This is what we all wish our important goals and work projects always looked like, isn’t it? Pretty…orderly… with a great title attached to it… I mean, Red Poppy Cafe is just delightful. The flowers are beautifully crafted. The grass is so green, I want to take off my shoes and walk in it. Every detail is in its perfect place. This gingerbread house is a winner in every way.
That’s what we tell ourselves our daily work should look like. And in some ways, this is true. If you’re going to ask someone else to read what you’ve written, watch a video you’ve created, study that client report you produced, or whatever it is you’re working on, you’ll want to give that person a path as nice as the candy flagstones in the picture here.
The other part of the truth, though…the other side of the coin…is that our accomplishments aren’t always this neat and lovely. Whatever we may be working on, it certainly doesn’t start out looking this attractive. Nope, when we create, our first version of our project usually looks more like this.
This is the work of a three-year-old, by the way.
But don’t we all feel, when we start learning a new thing or taking on a task that’s bigger than anything we’ve done before, that our first efforts are the sprawling work of a toddler? The building blocks are scattered. Glue gets everywhere. The walls fall down. It’s messy.
But it’s colorful too, and the joy of creation is evident in every sloppy, pragmatic inch of what you’ve made.
In talking with a friend just a few days ago, I was reminded once again that it’s important to maintain our sense of joy in whatever we do. It can be business or personal… But if you’re not willing to love the process of following through on a project, no matter how messy it looks when you’ve finished, then you’re missing out on one of the most precious parts of life…
…the moment you connect with someone over what you’ve accomplished…big or small, great or not so great.
Whatever else you do, don’t miss out on the fun and adventure of creating good work. That’s what keeps you coming back to the drawing board to try again, day after day. A little fun is a good thing. And if it gets messy, that’s okay. Let it be messy. You can always prop up those graham cracker walls later on.