When you grab a camera and take a picture that is out of focus, the result isn’t very pleasing.
A photo that is out of focus requires a lot of unnecessary work on part of the viewer in order to see exactly what the picture is of. Your creative life is a lot like that photograph: if there’s nothing clearly in focus, you’re creating unnecessary work that could have been prevented.
You have to learn what to focus on if you want to succeed as a creative and be happy.
Successul people aren’t always necessarily more intelligent or creative than anyone else, they just know how to focus their efforts. Author Seth Godin recently blogged about this topic, he writes: “…those that manage to capture the imagination…and grow are doing it by perfecting the things that matter and ignoring the rest.”
But how do you know what matters right now – what you should be focusing on – and what doesn’t?
As a creative, you likely have a lot of areas to focus on right now. There’s work to be done, there’s responsibilities and bills to see to, there’s friends and family and possibly an entire other category of work that you enjoy. So which area do you focus most of your efforts on? There’s no easy answer, but one way to tell what you should be focusing on is to evaluate how happy and challenging the work is.
Exciting work that makes you feel happy and accomplished, work that is somewhat challenging and that makes you feel as though you’re learning and growing, may be the right work to focus on. Ultimately you’ll have to explore different areas of focus, but with any sort of focus you’re working on the photo that is your creative life, and that’s better than an out of focus picture.
Keep going with a solid focus when you find it, rather than taking the side road to somewhere else. Doing so will help you create a clear picture and enable you to be more successful.
So go now, find something worth focusing on, and give it all you’ve got.
Photo by Magdalena.