Arrival Is Not the Point (True Creatives Never Arrive)


arrival is not the point

In the early stages of any endeavor, we look forward to arrival. We set out with a goal in mind, and that is what keeps us moving forward. We long for the day when we come into our own and it feels like things are much less difficult.

I quit my job and started this blog with the intention of affecting change in the world. I want to help you bring more of who you are to what you do. It is meaningful work for me for many reasons, but it is also hard work. I started building this blog one post at a time, and this community one person at a time. Though I have big intentions for this work and for what this movement can be, it takes a long time to build.

As I feel the tension between where I am and where I want to be, I can easily idealize that future moment when everything will be in its right place (which is also a fantastic song). The problem then is that feeling “arrived” becomes the point, and we forget about the process.

Arrival is not the point.

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How Will You Spend Your Willpower?

- - Creativity, Persistence, Work

Studies show that willpower is like a muscle— you can build it by exercise, and it gets tired when you use it too much.

The book, The Power of Habit, has a lot of great material around this idea — particularly chapter 5. People who come home after a draining day that has tested their willpower in big ways are much more likely to watch more TV, eat poorly, and not exercise. To choose to do something better or healthier takes more willpower than they have left to spend.

So what does this mean to you?

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Your Passion is Worth The Pain

- - Courage, Desire, Work

suffering for your passion

Passion is about desiring something so much that you’re willing to suffer for it. Nothing is only good, fun, and easy all the time. To pursue a passion means that you are willing to endure and suffer to bring about that meaning in the world (see last week’s introduction to suffering for you passion for more).

I want to get more specific about the way we think about passion. Passion is energy and desire. Energy and desire comes from meaning. Meaning comes from your experiences and story.

If passion is about desiring an impact, then do whatever you can to give as much of yourself and your time to making that impact.

Most people will spend a majority of their lifetime working. 8 hours a day. 5 days a week. 48-52 weeks a year. 30+ years of their life. That’s more time spent working than doing any other singular activity outside of sleeping. Listen to this:

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Suffering For Your Passion

- - Courage, Desire, Work

Our culture loves to talk about passion. It’s a hot word. “Find your passion.” “Follow your passion.” Etc. etc. etc.

I’m as guilty as the next person of using and misusing that word. Passion is about what moves you. Passion is about what makes you come alive. In short, passion matters.

What we don’t realize about passion is that it’s not just a feel good fun word to throw around (like it’s cousin “yolo”). Passion costs you something.

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Focus — the art of exclusion

- - Purpose, Work

It’s been said that focus is the art of exclusion. I’ve found this to be tremendously helpful in my life and work. So often I have tried to find focus amidst a bunch of things I have going on, and it has felt nearly impossible. The problem was that I wasn’t able (or maybe ready) to choose one thing over all the others. I was trying to choose one direction, while still maintaining all the other options (that mental picture alone is exhausting).

Focus, on the other hand, and the exclusion that it requires can be very freeing and liberating.

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