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What do you do when you’ve tried but fallen short? What do you do when things just don’t seem to be working out?

Where does natural ability and acquired skill separate from hard work and deliberate practice? Can anyone with enough time, passion, patience, and determination truly follow their passion full-time?

First, we need to define “good enough”.

  • “Good enough” for who?
  • “Good enough” for what?
  • What have you been trying?
  • How long have you been trying?
  • Who are you comparing yourself to?

It’s really easy to feel like you’re not good enough. It’s a common feeling, especially when you’re just getting into an industry because you see the very best work. The very best work out there—the cream—rises to the top and that’s what you notice.

You don’t notice all the bad work, you notice the great work. It’s easy to feel like that’s all that’s out there. You don’t compare to that and you’re not good enough.

What you need to do is spend less time seeing and more time doing. You have to focus on creating. Create, create, create, create. That’s what you focus on. Don’t focus on this feeling of “not good enough,” or “I don’t compare to.” You have to focus on creating.

Don’t Delete Your Early Work

Your early work is super valuable.

  • It reminds you of where you came from.
  • It shows you your progress.
  • It reminds us where we came from (it’s easy to forget).
  • It encourages other people.
  • It shows people that you came from the same place.

If you’re not keeping a track record of your past work, you can’t see how much you’ve improved and neither can other people. Other people can be encouraged by that work.

Don’t delete something when you look back on old work and you’re thinking, “That’s terrible!” That’s a good sign! If something is terrible, that means you’ve improved. If your old work doesn’t disappoint you, that means you’re not improving.

If you don’t like your old work, welcome to the club. It’s a really good thing, it means you’re getting better. Keeping old work also shows others that it’s not magic.

Where you are now is a not a result of magic.

It’s a result of persistence over time.

Your sense of success for today should come from being able to check the box that says, “I had a deliberate practice session.” That’s it. Everybody has to work hard to become excellent at something.

Hard work beats natural talent that doesn’t work hard. Natural talent is a spring board. When you work hard, you can overcome someone with natural talent if they’re not working hard.

If you have natural talent in any area, go all out on that. Apply yourself fully to that, because that’s where you’re going to see the best results.

Don’t compare yourself to anyone at all. It’s not about being as good as someone.

Today is a success if you showed up and made something.