to be productive—start with heart

Where is the heart? Often we describe it as being on the canvas, in the lilt of a voice, or left on the stage. But where is our own heart?

from Creativity: The Psychology of Discovery and Invention

We attribute superhuman qualities to creative people. We construct chasms between their accomplishments and our abilities. We manufacture fear, uncertainty, and doubt about our own efforts while marveling at the perfection of those we admire from afar. Our proximity to our own work reveals what we refuse to believe is true for others―that the work is messy, hard, and confusing.

Worse, we often focus on external factors to explain our own lack of effort or non-extant works. We focus on tips, tricks, tools, and hacks and in so doing allow these mental diversions to distract us from our goals. We do this even though we know that we have the tools to start working right now. The effort to begin would be minimal or unnecessary—yet we still delay.

We know we’re stalling for a reason but we can’t quite articulate it (even to ourselves). If only we stopped the introspection and started any action. What would happen then? We know that the point is to start, to focus, to strive, to capture, to evaluate, and to share. Why is this so difficult?

start with heart

Start with heart. Start caring deeply about the things you seek to create. A great deal of effort is required to bring something new into being. Spend time focusing on the things you love. Then focus that love and craft it into something that tries―but ultimately fails—to capture that specific and  incommunicable love. The beauty is in the striving.

Heart can be the objective of your work and the fire that provokes your motivation to capture it.

I have a goal of starting with heart. It may not be easy. It may feel impossible. It may be silly to others. No matter. I will love what I do. I will start with heart.