Wednesday, January 07, 2015

A monument to a rare burst of enthusiasm

Nothing beats the excitement at having discovered something worth doing. The existential joy of sinking your teeth into a meaningful pursuit is among life’s greatest feelings. 

And so, there's nothing wrong with being so jazzed about a new project that it hurts when you pee. However, if you allow yourself to get too carried away by your own excitement, it can actually do more harm than good. 

I remember reading a fascinating book about the changing face of the web. The author commented that the early internet landscape was littered with millions upon millions of amateurish and unattractive websites, because few people possessed the tools or discipline to keep their pages current. Each website, he said, ultimately became a monument to a rare burst of enthusiasm. 

Those seven words changed the way I manage projects forever. 

A monument to a rare burst of enthusiasm. 

I’ll never forget that passage. Because I’ve been there before. Numerous times. I’ve messed up things because I wanted them too much. I’ve blown the lid off big ideas by telling too many of the wrong people about them. I’ve forced projects to hatch before they were ready, resulting in lifeless, stillborn executions. 

Ugh. It’s a sinking, regretful feeling. 

And so, what I’ve been working on are the disciplines of turning my excitement into action. The restraint of not killing myself trying to resolve every open issue. The confidence of not needing to achieve the absurd goal of clearing my plate. And the wholeness of being okay with myself without my manic drive for glory. 

Perhaps peeing won’t be so painful anymore.

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* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter. 
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