Showing Up

Show up. Don’t quit. Try lots of repetitions of a process.

Take making a good pot as an example. I heard a story about a pottery teacher who divided his class in two at the start of a semester. One group was to work on one pot for the whole semester while the other group’s assignment was to make a new pot each day until the semester was over. Guess which group had the best pots at the semester’s end? The group making a new pot every day.

I’m a big fan of Seth Godin. His blog is the top ranked marketing blog (though it’s not only about marketing). Everyday he posts on his blog. And  almost everyday it’s a good blog. And he’s been at it for years. Everyday. Here’s an example:

Art Is What We Call… the thing an artist does. It’s not the medium or the oil or the price or whether it hangs on a wall or you eat it. What matters, what makes it art, is that the person who made it overcame the resistance, ignored the voice of doubt and made something worth making. Something risky. Something human. Art is not in the eye of the beholder. It’s in the soul of the artist.

Or look at all of the pasta sauces you can choose from at the supermarket: chunky or not, with meat or without meat, with three cheeses, you get the idea. There’re 21 different pasta sauces on offer just from Prego. How many iterations of each recipe did they go through before arriving at the ones they ship to stores, for you to choose from?

There are all sorts of gym workout routines floating around out there in the fitness universe. Some are better and more efficient than others. But if you show up and don’t quit you’ll get more fit on any one of them that you pick.

It seems that by repeating a process you can get successively closer approximations to whatever it is you’re seeking.