If we wait for the perfect conditions nothing will ever get done.
But what if perfect conditions arise – does that mean things get done?
As humans beings we have an inbuilt desire for progress. We constantly seek ways to better our experiences and as a result we make comparisons and judgements all the time.
Sometimes the comparisons we make are more obvious than others. For instance at a restaurant we might compare different flavours, nutritional values or how much a dish will fill us up in order to make a decision.
But we actually make these little considerations all the time. We judge the best place to stand on a platform waiting for a train, how much of our attention to give an advertisement or which section of our teeth to brush first.
This constant striving for the best result has become such a habit when we’re taking in information that we have a tendency to perceive future judgements on our own output.
This means that rather than allowing a flow of creativity we stop and review our work often and prematurely. This can potentially stunt the flow of creativity which can lead to a project coming to a full halt.
Did Shakespeare agonise over the way every single word he wrote would be interpreted? Maybe he did, but he produced 37 plays and 154 sonnets (and possible more) so he must have loosened up at some point or another.
What about Einstein? If he’d been too busy worrying what others had thought or comparing his last breakthrough to his next one would he have been able to momentarily abandon everything known to determine theories which are still vital to modern physics? He still found time to travel the world and get married twice so it can’t have been all he worried about.
Of course it’s easier said than done, but commit to throw away your initial judgement and you never know what you’ll end up creating or how it will inspire others.
And just in case you do find yourself a bit stuck, here are a handful of things that might help:
Author Elizabeth Gilbert on how we get in our own way and ‘having’ a genius instead of ‘being’ a genius. A sigh of relief.
Thinking on: Edison. It took him over 1000 attempts to create the lightbulb but he didn’t stop there. He was responsible for over 1000 inventions (1093 to be precise). If we count everything we do as a step towards greatness, even in the face of ‘failure’ then we are ever closer. Just get it out there.
Remember: We can’t please everyone! The leftover chocolates at the bottom of a quality street tin at Christmas time vary from household to household for a reason- our tastes and opinions differ – just because I don’t like the fudge ones doesn’t mean they should stop making them. Create your work without apology and it will resonate with the right people
Set time aside: Set an alarm for ten minutes time to review your work. Up until then your objective is simply to create. When you find yourself going to review a sentence or investigate logistics, relax knowing there is time for this later and continue, gradually increasing to twenty minutes, then thirty minutes of non-judging time.
Delegate. Clarify your objectives and intentions and ask someone to have a look over and make suggestions, leaving you free to crack on.