I still remember when one of my Berklee teachers came right up to my desk during class and announced loudly "your compositions suck."
And you know what? He was right.
Up until that point, I was at the bottom of all of my composition classes. Frankly, I didn’t understand what it took to get good at my craft.
From that point on, I decided to spend years reading books and finding mentors to decode just exactly why and how some people are world-class at what they do, while most struggle to make any progress at all.
Have you ever been thrilled about being mediocre at something? My guess is no. Every single creative person on the planet wants to get good at what they do. It is in our nature to strive to be the best.
Even so, many of us fall by the wayside. We don’t put in the hours that we need to to become great. We stop working towards our goals on a daily basis, and get back to the boring day-to-day grind, barely noticing that we are not doing the work that really matters to us.
Why do so many people set bold goals, get excited, and then fail so quickly? It all comes down to one key question:
Are you Patiently Impatient (PI) or Impatiently Patient (IP)?
On first glance, these two things seem to be the exact same thing, but there is a key difference:
This is the category most people fall in to. We believe that we have unlimited time to do what we want. We can figure out our fitness on January 1st. We can start practicing guitar only once we find the perfect teacher. We can start our own business once we have 6 months of savings in our bank accounts.
How many of you have said something like that to yourself at some point? I know I certainly have.
Sometimes, the day does arrive. We start doing whatever it is we planned, except we are horribly impatient. We dive in with extreme gusto and excitement, work toward our goal with reckless abandon, and then burn out within a month. We then say things like “this must not be for me."
We are patient when it comes to starting toward our dreams, but are impatient when it comes to actually putting in the work.
Most super-successful entrepreneurs I have met are Impatiently Patient. If their life and business isn’t how they want it to be, they freak out and put a plan into action right away. The key difference is what they do after they start working.
They acknowledge that whatever they are doing will take time. They know that everything in their lives is like a sculpture, requiring a ridiculous amount of effort and attention to see it through to the end. IPs don’t care how long a task will take, however. They are willing to start today, but take as much time as it needs to get things done.
So which category do you fall into? Sometimes we may fall in to one, and other times into another.
Anytime you’re working toward your goal or starting a new endeavor, it is worth taking stock of your emotional state regularly and feeling which category you fall in to.
If what you’re working toward is something that you genuinely want, then it is worth starting today.
If it’s worth doing, it’s going to take a very long time.