Doing your best is not easy. It’s no way around.
Sometimes, coming up with a good idea is like pushing a giant boulder uphill.
It. Just won’t. Move.
If we are real, creation can sometimes be absolutely painful.
But the pain of doing your best, like a little shot of inspiration, does nothing.
Ah, the sweet nectar of inspiration, let me sip!
I think the world is addicted to inspiration. Check it out on Instagram. Watch on YouTube.
Most of the components of this platform are of a palliative nature. It makes us feel good about what we are doing. Even if we are not doing much.
It feels good to be inspired — even if you do nothing or take action on that feeling.
(Before you say anything about it My Instagram account – Yes, I post inspirational quotes. I’m not saying this kind of content is inherently bad. When used as a tool to work in short blasts, inspiration can be an extremely powerful resource. I just think we often mistake the tool for work.)
Probably the best thing about inspiration is the deep attention and sense of clarity that you feel when you make your reasons for doing something external and blame your work on some source as well as your own mind.
Then you can tell yourself, “I saw this video on YouTube and it really inspired me …”
Or, if you have trouble doing things, you can say …
“I do not know what happened to me. I don’t feel inspired today. “
Both of these statements sound like inspiration as if it were something outside of you … something that creeps on you, unexpectedly, somehow grabs you and fines you.
What’s worse is that because you feel like inspiration just “happens”, you actually sit there and wait for it.
Then, you take it one step further: you rely on it to do something.
You may have thought to yourself, “Yeah, I can start with the idea I was thinking about … but I’m not inspired right now.”
And wonder, wonder: nothing is ever done.
Because inspiration is fleeting. It is a temporary feeling, not a permanent condition.
(Jig Ziggler once said that inspiration is like a bath – useful, but needed every day. Ha!)
Here’s the deal.
You can’t wait for inspiration. If you do, it’s not going to come. If it does, it will be a welcome surprise. But it’s not going to help you.
I mean, let’s think about it logically for a second: what’s the point of doing your best when you like it?
It’s like saying, “I only want to go to the gym when I feel good.”
Of course you want to go to the gym when you feel good. You feel good, so what you think seems like a good idea !!
But what about the days that don’t feel good? Don’t you feel inspired or inspired? What will happen then?
Undoubtedly, the days of exhaustion, self-doubt and creative recession will surpass the days where you feel like the modern day Michelangelo.
Should you rest in a quiet corner until a picture of a lion on Instagram changes and a fire burns inside you?
You can’t let your feelings dictate your behavior. Feelings are changeable and transient: they come and go.
Guess what: Your work is only counted on days where you do not want to do it. It only counts when you want to do something Other.
Your craft call is not negotiable.
When asked how many “rips” he did on a particular exercise, Muhammad Ali famously said, “I don’t know. I only start counting when it starts to burn.”
Not that inspiration. That’s the trick. This is the struggle and the urge.
The cold reality is that, sometimes, it’s a real struggle to get your best work done in the world.
This is why so many of us admire great creators, artists and thinkers but we can rarely ever be one.
If you wait to be inspired to do your best, you will wait a long time.
Inspiration is not coming to get you. But you can find out.
Solution: Get started now.
Do this on sunny days and on rainy days. Stop giving yourself a “pass” without opening your gifts on the table. Stop making excuses not to make yourself.
The funny thing is, when you push yourself to an uncomfortable level (like all students have to master) you find that the struggle actually leads to more inspiration – even though there was no one to start with.
It is a response system.
If you are not inspired, then do great work.
You do great work, then get inspired.