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Creativity is the Willingness to Stop

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In order to create, you not only have to be willing to start, but you also have to be willing to stop.

That is, you have to accept the fact that you’ll never be able to say everything that can possibly be said in a single performance, pitch, or presentation. If an idea or conviction is truly worth expressing, it’s going to be far more nuanced than what can be captured in one article, one speech, one graphic, or one project. Being creative means challenging yourself to share what you have with the world even though you know it’s possible to edit it, rethink it, or rehearse it until kingdom come.

Instead of being a perfectionist about the project you’re working on, be a perfectionist about the process of gradually getting better as you move from project to project. The central problem of inspiration isn’t starting, it’s shipping. We fail to begin things because we don’t know how to give ourselves permission to end things.

If you want to get stuff done, hold yourself accountable to a clear and completable definition of what it means to be done.

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