Time is the great thickener of things.
When it comes to your art, time is the strongest agent for
making your work robust enough to find its audience and make a difference. More
than talent, more than connections, more than money, more than anything, time
is the invisible hand that always has your back.
Because no matter how many romantic stories you hear about
innovators and artists and computer geniuses who found success early and often,
the reality is, that’s rarely the case.
Colonial Sanders didn’t come up with his secret recipe until
he was fifty. Momofuku didn’t create instant ramen until he was sixty. Roget didn’t
invent the thesaurus until he was seventy. Darwin didn’t publish his theory of
evolution until he was fifty. Dostoyevsky didn’t write his greatest novel until
he was sixty.
And those guys were in the top one percent of one percent.
For us normies, it will probably be a long time before what
we do catches on.
But in the interim, we can hustle while we wait. And we can respect
and leverage time in several strategic ways:
From a mindset
perspective, we believe there is something waiting for us and trust our ability
to sit down and respond to something.
From a mundane
perspective, we fall in love with the unsexy reality of our work, achieving greatness
by doing what is repetitive and dull.
From a movement
perspective, it’s about finding ways to stay in the game so you can outlive the
critics and still be around when the world is ready for you.
From a momentum perspective,
we build an undeniable body of work that
grows stronger, brick by brick, and know that we’re better because it
From a moxie
perspective, we keep our hand raised until it’s our turn, and then say yes when
luck finds us.
From a motivation
perspective, we chase inspiration until it gets winded enough for us to catch
it, and don’t let it leave until we pick its pocket.
And the good news is, when we combine the mindset, the
mundane, the movement, the momentum, the moxie and the motivation, whatever art
we feel called to create, whatever dreams we feel compelled to follow, and
whatever change we feel commissioned to make, one thing’s for sure.
It’s only a matter of time.