Looking at the big picture makes us want to produce the kind of content that makes everyone’s jaws drop to the ground in disbelief.
The big picture wants to touch hearts and pose for pictures with fans who love our work. Well, at least that’s what I’ve often envisioned.
I don’t think it’s evil to want this, like some ulterior motive or something.
It’s just that deep down there’s a genuine desire to make a difference with what flows out of you — to inspire those who feel the least capable of creating anything.
But how do you do this without getting burned out at some point?
How do you keep the fire burning when there isn’t much wood left?
You have to be willing to show up; looking beyond the big picture.
There’s No Reward Without Sweat
It’s with this in mind that I do what I do. And it’s this mentality I hope to spread to others out there. They need to know that the potential they have is useless without making a conscious effort to express it.
You cannot expect a reward for an action you didn’t work hard to obtain.
In many ways, we’ve become spoiled. We want to gain all the benefits of putting in the work without actually putting in the work. That doesn’t even make sense. But despite the inconsistencies, we want what we want anyway.
This is a culture that feeds us artificially-flavored aspects of what success is defined as, and we’ve chewed our teeth rotten.
Sure, the candy is sweet. But it’s nowhere close to being healthy for us. What we need is a consistent diet of fruits, vegetables, and other important nutrients that don’t necessarily taste good but provide what we really need.
I know I’m getting close to sounding like a dietician. But this is not only true about what we eat. It’s also true of how we treat our concepts of consistent progress.
I’d love to do one thing for one day and live the rest of my life benefitting from that one day of work. But that’s not the way it works. You have to show up consistently if you want growth.
Working Despite the “Feels”
There have been way too many days where I didn’t feel like doing anything. Just looking at my laptop made me yawn. There was nothing better in those moments than plopping on a couch and binging-watching on Netflix.
Some days that’s exactly what I did. In the end, though, I felt as though a part of me was missing. There was this incompleteness to my days when this happened. So I decided to do something different.
I decided to show up, even when I didn’t feel like it. Just the simple act on planting myself in front of my laptop triggered a few things in me.
Every time I’d do this, it was like turning on the faucet and letting the water flow. It wasn’t perfect, and we shouldn’t expect it to be. Perfectionism ruins many creative minds in the long run.
Perfection should never be the goal. Placing the ideas that sit within you in front of your eyes should be, consistently.
Your priority should be the simple act of showing up. It may sound novel, but it is a game-changer.
What’s Your Big Picture?
Asking myself this question allowed me to set my pursuits in order. It gave me a sense of urgency that requires both rest and hard work, combining the two into a dynamic duo I’ve come to appreciate.
Sadly, most people look at rest through the lenses of laziness. To begin with, these individuals aren’t willing to work hard, so they opt instead to sit back and wait for something magical to happen. Then, they call this “rest.”
I don’t laugh at them. I laugh because this is exactly what I did. And nothing changed. Nothing improved. It was just a downward spiral over and over again.
On the other end of the spectrum, though, you have those who work until their fingers fall off, their eyes turn into the Spongebob-equivalent of nights with no sleep, and their brains cease to function properly.
The truth is, most of us fit in either one of these categories. We may not know what we’re doing in these exact moments. But it damages our creativity and our ability to unleash the ideas that bubble up inside us.
You deserve to treat yourself better than that.
The big picture requires both. Rest and consistency. Not letting one overtake the other. Instead, letting each encourage the other.
Don’t let fame poison your drive to work on what you love, pulling you away from resting your brain or keeping you stagnant. Make sure it’s founded on the principle of showing up, and often.