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We live in a society that provides immediate gratification for sharing our stream of consciousness. When we’re working on a project, it’s tempting to share each and every step publicly because we know we’ll get a quick shot of dopamine when we do. However, I believe that “high” comes at the expense of our potential growth. The tendency to put things out really quick to get that immediate gratification is keeping us from sticking with things for a longer duration.

We explore how to restructure this mindset so that we are able to stay motivated enough to complete long terms projects and also look at what driven and not driven people both have in common.

Show Notes
  • 02:54 How do you keep going with your practice? Where do you find the motivation? How do you stick with something regardless of the response you get?
  • 05:15 I think the constant desire and addiction to feedback is making it hard today. Everything we do, everything we make, every stage we’re in—we feel like we have to broadcast it. We’re always answering the question, “What are you doing right now?” Facebook asks “What’s on your mind?” Everything and everyone is saying: “Send us your stream of consciousness.”
  • I think we’ve lost the idea of retreating into a workshop where you simply build. Where you simply hone your craft.

  • 06:00 When you put something out there and you get “likes,” it feels like a little reward. A shot of dopamine. It gives you a sense of accomplishment that can be addicting. There’s a tendency to let yourself off the hook a little bit and take a break as a result.
  • 09:09 This immediate gratification system where we share every increment of what we’re working so we can feel good about the response is stunting our potential growth.
  • 11:57 We’re putting things out there because we want to feel like every incremental step is worth something. Seeing a value counter next to what we published helps us feel like it was worth something.
  • 12:12 But the true value of one individual step may not be seen until it’s viewed in the context of the whole. In the long run, the accumulation of all the steps is what results in something of value.
  • 13:31 The tendency to put things out really quick to get that immediate gratification is keeping us from sticking with things for a longer duration. We allow ourselves to relax and sit back once we put something out there, because we feel like we’ve shipped something even though we haven’t really accomplished anything.
  • Accountability
  • 14:09 The best way I’ve been able to stick to a pursuit is to schedule it as a regular thing and establish some form of accountability for it.
  • 14:30 Find someone that will meet with you regularly, talk about what you’re working on, and what you’re wanting to accomplish. Help each other break down the tasks, stay on track, and remain committed.
  • 14:57 You can find an accountability partner, or make a public commitment as a form of accountability. I like to do both.
  • 15:42 There’s no way I would still be doing two podcasts a week if it were only up to me. It’s an insane amount of work. I’m able to do it, because I’ve made it a habit. It’s just something that I do.
  • 16:11 It’s just like if you have a regular job. Do you have to decide if you’re going in to work tomorrow at 8am and leave at 5pm? No, you don’t really have to think about deciding that—it’s just what you do. It’s your job. Yeah, you could decide not to go in tomorrow and then you’ll be fired. So that’s not an option. There is no question about it, it’s just what you do.
  • Scheduling Creativity
  • 16:40 Many people say: “I really don’t create unless inspiration strikes. Or if I have energy for it. Or if I’m in the mood to. Otherwise, I don’t make anything good.”
  • 17:27 However, it’s the constraints that allow you to make something good. You need the limitations in order to be creative.
  • Can you schedule creativity? Yes. Because the definition of creativity is to think outside the box. The time constraint you set is the box.

    In order to think outside the box, there first must be a box. If your project has no constraints then you must impose your own limitations.

  • 19:51 No one out there is magically anointed with the creative powers to be persistent with something. They’re able to continue doing it because showing up is what they do.
  • Two Kinds of People
  • 20:54 Let’s break people into two different groups.
    • People that are driven
    • People that are not driven
  • 21:03 Let’s just assume that while the latter group may not be driven, they at least want to be driven. What do both groups have in common?
  • 21:40 They both need accountability. The people with drive will certainly do well, but their drive will only take them so far. Eventually that drive does not produce enough energy to continue. Let’s say the drive is like pure adrenaline, and from that raw energy you’re able to make 10 things. And then you pretty much don’t have any drive anymore. The driven person needs the accountability to KEEP GOING.
  • 22:38 The person who is not driven needs the accountability to GET STARTED—and then to keep going.
  • Position yourself around people that will motivate you
  • 23:44 Curate your feeds. Start with a blank slate on Twitter. Unfollow everyone and start over from scratch. I want you to ask one question when you decide to refollow that person: “Is this person a maker or are they in some way going to motivate me to create?”
  • 30:30 Who do you hang out with? What events are you regularly going to? what are the conversations about?
  • 32:56 The books you read and the podcasts you listen to all play a part. What are you watching? What are you listening to? What are you consuming? If you want to change something about yourself, start there: change what you consume.