Time Management Tip for Enthusiastic, Idealistic Creative People: Schedule even the simplest task for twice the amount of time you think it will take.
Beauty, therefore, belongs to the transcendental and metaphysical order. This is why it tends of itself to draw the soul beyond the created. Speaking of the instinct for beauty, Baudelaire, the poète maudit to whom modern art owes its renewed awareness of the theological quality and tyrannical spirituality of beauty, writes:
". . . it is this immortal instinct for the beautiful which makes us consider the earth and its various spectacles as a sketch of, as a correspondence with, Heaven. . . . It is at once through poetry and across poetry, through and across music, that the soul glimpses the splendors situated beyond the grave; and when an exquisite poem brings tears to the eyes, these tears are not proof of an excess of joy, they are rather the testimony of an irritated melancholy, a demand of the nerves, of a nature exiled in the imperfect and desiring to take possession immediately, even on this earth, of a revealed paradise."
- Jacques Maritain quoting Baudelaire in Art and Scholasticism.
Great art therefore points to something beyond itself. It begins as a vague instinct in the artist and ends up on the page, canvas, marble, tape as a necessarily flawed attempt to express this idea. Each of us is hard wired to marvel at the mystery of our existence, and the degree to which art evolves this capacity for wonder within the artist and her audience - that is the degree to which we can deem the work beautiful.
Repeat after me:
I am what I repeatedly do.
I am what I repeatedly do.
I am what I repeatedly do.
Listen to Aristotle:
Excellence is not an act but a habit.
And what is a habit?
It's repetition that's been repeated so many times, you don't even have to worry about repeating it. It repeats itself.
That's good news if your repeat good stuff.
Bad news if you repeat bad stuff.
We are our repetitions.
Don't worry about greatness.
Worry about repeating the right stuff everyday.
(to be continued)
- from Aristotle for Everyone. Mortimer J. Adler.
A room full of people who know stuff and our willing to share. It's free. What else do you need to hear?
The great thing about the internet is you can find out if anyone in the world has already done what you're thinking of doing. Of course, it is disappointing when you find out your idea for www.beer.com has already been done and sold for 7 million USD. You would have been happy with 1 million. Hell, you'd take 500,000. Ok, let's face it. 50 bucks would seal the deal.
Yes. Finding your precious idea online can hurt but it's nothing compared to the dismay you'd experience 30 years ago, when it suddenly appears on late-night TV. A shopping channel. It's called The Shopping Channel. The bowl of cream that was resting on your belly drops to the floor. You don't notice it. You are too busy keeping your mouth ajar. Disbelief: You were about to get started on this, first thing tomorrow morning!
Instead, you buy an exercise machine that looks like a giant, iron horse and comes with a 1000 page manual and 17 warning stickers.
But that's not as bad as...
75 years ago, dozing off near your radio when suddenly you hear a play about aliens attacking planet earth. You've been working on a similar stage play. You spent years on it already, only to hear it come alive now, made by someone else.
The play is called 'War of the Worlds'. It is remarkable.
Whoever this H.G. Wells is....well - you hate him.
Even further back.
Imagine the dude who invented the wheel. Imagine the joy he felt when he was able to roll his (still) crooked creation - Wheel Beta - down the road. Imagine his shock when he was passed by another dude running behind his already perfect and round - Alpha Wheel.
Compared to the folks who didn't have Google and couldn't check their ideas before getting started on them, finding your idea already existing is a blessing. Think of it - you are relieved of your duty to bring it to fruition. It's done. Cross it off your list. Another human took care of it. Move on to your next idea.
The idea hasn't been done justice. It lacks something and you know exactly what it is. This wheel is beta and you can make it Alpha.
The track that almost sounds like your track does not have THE hook. Your idea has THE hook. Finish that demo and ship it pronto.
That art installation you walked by is almost exactly how you wanted to express the same idea. Almost. This one is missing the 'x' and you figured out the 'x'. Book the gallery, show your installation. Show the 'x'.
Before you make anything, check to see if it exists.
The biggest benefit of seeing your idea already done is to test your motive for creating.
Are you happy that this idea has been expressed so well? Regardless of who did it?
Are you miserable because you didn't get there first?
The first means you're in it for the right reasons. You want to see great ideas come to life. Doesn't matter who makes it, as long as it's made. Made well.
The second means you are motivated by your desire for praise and posterity rather than letting your work be the hero.
Make it - not because it matters that YOU make it.
But because making IT matters.
Don't tell us how much you love.
Show us where you spend your time, attention, energy -
and we will tell you where your heart is.
Give us your Time, your Attention, your Energy.
Time - because we need you here.
Attention - because we need you to really Be here.
Energy - because your presence is not enough, love demands participation.
Love as a noun is empty without Love as a verb.
Photo: Randy Pertiet.
Working on advertising campaigns is like a rodeo. You get on that bronco. The gate opens. You hold on with one hand, you wave to the crowd with the other.
You try not to fall off.
And if you do, you try not to get trampled.
If you're not broken, you go again.
8 seconds and it's over.
And then you invoice.
In accumulating property for ourselves or our posterity, in founding a family or a state, or acquiring fame even, we are mortal; but in dealing with truth we are immortal, and need fear no change nor accident.