1 – Show up. Many work sessions will feel unproductive which can feel frustrating, but the best creatives sit down to work even when they don't feel like it. Consistency rewards creativity.
2 – Generate a ton of ideas. Your best ideas rarely come early. So when you think you've got it, keep going.
3 – Refine the good ones. If you find yourself over-explaining, it's likely too difficult to digest. The best ideas are simple and easy to understand.
4 – Share the best ones. The potential for criticism forces you to pay attention to the details, and naturally encourages you to improve.
We must never forget the joy of doing something slow and something difficult, the satisfaction of not doing what is easiest. The constellation of inconvenient choices may be all that stands between us and a life of total, efficient conformity.
The biggest fear most of us have with learning to say no is that we will miss an opportunity. An opportunity that would have catapulted us to success, or that will never come again. And most of the time, that simply isn’t true.
I’ve found that the first part of learning to say no is learning to accept that offers and opportunities are merely an indication that you’re on the right path—not that you’ve arrived at a final destination you can never find again.
If someone is choosing you, it means you’re doing something right. And that is the biggest opportunity you can receive—the chance to recognize that your hard work is paying off. And if you continue to do good work, those opportunities will continue—and improve—over time.
Put a bag of cookies in the break room and it might sit for days.
Open the bag and leave it out, and within an hour, all the cookies will be gone.
We are happy to take a tiny slice off the thing that’s being shared, but we hesitate to open the bag.
The same is true with all of the initiatives in our culture. Design, movements and ideas are all trapped, waiting to be opened, and then the rest of us will happily pile on.
Open the bag.
Here’s what I know: if someone’s much better than you at something, they probably try much harder. You probably underestimate how much harder they try. I’m not saying that talent isn’t a meaningful differentiator, because it certainly is, but I think people generally underestimate how effort needs to be poured into talent in order to develop it.