Friday, January 30, 2015

Surround yourself with evidence of your achievements

Perfection is overrated and impossible. 

All that counts it that you make progress in your work. That you move the story forward if only an inch. After all, slow, steady progress can erode almost any challenge over time. 

And so, celebration is so essential. It’s a ritual that amplifies your sense of progress. It’s a reminder that you’re in alignment with your vision. That’s why it’s vital to find daily occasions to enjoy and your attainment of milestones. Especially on longer projects, where it’s easy to lose a sense of momentum as the days and months pass. You have punch yourself in the face with visual reminders of your advancement. 

Something I learned over my year long documentary project was, don’t just enjoy your progress, memorialize it. Take pictures and make posters and do victory dances around the studio and hang artifacts on the refrigerator. No matter how dopey it feels. These celebration rituals are emotionally invigorating and always a worthwhile investment of your time. 

The secret, though, is making sure you don’t get too carried away by your own enthusiasm. Because for every effort you make to celebrate your progress, you also have to protect it. You have to guard yourself against the things that can diminish your sense of progress. 

Imagine the classical composer who, feeling energized by her new idea for a concept album, decides to share that vision with a few family members over the holidays. But she picks the wrong people. Overwhelmed with excitement, she accidentally gushes to a few disapproving relatives who do nothing but belittle her ambitions. And before she knows it, her sense of progress is completely derailed. Bummer. 

It's a balance. You must take measures to both amplify and protect your progress.

What's your system for surrounding yourself with evidence of achievement?

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

Never the same speech twice. Customized for your audience. Impossible to walk away uninspired.

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