Adopt A Mindset that Welcomes Iteration
Iteration is how creation works. If you’re a creator, having a mindset that lets you learn, adapt, and try again is essential. I’m not aware of any novelist, poet, playwright, composer, painter, etc. who only ever published a first draft – unless publishing the first draft was the point of the exercise.
The natural-world processes of evolution and adaptation describe hundreds of millions or billions of revisions. The scientific method has taught us what we know – or think we know – through the process of experiment – evaluation – experiment. As we each go about creating our own life and writing our own story, we engage in a process of trial and error, experimentation, iteration.
The main reason I stopped writing this blog in September 2021 was to free up time and energy for a new project. It’s called Personal Story Coach, and it’s a course and a community for men who want to become a better version of themselves. Men who have had enough of feeling that emotions like fear, anger, and grief dictate too much of their behavior. Or men who are tired of guilt and regret, or feel trapped in shame.
Men who have had enough of feeling isolated and alone – like there is no one they can be honest and real with about how life is. Men who want to re-frame the stories they tell themselves so they can be clear, committed and confident, and release freedom, creativity, and renewed purpose for the next stage of life.
It took a fair bit of convincing from a number of people for me to focus on men again. I felt like I had been there are done that a few years back with Manifest and didn’t want to go there again. But I am. Manifest was different, and, to the extent that it “failed,” I learned some things about what to do differently this time. Personal Story Coach may not be a great work of art (statistically, at least half of everything is below average) … or it might be. Time will tell. The important thing is that it’s another draft, and, I think, a better one.
The creative process – for a novel, a symphony, a life – is not about conquering the world or crushing the competition. It’s not about “killing it” or never failing. It’s not about playing it safe – or playing small. It’s about making something the best you can, offering it to the world, and then seeking to make it better the next time. The first time you do it, it probably won’t be great. Victory is not nailing something the first time. If it was, all those movies with the hero that emerges victorious would be ten minutes long. Victory is about doing it, failing, and doing it again. And again. And again. A little better every time.
If you’re still on Facebook (as I am, somewhat unwillingly) I invite you to join the Personal Story Coach community, which you can get to here. If you’re on LinkedIn, you can also look me up here. Thanks for your interest. Update March 2023: Personal Story Coach is live and ready. If you are, or know, men who want to feel more in control of their life in the face of an unpredictable world, find belonging, and increase their courage and clarity about the kind of men they want to be without feeling defeated by their fears or regrets, tell them to check it out.
Adopting a mindset that expects that the first one is probably not the best one, and that by iterating repeatedly we end up with better widgets, art, people, societies – you name it – is going to help you find what you seek. Not perfection, but something that is good enough for now. Something you can be proud of.
And here’s to your own creative process and iterative mindset.