'Keep your identity small,' said investor Paul Graham. If you've read my previous post about my favorite books, then you'll know that I'm currently reading Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday. I'm very much enjoying this book and I'm really bummed that it's coming to an end. There's so much wisdom in it that I feel like I have to keep this on my perpetual reading list.
'Make it about the work and the principles behind it.' This specific chapter that I'm talking about focuses on how people tend to be blinded by the narrative they tell themselves of a grand vision of their work, of a success story, of a fantasy they'd like to live in. Nothing wrong with dreaming big, except that most of us can lose sight of what really matters and what brought us here in the first place - our work.
I know for a fact that the lure of this fantasy makes me forget about what I'm really supposed to be focusing on. No it's not just about the numbers, the likes, et cetera, it's about setting a Standard of Performance, as the football coach Bill Walsh put it. Making sure that you know what needs to be done, when, and how; making sure that you deliver - that is what's important. Instilling these standards will keep you grounded.
It all sounds great... but just like (most) everything else it's easier said than done. But what helps me is that when I get exasperated that this seems to be going nowhere, I switch off my business mode and just grab my brush and do it to relax my mind, and then I remember that I actually love creating creative content and that should be my focus.
So for now, I'm going to finish off this book and try to actually apply it to my life instead of just talking about it. And if you have any book recommendations please send them my way!