The Humility Of Art

One of the hardest parts of building something new is having the humility to do things that might not work.

That’s art. And art isn’t linear.

When you’re doing something that hasn’t been done before with the intent of creating change (change in others or in a system) you’re going to face pushback.

They’ll be pushback from others—the people who don’t get it and the people who are profoundly invested in keeping things the way they are—and they’ll be pushback from yourself. You know, good old fashioned Resistance. You will meet corners of yourself that scare you. You will face fear in its many forms and you will be tempted to barter with it, to skirt around the edges of discomfort rather than wade through it.

This is why building is often such lonely work. There are no roadmaps. No guaranteed outcomes. When you’re the first one through the wall, there’s no one on the other side to promise you that it’ll all work out.

But remember: this is art.

This is what you signed up for.

This is how change works.

When you’re just starting, all you can really hope to have is reverence for the work and dedication to the process. More than courage, this requires humility. The humility to start small, without praise, and to do things that might not work.

So here’s to *raises mug* a new year and all the beautiful new things you’ll build, and to cultivating the humility required to do it.


H/T to Rob Bell’s podcast episode A Hymn For the Curve for inspiring this post-walk brain dump. It’s a beautiful listen and I’d recommend it to anyone who’s grappling with the uncertainty, discomfort, and loneliness that comes from following a nudge and starting something new.

If you’re into these kinds of musings on creativity and doing the work, sign up for my newsletter. This is exactly the sort of letter you can expect.