A little while back, I touched on the fact that you have to suck before you can ever get good (or even passable for that matter). That sucking is the logical starting point for any endeavor. This raises the question: how do you stop sucking or at least start to suck a little less?
Get Your Ass In The Game
Don’t stop. Go! Right now. Start. You know the thing you want to do and if there is a brain in your head, you know the first step that you have to take to do it. So much of sucking is just a byproduct of inaction. It’s not that you’re afraid of screwing up (although you probably are); it’s not that you are afraid of succeeding (although you probably are). More often than not, it is knowing that whatever it is that you want to do is going to be hard.
Screw Up A Whole Bunch
You are going to fail, and then you are going to fail, and then you are…. you get the point. Unless you are one of those really annoying people that I hate, things don’t come naturally all the time. They take work and they take time and they take making a ton of mistakes and a bunch of messes along the way. But the truth, the thing that most people don’t tell you is that if you don’t start by making a mess, you’ll never make anything at all.
Learn From Said Screwups
As long as you learn from every misstep, it is worth while. As long as you are thinking about what you are doing, it’s all valuable. The near impossible part… not letting the speed bumps become roadblocks. Know that they are going to come, that they need to come and that you will be better for getting through them. And if you aren’t making any mistakes, then the challenge you gave yourself probably isn’t hard enough.
It isn’t easy to suck less. Trust me, I speak from experience here. It takes more than just any old effort. It is going to take action, experimentation and insights. Worse yet, it is going to take time. To steal from someone smarter than I am: I’m not telling you it is going to be easy, I’m telling you it’s going to be worth it.1, but I’ll also remind you that none of it is ever going to happen unless you take the time to get better.
- Quote courtesy of Art Williams [↩]