Fail, fail, fail, fail, succeed

Landmarks, Part 1

“A landmark is anything that helps you know where you are — in space, in time, in history.”

This is my 500th consecutive daily post, so I’m calling it a personal landmark. This is where I am at this moment in space, time, and history. Whee!

But what does this mean? Well, let’s reflect on that for a moment, shall we…

When I started this, in the very first post I wrote that this was really a “process of self-discovery.” I think that has proven to be true, but it’s also given me something deeper – perhaps a better sense of self-understanding. It has been a very interesting exercise that I’ve grown to enjoy, but it’s hard to explain exactly why. Let me try.

First of all, I didn’t know if I could do it. It turns out I can, which in itself might be a very good metaphor for approaching life. We all might be surprised to find out what we’re capable of.

As someone who strives to be creative, it has taught me something very, VERY important. They don’t all have to be great, or even good. I was never comfortable with this concept before, I always felt like everything I did had to be undeniable. What bullshit! If I’d really been paying attention, I should have picked up on this sooner. Artists who create on a daily basis, their entire lives, have lots of stuff that quite frankly isn’t that great. Picasso, Prince, Woody Allen, Ellington, Zappa, Steven King, Sidney Lumet, Miles Davis, Ray Johnson, Warhol – I could keep going but you get the picture. The important thing is to keep creating, it’s the only chance you have to actually make a masterpiece. Because I have to do it everyday, I was forced to accept this idea, and eventually I got comfortable with it.

Then there is Seth Godin’s profound observation that writing something everyday compels you pay closer attention to the world around you, if only to have something to write about. This is a very deep idea, and, unsurprisingly, it turns out he’s right. This in turn makes you a better observer of life – you begin to notice and pay attention to things you never really saw before.

And finally, you start to see the fallacies of your own thinking. There’s something about writing your thoughts down that immediately makes it obvious when they’re stupid or just plain ridiculous. This forces you to rethink, which is always a good thing.

So here’s to my 500th post! Let’s see how long I can keep this up. If anybody’s reading, I hope you’re getting something out of it.

I know I am.