Life is about shortening the gap between where we are and where we’d like to be.
In all aspects.
Think about it. You want to get healthier or lose weight. You want to have a more committed spiritual practice. You want to be more creative and book more creative work.
The only way you’re going to get there is to keep going. There’s no other solution. No quick fix. No short cut. And that’s how you shorten the gap.
And it takes time.
NPR’s Ira Glass talks about shortening the gap in the creative process between your creative desires and your output of work. He says that when we first begin to create, we do so because we have “great taste.” But as we start creating, our work is bad. It doesn’t fulfill the picture we have in our minds of what we want to be doing. He says there’s only one way to get to where we want to go in our creative lives.
Most people stop during this phase because what they’re creating doesn’t match their vision. But by continuing to do the work, you eventually start to create better and better work. Work you’re excited about. Work that means something. Work you can be proud of.
I think the biggest gap we need to shorten is the gap we create by judging our creative selves. We have such unkind things to say to ourselves, that we shut down creativity before it’s had a chance to take root and flower. And so again, we stop.
The judgments force stoppage.
The only way you’re going to get past the loudness of the noise in your head is by doing. Constantly. And eventually, the outpouring of work exceeds the things you say about yourself. That’s the tipping point. And you’ve then shortened the gap and gotten to the other side.
Every time you judge yourself this week, what if you took the energy and time you wasted on those negative beliefs and put them toward creating something that means something to you instead?
This is how you shorten the gap.
“Life is diving off the diving board without knowing if there is any water in the pool.” — Richard Holbrooke