The lack of perfect conditions cannot limit us.
A business motto says: “It only counts if we deliver it” which in context means: any process and effort is justified when it achieves its mission. A writer is consecrated upon reaching bookstores. An entrepreneur when opening his business. An athlete when competing … and so we can list many activities, projects and dreams that can be cooked for years until they come out of the oven.
If we already enjoy the process, at some point on the way to our goal we will face the ideal of perfection: our inspiration in success cases is the result of teams with vast experience and unattainable or even miraculous resources generating expectations so high that in contrast to our reality they end up paralyze us, make us abandon the project and rarely prepare us to face them.
Where can we obtain that necessary force to cross our limits? In the same place where we grow despite complexes and crises. Where we face life despite fears, doubts and budding resources. Where we overflow energy for our passion and adrenaline to go through mistakes. In our inner teenager.
Just as we have an “inner child”, we have an “inner teenager” who is eager to fill us with emotion but with the tools of our experience. Today we know how to take risks, forgive ourselves by failing, and even correct mistakes that we could not do before, but we can also have limits and complexes unresolved from that stage: What are they going to say? How to do it if I still need it?
If we believe that the adolescent in his immaturity and passion is wrong and unfinished, we let fear of error paralyze us. It is up to us to go through and value adolescence as a book that we can re-read and rewrite in light of our progress and new perspectives.
I share some lessons that shocked my inner teenager:
- It is not a mistake, it is learning. Errors are more or less frequent depending on the stage in which we are. When we understand what stage we are in, we can process and integrate them better. In my case, at the end of my first album I had to redo all its mix because each song seemed to come from a different artist and with patience I learned to generate my own sound.
- The acceptable over the perfect. In order not to go on forever or get frustrated by pursuing abstract ideas, we must have minimum objectives with clear intention, measure and deadline. An example would be: “Produce and publish a 4-track single within half a year.”
- Suspend trials. During our first steps loose ends are normal. We will make our way by being guided by our values so let’s leave the judgments to the end and only if we really need them. Let’s avoid prejudging and people who prejudge.
- Share it as it is. When a project stagnates it is a sign that we must “round up” and share it in any way to evaluate our objectives. In music for that there are “demos” or “singles”: when you have the concept but it is not yet finalized. In other areas they are called models, dummies, prototypes… What is your the name in your project?
The audience for my messages are teenagers. Your teenager. And I do not underestimate him because I was (am) one of them: as right as wrong, as ignorant as intelligent, as philosophical as vain … and I needed the containment and empathy that I can give today. There is no way to hug those teens outside if I can’t first hug the one who lives in me, in us. How is our inner teenager? Loved or punished simply for being … a teenager?