The benefit of more reps

The biggest advantage you have for going unnoticed is that you get to continue to improve your craft.

If no one read this blog, then at least I can say I had the guts to publish. At least I can say, that writer’s block is a myth. If it doesn’t work, I can publish again and make it better.

Google when it first started didn’t want too many users. Because they knew with more time it got better.

There is no promise that the work you do will eventually be noticed, that you’ll eventually be able to pay the bills with your craft…but with intentional practice over a long period of time (let’s say ten years) you can get better than you are today.

But will you get so much better that you’ll eventually get published? Is it for all for nothing then to devote ten years and never get published, never make the NY Times Bestseller list, to never have it pay the bills? We can’t expect these types of outcomes with more practice.

Instead of saying With practice I’ll get better, what if instead we say, With practice I’ll feel better.

No matter the results, you can point to another rep.

If what you do is done for love you will always find a way to do it.

Why do you insist on keeping these limitations?

“Well, I’m not good enough.”

No one ever is.

Jackson Pollock literally threw paint on a canvas.

Marcel Duchamp ignited the Dada movement and flipped the art world upside down with Fountain—a urinal with the words R. Mutt written on the side of it.

Bob Dylan still can’t sing after 60 years of practice.

Brene Brown sought after therapy before coming the world expert in shame.

Scott Harrison was a night club promoter (and a drug addict) before starting Charity:water.

All great artists have great flaws.

For us? We hold onto these limitations because we believe it keeps us off the hook.

It’s never quite the right time, it’s never quite the right moment, we always feel unprepared, we’re uncomfortable with the responsibility, we lack the training and know-how…

What if instead we decided to just do it anyway. Do it because it must be done.

Don’t wait for limitations to go away before you begin. Create despite your limitations.

If not you, then who?

Pain and discomfort

Pain often leads to injury. Which makes it a good indicator for when to stop.

Discomfort, on the other hand, is something we can learn to push through.

It’s never comfortable to run a marathon. It’s never comfortable to publish a blog. It’s never comfortable to ship your work when the deadline hits.

Pain and discomfort are not the same thing. We often confuse the two. Learning to push through discomfort helps us get to the places we want to go.

Income and outcomes

Maximizing your income is not the same as maximizing outcomes.

It’s a choice what you want to see grow.

A choice that is increasingly more difficult each day with the rise of student debt—a trap many continue to fall into…sell out to corporate America to increase your standard of living or pick work that you love while struggling to live paycheck to paycheck.

Why do we even have to choose between work that you love and work that pays?

One problem: It’s because of the education system we have built.

A system of private institutions marketing to students about increased opportunities and better quality life by going to this popular schools over the other one. With some charging $250,000.

Yet, there is no evidence, no data that actually supports that by going to a popular school, you are going to have a better quality of life. Because the only thing that makes schools popular/prestigious is the football team.

Some tips on how to game the system so that you can have a comfortable income (comfortable being the key word here) while maximizing your outcomes:

  1. Avoid student loan debt. Get your associates from a community college and then pick a college that is in your home state to avoid out-of-state tuition.
  2. Avoid car payments. Get a junker. Pay it with cash. And when that breaks down, buy another. 150,000 miles is not too many miles. See how many miles you can get on your paid for vehicle before you buy a new one.
  3. Avoid consumer debt. If you can’t pay with cash, then don’t buy it.
  4. If you are in debt, get out of it. It might take the next decade to get out. Worth it.
  5. Skimp on Friday night dates before skimping on insurance.
  6. Don’t seek to raise your status. Live in a neighborhood that you can afford, drive a car you can afford, don’t pay for a spare bedroom you don’t use…

The happiest people in the world are the ones who can figure out what’s the least amount of income they can earn to be comfortable while maximizing their outcomes.

Also creating something that you are so proud of that you can put you name on is priceless.

High stakes and low stakes

High stakes games mean that if you fail you die or maybe someone at home goes hungry. Most of us reading this blog have never played a game with that high of stakes.

Yet, the way most of us play, our day-to-day lives feel like a high stakes game. We often confuse the two. We don’t do a good enough job distinguishing one from the other.

What’s the worst that can happen if you bomb this presentation?

What’s the worst that can happen if you get fired?

What’s the worst that can happen if your marketing campaign fails?

Versus someone making two dollars a day…

What’s the worst that can happen if the well is dry?

What’s the worst that can happen if this drought won’t end and we can’t feed our family?

What’s the worst that can happen if we can’t afford these antibiotics?

Totally different circumstances and totally different external conditions.

What’s the worst that can happen? is something we can ask ourselves each time we are trying to determine the stakes of the game we are playing.

Most of the time, with the safety and security and comfort of the modern world, we are wagering status, vulnerability, humiliation, criticism, time, emotional labor…these are uncomfortable things to go through but far from painful.

Wasting time on one project usually means we can start another one. Not everyone in the world today has the same luxury.

Originality vs authenticity

There is no such thing as an original idea anymore. All of the original ideas are all taken. We now have a system that builds upon the previous works that has come before us.

You don’t develop new code without the use of a computer. You don’t write a new book without it being published on bounded pieces of paper (or the Kindle).

Authenticity, on the other hand, is completely different. In popular culture we call it finding your voice. Our best form of authenticity we can show in a crowded market is to stand up and say, “This is me. This is what I do.”

What authenticity really comes down to is this:

We make things better by making better things. No matter what we do to mix and match, as long as its coming from a place of generosity, it’s authentic (and it will probably even feel a little original too).

Comparing doesn’t make us more benevolent

We have to stop and ask ourselves, What does comparing ourselves to others even do? What’s the value? Why do we do it so much?

The reason why we choose to compare ourselves to others is because of how it makes us feel.

We do it to insulate ourselves. We do it because deep down, we are insecure about where we stand. We can say, “Well yeah, I’m falling short here, here and here but look at that other guy in the next cubicle.”

There is nothing we can do to earn God’s love. Especially by acting better than the people around us. It’s already there in full.