Potent Quotable – the ambition gap

“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me… is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work….

It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions — It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

-Ira Glass

I’ve been thinking today a lot about energy. In particular the energy that we put into different parts of our lives.  Like a hamster spinning on a wheel, I’ve spent a lot of time putting energy into things that are aren’t particularly getting me anywhere.I don’t know if there is a way to be more efficient and use less energy for less important things. I don’t know if being more efficient is even a solution. I keep thinking maybe a plan will map itself out in time.  Maybe I can better prioritize my energy outflow.  I do know that I don’t know what my ambitions are.  I know that I have them. My ambitions are that little voice inside me telling me I am capable of doing big things. I just wish it would be more specific about what those things are.


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