘tag’ that comes with the act. This leads to a Touch & Go mentality where even a single act would get you the ‘Tag’ that someone who has done that activity for 5 years would get. When we see ourselves getting the tag, out goes the desire to excel, improve, or just be regular with the work, because “Hey! I was just going for the tag and I would have it, whether I put up 1 blog a week or 1 in a year!”
If the tag is something that drives you, it is not something that would make you excel at it. Only the desire to pursue the act, to improve, to build something of value would push you past the finish line, and then you would realize it has only gone so much farther and it is the journey you had set out to enjoy and not the tag.
If you want to Get Sh** Done, refrain from using or pursuing tags. I know you want to, but don’t. Just don’t. You only end up coming across as a pretentious douchebag.
Because only when you get out of the desire to use tags would you pursue the act in it’s purest form.
The ‘Best’ doesn’t happen out in the open, or in the streets. People Get Sh** done in their basements making art for years before they get an exhibition. People Get Sh** Done for years working out of their garage or typing away in a corner of the local coffee shop.
While Malcolm Gladwell talks about the 10,000 Hour rule that would make you world class in any field with the said hours of deliberate practice, I think there should be a certain threshold that should enable you to think of yourself as possessing a certain ‘tag’, rather than going all out as a big-shot from day 1. While these may vary from person to person, I think the following should set it down for most of us-
Photographer: Only when you have 100 ‘Finished’ photographs over a period of atleast 5 months. By finished I mean, cropped, edited, filtered and all the jargon stuff photographers do.
Blogger: Atleast 15 posts done over a period of 2 months to 1 year. The traction/pageviews shouldn’t matter as long as you are regular with your writing.
Fitness/Gym Freak: When you have been using a set workout regime for a continuous period of 3 months atleast. Also a 4 week break, would count you out of reckoning.
Bibliophile: If you are finishing 12 books in a year atleast, or 1 book a month for atleast the last 6 months.
Entrepreneur: If you have made your first 30 Sales or launched your MVP or gotten your first 10,000 users or secured your first financing outside the FFF (Friends, Families and Fools) group. If you have been working on something with a friend, without a formal structure, without any product and just ideating around, please don’t call yourself an ‘Entrepreneur’.
While these benchmarks work as thresholds, to get the desired ‘Tag’, once you reach the Threshold, you would realize that you don’t need to brandish the ‘Tag’ for validation. Because it was the Act, the Journey and the Process you persevered for.
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