Saturday, 28 March 2015

You Must Try It So You Know You Can Do It ; Sucking is the first step to being good at something, Outdoing yourself & Creativity myths

Do you always know what you're doing? Neither do I. In fact, there are times when I look back and think 'how on earth did I manage to do that?'. There are also those other times when I think the same, but for slightly different reasons. In effect, it's when I'm not so good at something.

I passed my driving test on the first attempt, which was an achievement and a half amongst my family and  some of my peers. Everything else on the other hand, was something that was (and is) worked upon. It's either 'in situ', so all the work is done live, including the editing, so there's no noticeable break in the process.Or it's a case of starting, letting it sit for a while and then coming back to it later to finish it off.

During all this, there are periods when it just doesn't gel together, and you learn to either get past that or junk the work. Yet being crap at something, is also a work in progress :-

Sucking is the First Step to Being Sorta Good at Something

Alexis Ohanian is the guy who is responsible for Reddit, and also Breadpig. To his credit, he has made it clear here that the '99% perspiration & 1% inspiration' equation isn't just a myth. Furthermore, admitting to being crap at something takes real courage in this hyperconnected age . Especially as we're all now geared to promoting ourselves and our skillset using all the social media tools available, all the time; everyone can now see and hear about your failiure much faster.

But courage is everything when starting something new. Wether it's a job, a new business, even a new relationship, getting out of your comfort zone is part of the process. I'm not sure that this ethos carries over too well as you get older and become encumbered with more responsibilities. Especially when it comes to relationships, which can be taking the venture mindset a bit too far; you're dealing with emotional ties and connections, which aren't something you can just suddenly walk away from without repercussions. Still, the essence of bravery and courage cannot be dismissed when it comes to doing something new and even standing out from the crowd.

In effect, you have to be willing to honour and yield to a level of  productive restlessness to move forward in life. I can imagine that even a lottery winner has that sense of slight discomfort when they collect the winnings, and then have to decide what to do with the money.

It sounds odd, but consider how your life would change if you won a massive amount of money overnight, which you'd never been accustomed to. The internet is filled with examples of large cash prize winners and how their lives have unfolded ( or unfurled) in the years that followed, and it requires a similar skillset and mindset to manage such an event.

Making yourself uncomfortable, can allow you to excel in something. In effect, it allows you the breathing space to push harder :-

Make Yourself Uncomfortable: The Joy of Always Outdoing Yourself

Bradley's career graph is exceptional. Going from flash animation to Tron's complex works has been quite a journey and an achievement. But he took exceptional risks and allowed himself to feel out of his depth. He also allowed himself to fail AND to keep doing his own 'personal stuff' as well. I understand the latter rationale completely.

See, even if what you do is something you love, when it starts to feel like work you need some sort of safety valve to decompress with. So the irony is that you can end up doing a 'for the love of it' concept on the side which is the same type of work as what you do for a living. The beauty there, is that it can be subject to what I call the 3R'S; repurpose, recycle and repeat.

In effect, you can take things from one concept and re-engineer them for something else. Getting those ideas down onto a recallable medium is the most important factor. Then you can always edit and re-jig later.

We all have our own ideas, concepts and even belief systems about how creativity works. There are a lot of myths about the process that many of us have heard and may even hold dearly :-

5 Creativity Myths You Probably Believe

I agree with all of them. Brainstorming in particular, reminds me of many a funny scenario, both intentional and unintentional.When people with a wide variety of experiences and work backgrounds come together to formulate something new, the results can be both devastating and illuminating. It takes a robust sense of self to not take things too personally when strong opinions, ideas and then emotions are bandied about like semi-compatible currencies, in order to create something different.

As the article suggests, letting people work on their ideas and concepts to a level of personal satsifaction in terms of completeness before they come in to the fray for a 'yay or nay' session, helps get past a large part of the process. Because that is the potentially difficult part; getting a bunch of individual personalities with strong levels of self to collaborate, can be a hit and miss affair. Especially where robust egos and heightened emotions can result in all sorts of wheel-spinning jollies and mirth-inducing ( sometimes in hindsight) debates and arguements.

All art is created by external influences. And I mean art in the broader sense, which encompasses everything to do with creating something out of nothing. Wether it's a song, a poem, a painting or even a new business, you're influenced by your history and your present connections, both on a conscious and subconscious level.

Ultimately we are also works of art in ourselves. Remembering to metaphorically refresh and renew our inner brushes, as well as keeping our palettes spacious enough for newer (as well as fresher takes on the familar) paint colourways, is part of our process.

Whatever we do is all a part of our life's craftsmanship and it's a piece of work that carries on both with us, and without us. In the end, it becomes our legacy and takes on another life of it's own, to be shared and cherished with others.

Think about that for a moment, when you're feeling unsure wether you can take the next step in your journey. It makes the difference between leaving behind a mess, or a picturesque mosaic.

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