Every creative pro reaches a juncture in which they must ask, “Do I want quick success or lasting success?” These moments don’t scream at you. They’re often subtle. But if you pay attention, they come along often.
Do you follow the fad or follow your intuition?
Do you do what’s expedient now or what will deliver results for a long time to come?
Do you do what gets you the most attention in the moment or what will grow a body of work you’ll be proud of later?
These are subtle decisions that require you to understand your values. They require you to subvert your ego for the sake of your body of work. As Thomas Merton wrote, “There can be an intense egoism in following everybody else. People are in a hurry to magnify themselves by imitating what is popular—and too lazy to think of anything better. Hurry ruins saints as well as artists. They want quick success, and they are in such haste to get it that they cannot take time to be true to them- selves. And when the madness is upon them, they argue that their very haste is a species of integrity.”
Stay focused on the body of work you are building, and resist the urge to follow the pack for a quick moment of recognition.
Where are you tempted to go for quick results at the expense of your longterm body of work?