Your job is to do the work, not judge the work. Progress, not perfection, is the goal. The fear of our finished product not being ‘the greatest thing ever’ is what stops us from starting (or finishing) the things we were put on this earth to do. The truth is that you just have to be consistent in your production, and the perfection will arrive. The saying is that, “if you increase the quantity, God will increase the quality”.
You’ve probably heard of the ’10,000 hour rule’. It’s a theory made popular by Malcom Gladwell that states that mastery of any field requires 10,000 hours of deliberate practice.
Some people disagree, stating that this only applies to fields that have solid rules, such as chess or baseball, as opposed to areas with less structure, like entrepreneurship or rock music.
I tend to disagree with the disagree-ers. Maybe 10,000 hours isn’t the magic number, but the concept of persistence, being the most important predictor of success, is well proven.
I was listening to Howard Stern interview Paul McCartney. Howard was asking about the origins of each of his famous song. I recognized instances of persistence poping up again over and over. The gem I extracted from the interview was that there never was an “A-HA” moment. At no time did lightning strike Paul with some divine gift of an idea for a hit song.
The recurring pattern throughout the interview was revealed when Howard would ask how a certain song was written. Paul never answered that he was sitting in a comfortable chair, in a studio, with pencil and guitar in hand ready to write a song. It was more like, “oh I was sitting outside a studio, I was on a bus, I was waiting for John Lennon to wake up, etc etc, when I wrote that song”. Basically he was ALWAYS writing songs. How long do you think it took him to get past his 10,000 hours to achieve mastery?
Persistence is the relentless accumulation of tiny wins. It’s the flowing stream that carves the Grand Canyon. It’s the 441 punches Buster Douglas threw to knock out Tyson. It’s the millions of musical notes McCartney played before combining a few into hit songs. Never stop, and you become unstoppable.