Don’t lower your expectations to meet your performance. Raise your level of performance to meet your expectations.
– Ralph Marston
Today I failed.
For all the preaching I do about the value of authentic interaction with people and looking at the individual’s needs when it comes to creativity, I sometimes fall short.
I was answering some questions today and I noticed several of them had the same thing at their core: “How do I become more creative?”
Here’s where I go in and give all the excuses to why I proceeded to do something really stupid. Be patient. I need to do this to justify my actions and convince myself that I’m not a complete asshole.
Earlier I’d been talking to a producer about how something like half of the world’s population has some kind of trauma related to creativity. This got me thinking about the fact that there are 3,5 billion people out there not living up to their creative potential. Now, that’s scary as hell.
I proceeded to check out the highlighted questions of the day and like I said earlier saw that several of them had the same basic theme.
Well, my reasoning went something like this:
“Hey, if I write one general answer to those general questions I can save some time and help more people with other questions.”
And that’s where I done did fuq up.
Something like half an hour later I get a message from a guy who called me out on it. He’d noticed that I just copypasted the crap out of those answers.
I’d like to think that they would got some value from those answers and that they’d go out and create something awesome.
The cool thing was that he wasn’t a dick about it. He just basically called me out and said that maybe I’d like to amend those answers and be more specific to those people.
He was absolutely right. They deserve better. Regardless if their questions were basically the same I should’ve been more curious and given better and personalized answers.
It’s ironic how I recently talked about social automation and then went and out and did it myself.
The point is this. I got scared. Somewhere I realized that I’m not even making a dent in the 3,5 billion people out there who are being held back by their surroundings or themselves.
I want so desperately to be the guy I wish I’d had around me growing up. The one person besides my parents to tell me that it’s OK to be myself and express it through any kind of art (technology, business etc included!).
So, I went for the shortcut. The easy way. And I failed. Not only because I got caught but because I wasn’t honestly being the person that I want to be.
Honestly, how would I have reacted if I got that support and information only to find out that the person had sent the same reply to others? Screw that guy!
I logged back on and wrote each and every one of them exactly what I’d done. I still maintained that the principles are solid and that I didn’t give their individual questions the attention they deserved.
Good guy, right?
Well, that’s what I should’ve done from the beginning but I fell short.
The point is this, do better than I did. There is no reason to let statistics or some other nonsense disturb your interaction with the person in front of you.
This goes regardless of whether they’re sitting right across the table, sitting behind a screen or over the phone on the other side of the world.
“To have the courage of helping the few instead of worrying about the many.”
When was the last time you fell short of your ideals? What did you learn about yourself?
Let me know in the comments and hit me up on Twitter.
Have an awesomely ₢eative day!