Everyday you should be pushing yourself to create better and better work. It’s a good sign if you happen to look back on the work you created last year or even last week and you don’t think it’s good. It shows that you’ve gotten better and your skills are improving. But why look back at all? Just to pat yourself on the back and say look at that, you’re way better now. Why waste your time looking back at all? Why not just keep pushing forward and know you’re getting better. The Minnesota hiphop collective Doomtree has a great line. “We don’t watch the reply ‘cause we too busy playin”. It’s such a prefect line, focus on what you’re doing now and when it’s done, move onto the next thing. Don’t worry about how it turned out or what people are saying about it in a year from now. Do you really care if someone in a year or two from now likes or dislikes what you created? Don’t be that high school football star remembering that one touchdown he made at the homecoming game. Live in the present and push yourself now because what you did before is just a small footnote in what you’re moving towards. Everyday look forward and push yourself to create great work and don’t waste your time worrying about what you created in the past.
There was a great quote from Ron Swanson on the latest episode of Parks and Recreation that really struck a cord with me. “Never half-ass two things, whole-ass one thing.” That was pretty much the precise reason I left Daily Planet Productions ltd. and went off on my own to build LooseKeys. I tried for almost a year to work my “day job” and build a business on the side. At some point I began to notice my work and quality slipping on both sides. I had to make the choice as to which one I wanted to “whole ass”. The choice for me was hard but pretty clear, I needed to go off on my own and build LooseKeys. If you’re not 100% behind what you’re doing then you’ll never know what it can be or become. Building slow and on the side seems great but at some point you have to make the choice. You just can’t do both and expect there not to be any mistakes, you’re kidding yourself. Make a choice and decide what your going to “whole-ass”.
How many great ideas have you talked yourself out of or even failed to start because you talked yourself out of it. I’ve lost count on how many projects and ideas I’ve abandoned. I bet right now you have something you’ve been thinking about doing. Whether it’s a new personal project, a blog post, changing careers, eating healthy or just waking up earlier. When that idea first hits you, you’re ready to commit 100% to it. But then you don’t start it right away, you write it down in a notebook or decide to think about it some more. As you’re thinking about it, all the reasons why you shouldn’t do it start to creep in. You can’t let that fear or self doubt allow you to throw in the towel. Nothing worth building or doing is going to be easy, if it were easy there would be no challenge and what’s the fun in that. The next time that great idea strikes you, just jump in. Go all the way in so there is no turning back. No guts, no glory right?