I was just listening to Ira Glass discuss creativity and making stuff in this gem of a video.
The first couple years you’re making stuff, what you’re making isn’t that great. It’s trying to be good — it has ambition to be good… But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. Your taste is good enough that you can tell that what you’re making is a disappointment to you… A lot of people never get past that phase. A lot of people at that point — they quit. And the thing I would say to you, with all of my heart, is that most everybody I know who does interesting, creative work, they went through years of this. They knew what they were making fell short. Everybody goes through that. You gotta know it’s normal.
He goes on to talk about the most important thing you can do.
- A large volume of work – whatever that work is – writing, taking pictures, videos, whatever it is.
- Set yourself a deadline.
Since I’ve started my new job (which is actually not even remotely new, anymore, as I approach my year Anniversary), I’ve fallen off of doing many of the small things I used to do that helped me maintain a happy balance in life, helped me achieve great things, and also helped me hold myself accountable to what I said I was going to do. Like learn how to play the ukulele, and take a Toastmaster’s Class.
In August, I wrote down my goals and at the end of August I had definitely not completed them. I looked at the list and it did not motivate me, it disappointed me that I didn’t accomplish the tasks. Now September is over and I still haven’t done them. It’s ridiculous how long it takes me to write and publish a simple blog post, even though literally only five people read it. Why?
Human nature, and my DNA, I believe, is that I want it to be perfect before I “put it out there” – regardless of how many people see it – 5 or 5,000. I need to take Seth Godin’s advice and stop polishing perfect.
In light of some recent tragic events, I got to thinking about how I’m living, and I realized that even though it APPEARS like I’m doing amazing things, I’m falling short of self-promises.
After some reflection and what feels like a quarter-life crisis (because obviously I’ll live to be 120), I took a last minute trip up the coast last night, stopping in Huntington and heading to Los Angeles this morning. Today, I met up with the Live Your Legend (LYL) Local Los Angeles group at a cafe in Santa Monica. I re-recognized how important it is to be around people who believe what I believe. How invigorating that is.
Tonight, I’ll be going to The Shine Movement at Wanderlust in Hollywood and re-connecting with a friend and amazing human being who, ironically, I originally met at the LYL meetup at the World Domination Summit last year. Funny how Scott’s community continues to bring people together. (You can, and should, read more about Scott’s legacy here)
Life is pretty short. What I’ve been asking myself the past two weeks over and over again:
Is the legacy you’re creating the one you want to leave?
The past two weeks lit a fire in me to remember what’s important to me. Create Your Legacy. The Lifeguard Tower Project. Photography. Being around inspiring humans. Taking massive action. Living my legend.
I also realize that no matter how inspired I am, or who I am surrounding myself with, I can’t make progress without taking steps. A lot of them.
That being said, it’s time to get back to this. To write stuff. Take more pictures. Stop worrying about doing things perfectly and just do them.
You’ll be seeing more from me now.
Here’s to taking massive action.
Here’s to Creating Your Legacy.
For more information and inspiration, check out some of the blog posts I’ve been reading and videos I’ve been watching:
Video: Start with Why – How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek, TEDxPugetSound
Video: Ira Glass – Talks at Google
Blog post: The 4 Phases of Developing Your Creative Voice by 99u
Blog post by my friend Kristen (with tons of links to speakers from WDS2015 and notes on her experience and takeaways): Sincerely, WDS
What I’m doing to Create My Legacy this weekend: making memories with old friends and new in Los Angeles.
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