Month: March 2021 (Page 1 of 5)

Quantity Equals Quality

The 70-20-10 rule states that as a creative, 70% of what you create is mediocre, 20% is garbage and 10% is brilliant. The bottom line is we need to create, create and create.

Makes sense, as in any craft the more you practice the better you get. It’s no secret. I tend to focus too much on making each piece perfect and as a result there ends up not being a whole lot of creating.

Let’s not worry so much about the size, the end product, the audience or making mistakes. Let’s just keep producing. The rest will . . . as we know, take care of itself.

Awareness

I’m fascinated by human behavior. Specifically, how a person can excel or be extremely “successful” in one aspect of their lives and struggle in another. I do the same in my life. Some things come easier to me than other things. That’s natural. I get it.

What I don’t understand is lack of awareness. Whether that’s socially: interrupting other people while talking or taking over a group conversation, physically: stepping into someone’s space while in a line at a grocery store, or any other way it plays out as a human being. It boggles my mind that some people can be so evolved in some ways and in other ways they choose to remain where they are – that seems to be the same place they were 10 years prior or even longer.

All we can do is work on ourselves. Continue to learn, grow and evolve and hold ourselves responsible. This is how I intend to live my life and it makes sense to me. It may be different for everyone. But, to go through life remaining ignorant and/or unaware is no longer an excuse . It can’t be.

We all have too much information at our disposal. Let’s utilize it and become the best version of ourselves we can be everyday.

Why not.

Gametime

I’ve played a lot of sports over the years and have been a part of many teams. It really doesn’t matter the level of the competition as much as the act of competing. Especially team sports. What I always found to be the case is that the anticipation of an upcoming game is always worse than the game itself. Ten times worse. I think it’s because you physically can’t do anything about it. The game hasn’t started yet. All you can do is think about it and work yourself into a lather. I found this to be true with any sort of performance as well.

Once the game begins, most of the nerves go away. They dissipate into the physical activities of playing or the performance. This is something I have learned to live with as an athlete over the years and don’t really judge it as good or bad. It just is. I know this. And I accept it as part of the process.

However, when it comes to the creative process, I’m not so accepting or understanding. And I’m not sure why. But, if I was to take my own advice I would say, play the game, Jim. Just keep playing. It will all work out in the end.

But what you shouldn’t do is get paralysis by analysis. Do it. Play. Create. Perform. Enjoy.

Faith

I like to think that life is linear. You put something in and then you get something out. As much as I believe in this approach and will continue to teach it to my children and subscribe to it myself, there is another non-linear element to life that I have no idea how it works. But, the same results continue to show up over and over again. You can be baffled by them or you can accept them as part of the laws of the universe. You may not understand them or prove them in a scientific study but remain a constant.

Here’s one: the universe rewards you for taking risks on it’s behalf. That may be a personal art project or business venture you decided to do on your own. And although the art project may have not turned out the way you anticipated and the business venture may appear to be a dud and wasted 6 years of your life, once you begin to pull away from those experiences in time you start to see the silver linings. Maybe on that business venture you met someone who you now discuss new opportunities and has become a good friend. Maybe that art project opened the door to other creative ideas you would like to try and you now have the courage to do it.

We must be reminded: (Just like in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”) In order for Indiana Jones to get across a huge chasm in which there is no way he can jump and would die a certain death if he fell, must take a step of faith into thin air – into nothingness. And the path will ONLY appear AFTER we take that step.

There is no other way around it. Sorry. It’s called faith.

The Process

Trusting the process in no matter what you do takes practice. For me, in my younger days, I didn’t have the patience to do that. I wanted to speed it along. To rush in order to get to the end product. What I have come to learn is that the process IS the product. Maybe not the end product. But it is what it’s all about. And that must remain in “Long Form.” There can be no short cuts. No more than you skipping the rising of the dough before making bread. It’s part of it.

Now, I enjoy the process – more. Sometimes, I still get frustrated. But what I am able to do is to trust the process much more now and not focus on the end result nearly as much. Let’s be honest, I’m still human.

My son is taking pitching lesson’s as he’s a baseball player and knowing him, he wants to throw faster than anyone his age. He is being taught to do a series of mechanical steps with his body before the ball even leaves his hand. Often times he wants to skip to the end, and as a result, either the ball isn’t a strike or it’s at a velocity he’s not happy with. And most of the time it’s because he is not executing each and every step. He’s rushing to the end. When he focuses on the mechanics of the pitch – breaking it down to touch upon each task which makes up his pitching motion without rushing – he throws a great pitch with high velocity. It’s like magic. But, then he gets anxious the next time because he wants to do it even harder. Then he hurries the motion and we’re back to throwing the ball in the dirt again.

This goes for anything. Sports related or not. Come up with a plan, solidify tasks that will take you in the direction you want to go and execute them. If you don’t like the results, make adjustments and repeat. Just like baseball. You can’t take it personally and if you strike out, go back to the dugout knowing you will get another “at-bat.” Refine your approach and do it again.

Most importantly, trust the process.

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