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Committing to something (and letting it go)

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Sat, May 2, 2020

Committing is making a pact with yourself that you’ll honor whatever it is you’ve set your mind to. I’ve set my mind to shipping, made an internal commitment to it. And even when it slips your mind all day, like this daily musing did to me today, you remember that you committed

So I stop what I’m doing to ship something.

I make sure it’s something of quality, of which I’m satisfied, if not particularly proud, of being judged by.

Whatever we do, we should always try do it with Quality (to borrow the capitalized version from Zen). When we apply our intention to produce something worth spending even just a few minutes on, we recognize it, give it a place. We say to the world, “this thing deserves to be.” 

And, later, if we feel it no longer does, we can release it from its state of existence.

I remember growing up with my buddy Brandon, a terrific artist of any trade, and particularly skilled with a pencil. Le coup de crayon, he had. Still does. Brandon always managed to whip up the coolest drawings with seemingly such little effort. You could say drawing was an absolute flow state for him.

I remember we would draw characters and comics together. We’d create our own Pokémon, our own beasts for Dungeons and Dragons. Brandon would draw the coolest little sketches, pure works of art I so longingly admired in comparison to my own decent productions.

And, if ever Brandon was not satisfied with one? Rather than carefully erase and adjust the offending details like the rest of us, he’d simply crumple the page and toss it into the nearest garbage can.

It blew my mind every time.

To this day I can’t simply trash something of which I’m proud. I finally committed to getting rid of the five ideaPortals that’ve occupied our patio since January 2019. I still have a box and a half of my old Conscious Creative business cards. And I still glance often at my miniature, sticky-note replica of the famous Tournée du Chat Noir poster, pinned casually above my monitor between people I love.

I just can’t seem to stomach throwing away something I’m proud of. I know these things are mostly worthless, consuming more resources than they create. I guess I’m just a sucker for sentimentality.

I’ll tell you one thing, though. I choose carefully what (and who) I commit to, and I keep those commitments like promises. Promise carefully, and keep it.

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