As we close in on year end, this is not going to be one of those go-get-’em, onward-and-upward, next-year-will-be-better posts. You probably are already where you were going, anyway. You are probably already in top form as well.
You probably know it.
So what’s the deal? Are you finding it a tall order to live up to having met your own expectations?
I thought so.
You are not alone. What you do so effortlessly, in fact, does take quite a bit of effort, process, and discipline, doesn’t it? And practice.
You know the stuff you like to do. You also know the stuff you dislike doing, and possibly avoid doing. Perhaps you farm this stuff out to others. You know the stuff you need to learn to do in the first place, as well as the stuff you need to learn to do much, much better.
- There always is something that someone else does which makes you see what you do, only slightly differently than before. Use this insight to continuously improve yourself. Never be tempted to copy them. Put your own personal signature on what you bring to the table.
- There always is something that someone says, choosing different words than you, yourself, would have chosen. Because of the way they express themselves, you hear your own thoughts differently. Use your new way of saying things to improve yourself, without copying them.
- You have resources to ask for help, as you move towards the goal of not seeking their sub-remedial help for something you really should know how to do by yourself. Let these resources know you are moving towards cutting the cord on that particular task they’ve been helping you do for a while. Don’t worry; you both will be onto something else in the future, with thanks.
- You have resources you have not yet asked for insight and input. Perhaps it’s time to seek them out and find out what they are all about. Take a risk – they may brush you off as being too insignificant for them – and that’s a piece of information you need to know, anyway. File it away. Move on. Then there will be the folks who will help you joyfully, with their full attention. The folks you didn’t think would respond to your request. They are your collaborators and innovators, moving forward.
They become your colleagues.
People who collaborate with each other understand that each of us is a work in progress, and that progressive and continuous improvement never stops. It shouldn’t. Who we are and what we are is tangential. It’s a day to day, minute to minute, nanosecond to nanosecond kind of thing.
Perfect your art. Give yourself that good swift kick that only you can give yourself. Jog yourself out of complacency, self-doubt, and perhaps even self-delusion, as well.
Truth be told, everyone is a work in progress. Take the time to identify your best colleagues, engage them in your art, collaborate with them, as well.
Their recipe isn’t yours and vice versa. There’s nothing prescriptive about your art, as you already know. But there is tremendous potential for synergy.
People are, however, worth the risk and worth the collaboration, over the long haul. Continue to take those chances.
The synergy, indeed, is always far greater than the sum of the parts.
And you only find this out by, and here it is: giving yourself that good, swift kick every now and then.