Get some stuff wrong today
As I had a really long drive over the weekend, I was listening to a ton of podcasts. The one that really struck with me - in full disclosure, this one was a MasterClass - was one with Neil Gaiman. Now Neil Gaiman isn't someone I would have guessed would have given me a lot to think about. However, as I'm writing my first book (committed to having it out in December) I thought it might be worth a listen. I would note that I had never actually read any of his books though I knew he was very prolific. And of additional appeal, I knew he had done some work on a Batman graphic novel which added to the intrigue. There were a few things that resonated with me...
He spent a lot of time talking about mistakes and the value of making them. One idea I loved was that you'll learn so much more by completing a project that has lots of mistakes then starting the perfect project but never completing it. I'm guilty as charged: I've started more great songs that had a wonderful riff, a catchy chorus but no verse. Then frustrated that the rest of it isn't quite as perfect, I set it aside. There is real value in seeing a project through, getting the feedback, learning and evolving.
I also loved his point about style and mistakes. He mentioned that he wasn't sure but he thought Jerry Garcia (guitarist for the Grateful Dead) had once said something along the lines of Style is the stuff you can’t help doing. Style in some ways is the stuff that you do wrong. While he couldn't actually confirm the quote, I love these ideas. In fact, it connects to something I strongly believe in....
I don't want to be the next (fill in for your favorite leader, hero, guru whatever). I just want to be the best me.
So with a little help from Neil Gaiman...
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Robert Grabel is the President of Nonprofit Now! You can find his posts here and at www.robertgrabel.com