And now we move on to Seth Godin. While I believe this guy is brilliant, I'm more influenced by his insight. As an individual who is beginning a blog, creating voice, developing acuity, I feel his perspective is invaluable. I'll be posting more of his stuff, but this is a great introduction... for both of us!
The paradox of the flawless record.
If your work has never been criticized, it's unlikely you have any work.
Creating work is the point, though, which means that in order to do something that matters, you're going to be criticized.
If your goal is to be universally liked and respected and understood, then, it must mean your goal is to not do something that matters.
Which requires hiding.
Hiding, of course, isn't the point.
Hence the paradox. You don't want to be criticized and you do want to matter.
The solution: Create work that gets criticized. AND, have the discernment to tell the difference between useful criticism (rare and precious) and the stuff worth ignoring (everything else).
I have a few gurus I follow when it comes to my personal philosophy on creativity, ingenuity, personal accountability, professional ethics, emotional intelligence... which as a body, for me, define leadership. I'll be discussing (and quoting) many of those folks in this blog, and I want to start with this guy, Dan Waldschmidt. I'm eager to read his book, Edgy Conversations.
This particular post from 2014 offers wisdom many people spend years cultivating. What I love so much about it is the underlying strategy of facing your fears on a daily basis, and winning that constant battle by a conviction in your own self worth. Here you go:
You have to do the hard things.
You have to make the call you’re afraid to make.
You have to get up earlier than you want to get up.
You have to give more than you get in return right away.
You have to care more about others than they care about you.
You have to fight when you are already injured, bloody, and sore.
You have to feel unsure and insecure when playing it safe seems smarter.
You have to lead when no one else is following you yet.
You have to invest in yourself even though no one else is.
You have to look like a fool while you’re looking for answers you don’t have.
You have to grind out the details when it’s easier to shrug them off.
You have to deliver results when making excuses is an option.
You have to search for your own explanations even when you’re told to accept the “facts”.
You have to make mistakes and look like an idiot.
You have to try and fail and try again.
You have to run faster even though you’re out of breath.
You have to be kind to people who have been cruel to you.
You have to meet deadlines that are unreasonable and deliver results that are unparalleled.
You have to be accountable for your actions even when things go wrong.
You have to keep moving towards where you want to be no matter what’s in front of you.
You have to do the hard things.
The things that no one else is doing. The things that scare you. The things that make you wonder how much longer you can hold on.
Those are the things that define you. Those are the things that make the difference between living a life of mediocrity or outrageous success.
The hard things are the easiest things to avoid. To excuse away. To pretend like they don't apply to you.
The simple truth about how ordinary people accomplish outrageous feats of success is that they do the hard things that smarter, wealthier, more qualified people don’t have the courage — or desperation — to do.
Do the hard things. You might be surprised at how amazing you really are.