Conditional to any great creative work is a vision that you can see in your head but can't complete with any immediacy.
It's the vision that anchors us and helps us find our way forward because by seeing the finished product, we can see where we are off.
However, when you begin, you may be miles away from that end state, even years away.
One of the greatest works of all time is, of course, The Mona Lisa. But why is The Mona Lisa great?
It was the piece that Da Vinci, the most celebrated artist ever until that time, worked on longest.
The Mona Lisa was carried with Da Vinci for years.
And so the tough thing for the creative is, as Ira Glass states... "Having great taste but no skill to back it up."
Taste is your vision.
But skills are what bring that vision to life.
The trap is one of time horizon.
Yes, you should have great taste.
This taste creates a vision.
But this vision becomes a trap when the time horizon is set so far ahead that it will always remain a fantasy. And in this fantasy, we hide from the reality of right now.
In this distant fantasy, success is so far, that each non-step forward makes little difference to whether we will achieve our goal.
For the podcast enthusiast, there is always more time to sharpen your ear by listening.
For the reader, more books.
For the founder, more advice, more networking, more case studies...
Keeping this vision in the distant future, removing the anxiety of the present: the difference between where you are and your vision.
So better to stay stuck.
Better to keep the vision out ahead of you.
Success always in front of you.
People thrive on hope, and they thrive on the journey towards a goal.
But consider if the vision stays intact, but a new vision emerges.
What if this new vision lived immediately on the horizon?
What if this vision, within a vision, a fractal of your greater success was here in the immediate present?
What if taste and skill can produce a meaningful step forward here, and now?
The mirage of the ultimate success does not need to cloud out the victory of today.
In the present, there is truly useful information, in the future only brightness, only shimmer.
Do not be drunkenly gazing into that shimmering future and instead utilize what you have where you are NOW.
A step forward on the path today is greater than hours of dedicated prayer about tomorrow.
A success this week, of taste and skill, is the confidence to continue to grow, but it is truly a piece of the greater success, and it cannot be otherwise.
What Da Vinci knew was that month 3 of painting the Mona Lisa was as crucial as month 36. That each held feedback on the larger journey of its creation.
The Mona Lisa was a success, within a success, within a success...
And so can your journey, shifting the vision from the future to the now.
Using the information at your disposal today.
Being an artist within the art, creating a finished work within a finished work.
Putting success on the immediate horizon.