Saturday, April 25, 2015

The capacity for delayed gratification

Seinfeld once said that comedy takes a lot of talent, but an equal measure of temperament. 

It’s a fascinating insight that can be applied to many career paths. Because somebody might have the talent to do great work, but the real question is, do they have the discipline to continue working without seeing any results? 

That’s the line of demarcation between professionals and amateurs. The capacity for delayed gratification. Ask anyone who’s spent a few years trying to make a living by their wits, that path will cause them to tap reservoirs of strength and patience they didn’t even know they had. 

Having played music for more than twenty years, I was forced to develop my patience muscle early and often. But although it drove me up the wall as a kid, little did I know, that spirit of incrementalism would come in handy as an adult. 

Because now my job is create art on a daily basis, never knowing if I will get recognized for it or not, much less paid for it. 

And I’m perfectly at peace with that. I’ve trained myself to be okay winking in the dark, singing to the wall and writing into the ether, never convinced that the world is blind to my talents. It’s all part of the temperament that comes with the creative territory. 

And it’s not a prerequisite, but it certainly makes the slog more tolerable. 

Are you seeking long term fulfillment or short term gratification?

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

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