Do you ever find yourself looking at something impressive that someone has made and then thinking to yourself, “I don’t like it! That’s crap.”? When really what you meant to think was, “Crap. That’s way better than what I made (because I’m insecure).” When actually, what you should be saying is, “That’s an impressive thing that person made.”
People are jealous by nature and it’s nothing but destructive. We all have this desire to be the best of the best at whatever it may be, when really most of us are actually closer to mediocre than anything. Jealousy never got anyone anywhere and neither did comparing yourself to someone else. I want to use this little theoretical truth to talk about where good creation starts and also where it will NEVER start.
Let’s start with where it will NEVER start, just so we can end on a good note. I have talked about good creation and bad creation before and why we should do what we’re good at. However, this doesn’t mean that we should do what we’re good at and then think that we are the best at it. If we do this we’ll (1) end up with no friends because we’re impossible to be around and (2) end up jealous and stuck in our creative process because we have made it into an unnecessary competition. If we are going to make something good we want to be able to enjoy making it or else, why make it? Creating something good NEVER comes from trying to make your work like someone else’s but better. That’s called plagiarism and we’re all guilty of it. We want to start creating anything and everything in a way that is unique to us, that works for us.
GOOD CREATION starts with you. It doesn’t start with your boss, mother, professor, DIY book, personal trainer, dance partner, gardener, tv show host, waiter or facebook “friend” telling you how to do it. Your creations are yours, so own them. You are the main ingredient in whatever you make and you need to make sure that people know it. You want your party guests to look at the dinner you made and say, “NO ONE makes pizza as good as you!” You want the critic in the gallery to look at your painting and say, “That piece has your name all over it!” You want your boss to look at your speech you wrote for them and say, “That’s quality that only you could bring!”
If we pursue our process-path of making things in a way that is “the best I can do” as opposed to “better than that they can do” we will always win. We will always win because we bring ourselves into the product and not someone else. So PLEASE bring yourself, not a watered-down and stolen version of someone else.