“Done is better than perfect”. This is the mantra that has been guiding me since a while ago. What does it mean? I have discovered a fascinating Japanese concept called Wabi-Sabi, which says that it’s possible to find beauty in the imperfect.
Think of it as having some object that we like. If we look at it, it might be getting old or rusty. Still, we are so grateful that it exists in the first place, that it’s better than not existing at all.
I have noticed that the need to get things perfectly is one of the main things keeping us from getting familiar with the process of creation.
I work with an artist with whom I have been trying to release one song for 6 years now. Those are 6 years that we have deprived the world of the message that the song carries. Fortunately, he also started to realize that and is getting detached to the outcome.
Which is an important point I wanted to talk about. When you stop being attached to the results, you open your mind to the journey. It’s like walking in a forest. If you keep focusing on the end of the path, you won’t notice the beautiful trees and animals around you.
I have been putting out a lot of content lately, and that’s on purpose. By focusing on quantity over quality, I have been gaining valuable insights into the process of creation. I am aware that most of people watching my videos will think “He could be doing this better, or he could be doing that better”. There is no sense in taking this to my heart, you know why? Even Grammy award winner music producers are criticized every day. We have the choice of keeping on our path learning and evolving, or playing the role of the victim and blaming the world for not supporting us.
Nobody will feel sorry for you and say “Poor thing, so underrated, let me like his video out of pity to make them feel better”. First of all, that’s not gonna happen, second of all, you don’t want that to happen. Whatever your passion is, whatever you create, taking personally the critics you receive can only cripple you and create a negative feeling towards the process entirely.
Wabi-Sabi is a concept that you can apply to all areas of your life, whether you create music like me, or you create burgers. Embracing the imperfections doesn’t mean not caring about quality. On the contrary, it means opening yourself up for realizing things you would never realize if you were stuck trying to get things perfectly.
You can also find this concept in the book “Show Your Work” by Austin Kleon. It’s a very short book, so you can finish it in one sit. Nowadays we’re going towards something called the creator economy. Our value is proportional to the amount of people we help. Helping could be making their lives easier, provoking emotions, making them more knowledgeable, etc.
All of those things can only happen if you put stuff out to the world. Imagine a song sitting on an artist’s hard drive for years. That song could have saved someone’s life. But it didn’t because the artist was worried that people would drop mean comments on their YouTube video, and that would hurt their ego. They just didn’t realize that it’s not about them.
You know that famous quote by Uncle Ben: “With great power comes great responsibility”. If you make music, you have the power to touch people’s hearts. Wasting this power by worrying about getting things perfectly is like Spider-Man not saving someone’s life because he’s worried that his swing will not be cool enough in the picture.
To wrap things up, the take I want you to have on this is: that you will only know if you try. Get detached to the outcome, open your mind to whatever may come, and don’t worry: most things are not under our control, so take action in things that you can control.