An absolute gem from Ira Glass on the the challenges of starting out doing creative work.
All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.
A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit.
More people than ever (including myself) are branching out into creative projects, and sadly, most of us will fail.
Remember, creative people don't fail because they aren't any good, they fail because they quit before they figured out how to be.
In the age of internet addled attention spans I’m slightly reluctant to recommend a twenty minute video, but if you’re interested in the nature of the mind this talk by Rupert Spira really is worth a watch.
This comparison between an email on a screen and a thought in consciousness (at 14:22) particularly stood out:
…the email doesn’t actually come from somewhere, because the email is not a thing in itself. It is just a temporary colouring of what is already there.The screen doesn’t suddenly appear, the screen just takes a new colour, a new name and form. And when the email disappears, the stuff it is made of doesn’t disappear, all that happens is the the screen loses a certain colour, but the stuff the email is made of remains.
When a thought appears, no new substance, no new object, appears. The stuff that was already present, which is consciousness, just takes the shape of thought. The only stuff that is present in a thought is consciousness, or knowing…and then when the thought disappears, the knowing out of which it was made doesn’t go anywhere, it just ceases taking that name and form, and takes the next name and form, which is the next thought.
"What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly."
June 18, 2020 6:26 pm - Steve PetersAt this early stage (forthrig.ht is currently 3 days old), 5 of the 12 posts on this website, almost 50%, concern racism. There’s nothing wrong with this of course, except the fact that my intention wasn’t really to touch on racism at all. At least not here. Part of the reason for this is timing....read more...
June 17, 2020 7:10 pm - Steve PetersIf you’re feeling demotivated, my advice is to go sky-diving or bungee-jumping or whatever you need to do to remind yourself of your mortality, and then get back to work. I mean, what possible explanation could there be for your procrastination other than you’ve forgotten that you’re going to die? (Actually, there is one other...continue reading on Medium...
June 17, 2020 3:11 pm - Steve PetersIt’s difficult to imagine now, but there was a time when physical exercise seemed totally bizarre. It would have been completely unimaginable that someone would choose to spend an hour a day moving heavy weights or running in place or in circles. Formal exercise was unnecessary because life was so difficult that it made a...read more...
Imagine a list that there was zero pressure to tick items off of. In fact, the more items you added to it and didn't do, the better you'd feel! Welcome to the to-don't list.
To-do lists are the human equivalent of a hamster wheel. While they drive productivity and keep us on track, they just never seem to stop. Even as we cross items off, our lists just keep repopulating with more to-dos.
Here’s an idea, little hamster: Take a moment to think of a few things you could cross off your list — forever. Shed the responsibilities, habits and hobbies that use up your time in ways you don’t love. Call it your “to-don’t” list.
I've personally found this to be a great way of discovering and eliminating things that take up my time without giving anything in return. Highly recommended.
The previous post left such a bad taste in my mouth that I had to find something to balance the scales. Being reminded that people with different coloured skin and even starkly opposing views can still recognise each other's humanity feels especially good right now.
David Shor, a white political data analyst was accused of anti-blackness and fired, for tweeting research carried out by a black assistant professor at Princeton. The offending research simply noted that Democratic vote share decreases in counties surrounding violent protests.
If this doesn't scare you, it should. If this feels like progress, it isn't.