One of the great impediments to leadership and entrepreneurship is the search for some kind of formula, method or system for what we’re trying to accomplish.
The search for a “right” way interferes with our creative capacity. It creates hesitation and doubt. It overcomplicates.
All there is for us to do is the next thing that occurs to us, based on our good sense and best judgment. The thing that seems like a good idea. That’s all.
Therein, lies our path, our creative process, our purpose. Not the right path. But our path.
An idea or next step occurs to us. We act. We take a stab at it, we lean into it. The world responds. We get feedback, learn, improve, adapt, pivot. And we’re off.
As we show up with depth of presence, we gain skills, we connect with mentors and partners, we see our blind spots and address them, we create products and systems, our vision sharpens and expands.
In the process, businesses are built, organizations launched, novels written, we grow as human beings, our creative life unfolds. And all of it is completely individual and idiosyncratic. We have no idea where it will lead or how it will turn out.
No wonder this well-known graphic rings true:
On the left is an image of our collective misunderstanding: that there is a method or a formula to getting what (we think) we want, requiring only more discipline, focus and drive.
On the right lies a truer representation of what it is actually like to be in the creative process.
We move forward never knowing how it will turn out. Will this work? What response will I receive? We can’t know. Knowing, in fact, is not even in our job description.
What is in our job description doing the work in front of us with diligence and care.
The deeper we see this, the simpler life becomes and the more powerful we become as leaders.
We stop overthinking. We see things clearly, untarnished by the distortion fields of internal pressure and expectations.
No matter how much confusion or discouragement may arise, we return to doing what is in front of us to do. Always. That is where we live.
As we show up with a clear calm mind, free of all that static, we thrive.
Our anxiousness settles, and we notice there is a deep crackling creative intelligence available to us, one that emerges into prominence when we let go of the reins and just live. We begin to trust in ourselves more than ever.
We do what we can, as best we can, with peace and ease and consistency and commitment, uncertain where we are headed yet savoring each day more than ever.