What do you love/hate? This is a good exercise to get you closer to becoming a creator and less of a consumer. Don't worry about missing the creator economy boat. The creator economy has been around since Adam and Eve.
When I realized I needed to choose something to create, I had to dig deep into my heart to discover the things that are most important to me. What I eventually decided to pursue long-term was not even close to the things I initially picked! But that’s the process I followed.
One of the exercises to discover what is important to you is to create a love/hate list. You can create one column for things you love, and another column for things you hate. This list can give you clarity on what you value, and why.
For example, when I created my love/hate list I became conscious of a very important quality. I hate unnecessary complexity and I can't stand ambiguous instructions. This made me realize that one of the things I do naturally when I tackle new subjects is try to bring order to the chaos. I look for the major ideas, and push the minutia to the side. Shockingly, some people can't distinguish major ideas from minor ideas. They combine them all together as one big blob of yuck. When you look at it, you think, oh my gosh this is very complicated. Truth is, people can make anything more complicated than it needs to be. If you can show me the big picture, the two or three major components, then I can intuitively seek the details on my own.
If you don't know what to create, then the first thing you can create is a love-hate list. From this list you can come up with ideas that are in harmony with your loves and hates.
Once you have created your love-hate list, pick one thing and pursue it. I have done this over and over in my life. I sometimes devote an entire year to learning something. The key is to have an ending point where you make a decision. Is this worth pursuing?
If you have read Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell, you are probably familiar with the 10,000 hour rule. It roughly equates to ten years of devoted daily study. OK, 10,000 hours is way too long to explore anything! But we can use the idea.
In my research about learning I stumbled across an interesting post. I liked the idea of setting milestone points in increments of hours. This gives you a sense of progress and completion. It’s not a never-ending task. At the end of the time milestone you will be able to make an educated decision; go or no go.
Here is how the writer broke down important milestones of learning. Whether it’s right or wrong, it doesn't matter. It’s a good idea. Come up with your own criteria.
10 hours: familiar
100 hours: proficient
1000 hours: good
10000 hours: expert
After 10/100/1000 hours, decide if it’s for you, or not. Do not despair if you run out of interest. If it’s something you liked even a little you have knowledge that might be useful in the future. And, you decisively ruled out an option (Edison ruled out thousands of light bulb filaments).
Oh the things I have ruled out! I spent a year building a website and writing an e-book about modern chairs. Although I thoroughly loved the subject, I realized this is probably not what I want to dedicate my life to. But it was fun and I know quite a bit about the history of modern chairs!
Ultimately, the goal is to create something of value for the people we want to serve in order to help them get what they want.
What are you creating? Reply to this email and tell me about it!
To your success!
James on Success
What's New For 2022
James on Success (New Name)
As a reminder, in December I rebranded this newsletter to "James on Success" and changed the URL to jamesonsuccess.substack.com. Same subject, just a clearer brand.
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