The “Life Comes At You Fast” ad campaign was one of my favorites of all time. Nowadays, our lives are constantly bombarded by what seems to be a million messages each second. I see this as a challenge for us to generate a higher caliber of work.
But that being said, the saying that “life goes fast and if we don’t stop to watch we might miss it” is more true today than ever. It’s true – life comes at you fast. Whenever I get a writer’s block or am stumped on a project, I find that the best way for me to move forward is to step back. You’d be amazed what a walk in the woods, a round of golf, or a beer with a friend can actually do for your creativity. More importantly, these steps back make for some of the best memories.
A big-bro figure in my fraternity (Sigma Chi) gave me some great advice my freshman year in college. He told me, “you’re not going to remember the test you bombed in Eng 101 or the speech you winged in front of half the class – but you will remember staying out all night with your best friends, the polar bear run into the ocean at 5am, and the last minute weekend road trip.”
Now, in no way did he mean for me to be Pepperdine’s biggest underachiever (he graduated Summa Cum Laude). But, most of my favorite memories were made when I took a step back to breathe from my projects. When I returned, I had a fresh perspective and ended up doing some of my best work.
If we spend all of our time focusing on our work and making money, we’ll never enjoy the life and lifestyle we’ve worked so hard to achieve. Worse, we’ll miss out on the most important and best part — sharing that with our friends, family, and those we care about. Which wouldn’t make much sense, would it?
Sometimes, we get so focused on our next destination that we forget to enjoy the ride — and I’ve found that enjoying the ride has produced my best work. It’s a win – win.