“As technology continues to increase our possibilities, what we’re seeing is a shrinking of the lag time between what we dream about and what we create.”
– Jason Silva
Don’t you find it amazing that you could have an idea pop into your head and 5 minutes later have it posted for all the world to see?
If it shows up in front of the right eyeballs then it could end up going viral and you’d get a disproportionate amount of attention on your content and that could completely change the trajectory of your life.
Well, something like 99,9999999% of the time that doesn’t end up happening. But for the few when it does it’s a tremendous platform to build on.
For most of us that’s the story we’re being told. There’s less focus on the day to day work and a lot more on those few moments of glory.
We get it, right? It’s way sexier than hearing about the actual work behind it. We want it to be one those inspired acts of genius.
Hip-hop is an instant gratification, winners and losers circle, and often those who are losing give up after three or four, five years.
And there are the magic words: “instant gratification”.
We hear people complaining about the younger generations taking things for granted and an “I want it now”–culture.
To be honest, I fell into that “I want it now” category until a few years ago. If I didn’t see results after 1–2 years I just flat out quit.
I realized that I needed to commit to a longer perspective. When I thought back I noticed that things actually started happening right after I gave up on them.
For example, a month or two after one of my bands broke up we started getting serious offers. What if we’d just given it just 6 months more? Instead we were like: “Fuck this, it’s been 2 years. Nothing’s happening. Let’s call it quits.”
You could also view it as us not believing in it enough to warrant going on, so it was probably for the better.
I think the reason we get sold on this is because the potential for that to happen is there. At the same time it’s really hard to sustain, unless we’ve built up a solid foundation to continue building on.
Often we hear this from celebrities like stage actors, stand up comedians and musicians. The rush of being the center of attention and also having the immediate feedback from your audience.
What we don’t get to see or hear about is the amount of hard work and performing, deliberate practice and play that’s gone into it before that moment on the stage.
Let’s just define what I mean by that.
Work & Performing — The act itself, whether it’s being on stage, a marathon, writing, a match, having an exhibition, creating or what have you.
Deliberate practice — Honing specific skills like pacing, working out, technique, synonyms, color theory etc.
Play — This is a less structured form of practice. Look for example at animals play fight or kids spilling water in their food. They’re playing and at the same time learning some valuable skills. No matter how annoying they might seem to their parents.
Recently I’ve been given several wonderful opportunities. Most people would think that it’s purely the results of my latest work being the “best”.
While this is semi–true it’s not definitely true. Some of the work I did really early on was in fact more inspired and insightful. I do think I’ve become better at the craft. This doesn’t just concern writing but also the way I help people unlock their creativity.
The reason I’ve been handed these things is because I’ve put in the time and effort. I’m not just reaping the rewards for my latest work but for the work I put in 15 years ago.
It all builds on the foundations I laid way back when. This is the unsexy part we don’t get to hear about as often.
The game of life is lagging.
The results you’re getting today are based on what you did 1 month, 6 months and 15 years ago.
While we’re figuring stuff out it’s OK not to know whether or not you’ll be doing what you’re doing 25 years from now. The world is evolving. We’re not supposed to know.
There are always ways to leverage your experiences and strengths. You just need to see how they map over the current state of the world.
All you need to do is to make sure you’re playing the long game of life and be patient enough to see the results.
Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!