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Use Competition to Your Advantage
Aristotle said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
We, as a creative community, can accomplish some incredible shit when we teach, collaborate, and encourage each other rather than bullying, undermining, and tearing people down.
Back in episode 104, I strongly voice my opinion on creative copy cats and stress the importance of creating your own waves. However, at the end of the day, we’re all recycling the ideas that came before we did. We can never claim we are the true OG’s of making dope shit in whatever style or medium we work in because someone has dipped their toes in it well before we did.
Instead of publicly attacking someone and sending your social mobs to do your justice, use competition as fuel to motivate you to constantly step up your game and evolve.
Doing this not only raises the bar, but it pushes our whole industry forward.
When we get so focused on what everyone else is doing and how it can affect us, we undermine our own potential.
In my mind, there’s enough room at the table for everyone to eat and thrive.
Step Back & See the Bigger Picture
Micro vs Macro
- good: taking care of your overall well-being in the grand scheme of things
- good: living in the moment
- good: appreciating wins whether small or big
- bad: feeling like you’re the center of the universe
- bad: feeling like you’re the only one dealing with hard times
- good: understanding you’re a speck of dust in an infinite universe
- good: having perspective and empathy to put yourself in other’s shoes
- good: taking care of yourself to help you help others
- bad: being so worried about everyone else that you forget to take care of yourself
- bad: being so focused on the big picture that you’re paralyzed to act in the now
It’s like working on a mural—you’re up close and obsessed with all the tiny minor details. Yet, when you step back, you begin to see the bigger picture of what you’re creating. The step back allows you to let go of the tiny details and focus on the whole sum.
Short Game vs Long Game
You have to operate in the micro every day by keeping your head down and playing the short game. It’s a day-by-day grind, no doubt about it.
At the same time, you have to be able to look up and see what lies ahead of you from a macro perspective. That’s where a vision and goals can guide you to play the long game at the same time.
Create for Impact
My goal is to create waves that have an effect far after my finite time on this planet expires.
I define impact as anything that allows someone listening to tap into their potential and use their gift to impact others.
I admit, chasing the glory and praise gives you a pretty wicked high. At the same time, though, it can become toxic and hella exhausting.
Since I’ve made this mental shift to chase the impact in October 2018, the fulfillment I get far outweighs the features, likes, comments, or new followers.
I’d rather get one DM telling me how the podcast rekindled their love for creating and helped them hit publish. That shit is dope.
So I ask you: how can you play the micro short game while keeping in mind the macro long game for impact?
Here are a few scenarios to noodle on:
- If you’re an aspiring artist, how can the work you create add a little pep in someone’s step who happens to browse upon your Instagram profile?
- If you’re a freelancer, how can you work towards a future of freelance where the brands you work with are making an impact on the greater good (e.g. creating work for charities or non-profits)?
- If you’re a brand, how can you create campaigns and collaborate with individuals that speak out against issues like social injustice (e.g Nike and Colin Kaepernick)?
Other Ways to Make an Impact and Build Community:
- share openly
- buy your friends’ shit
- stick up for each other
- call out people’s bullshit
- stand for something and use your voice
Be a Small Part of Something Bigger Than Yourself
Life is pretty rad when you’re surrounded by people who are aligned to your beliefs and have your back.
Creating for impact takes one person at a time, and anyone can do it.
You don’t need the largest audience or resume to contribute to the bigger cause.
By all means, you’re important. Take care of your well-being to be an example of others to do the same.
However, at the end of the day, it’s bigger than you in the grand scheme of life.
Be a small part of something bigger than yourself.
- Episode 104: Don’t Die A Creative Copycat
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