The Creative Process: Be Smart About It

It is a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you’re ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.
— Hugh Laurie

For a number of years I was trying to lose the few extra pounds I had put on in college, to no avail. I ended up thinking that the reason why it didn’t work was that I didn’t have the willpower required. And therefore, that it was hopeless. My days of feeling great in my body and athletic were over. It was just too much work for so little results. I didn’t have time, resources or motivation for that. 

One day, a friend started coaching me and told me about a line of health products that was helping a lot of people lose weight. I was suspicious but decided to try it, what did I have to lose? (pun intended). And to my surprise, I lost 15lbs quickly and pretty much effortlessly, and didn’t gain it back. If it wasn't for my friend, I would still think to this day "I can't do it. It's too hard."

 Now that is cool, and what is even better is that it taught me a valuable lesson: my failure was not because I was flawed and lazy! It was because I didn’t research and learn enough to give myself the proper tools for success

In my previous blog post The Ten Percent Advantage, I was talking about how we can achieve a big things by going small, consistently. That we don’t need to devote 3 hours a day to a project to be able to create something great. 

I believe this to be true, but there is an important condition to this success: we’ve got to be smart about it. 

That means that we must take the time to reflect, learn, plan, in short put all the chances on our side. If we need to chop 20 acres of wood before winter, we don’t just grab an axe and chop away until we drop. We go buy a chainsaw. That’s an example of how we can think smarter. If we want to play an instrument, we can hire a great teacher for a few lessons and learn the basics properly. If we want to start a jewelry business, we might want to make a few test pieces and see what works before buying a whole lot of expensive gems. If we want to learn a new technique, a trip to the bookstore to find help figuring it out might save hours of trial and errors. 

It is true that change comes from massive action. But it has to be conscious, organized, well-thought out action. It’s not about working harder or longer, it’s about working smarter. And having more fun. Giving ourselves the tools to succeed and reevaluate our strategy every time we hit a ceiling. 

So here it is, a recipe for success:

Dream big and take small steps. Leverage the power of the ten percent advantage. Keep learning. Be consistent... and have fun!

Because you just can’t die with your music still in you.