Don’t Beat Yourself Up for Creating Junk


Everyone has their down times every now and then. It’s natural. When you’re trying to create something extremely revolutionary, or trying to creatively implement an idea, don’t beat yourself up for not creating the best possible every single time. Even if you are a genius, you aren’t going to come up with the best possible every single time. Thomas Edison, for example, took over a hundred iterations before creating the first light bulb.

This is where we can learn a little bit from the weightlifting and bodybuilding community. When you go to the gym, you can’t predict if you’re going to have a great workout or not. You can’t tell if your lifts are going to be higher this time, and whether or not you’re going to outperform yourself. There will always be bad days when you walk into the gym feeling like crap. However, that shouldn’t deter you – it’s part of the whole process. The only reason you’re going to be able to continually progress is due to the dedication to come in 3 to 4 times a week, regardless of your performance in each individual workout. You will always eventually have a good workout.

This applies when trying to work creatively. You might create junk from time to time, and you might even do that quite often. However, the key here, as with weightlifting, would be persistence. You just need to keep going, and keep at it until you start seeing results. You might have to produce 100 substandard pieces of work, but if that leads you to the 1 creative piece that will completely change everything, those 100 would be well worth it.

Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you’ll settle for mediocre. You should always try to create the best possible at any given time. However, when even the best possible today wasn’t as good as what you came up with yesterday, don’t beat yourself up.

Additionally, creating junk allows you to see the other side of things – what doesn’t work – and that will ultimately lead you to the answer.

So keep at it! You might only be a few more before you reach that one revolutionary idea!