I've been thinking a lot about advice lately. I think I have this notion that someday, the right piece of advice will come along at just the right moment, and when I hear it everything will change. I'll admit: I'm a bit of a self help junkie. I've probably read the same recycled advice over and over again in various forms, from the mouths of hundreds of different people. What makes me think that any one notion can be the catalyst for turning my life around? From a young age we are fed these stories of lightbulb moments, and life-changing realizations, but do those moments really exist, or do we only hear that "life-changing advice" at the moment when, consciously or not, we have somehow already decided to make a change? Can an idea really push us to act on something?
Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of ideas. There's nothing I love more than having an idea I thought I understood presented to me in a new way. I sometimes wonder if the same old advice I've read hundreds of times actually sticks with me, but today I stumbled across an old e-mail I'd written, where I gave this advice to a friend: "Everything counts, no matter how badly it turns out, no matter how long you waited to start, no matter what perfect picture you have of it in your head, and how far from it the reality turned out to be." I let myself get defeated over little things, and yet all along I was somehow carrying this idea around, that the results don't have to be perfect, on time, or even complete to be valuable, especially when it's only yourself you're accountable to. (Obviously, I don't want to cut myself too much slack when it comes to creative habits and projects, but I often let little failures get in the way of the big picture.) I feel like this speaks to the slipperiness of ideas, and it makes me wonder what else I've forgotten, and how much of my own advice I don't actually put into action.
Song of the Day: Skin by BOY