The Secret Is…
… that the secret doesn’t exist. There is no secret. Has never been a secret.
Lately I have been noticing a lot more “Secrets to Successful Whateverthehellitis-ness”. Secrets that are so secret that you can buy them in a book or an ebook or get them for a buck on your Kindle or iBook or download them bad boys as a PDF…
Real ‘secret’ that mass marketed stuff is, eh? It’s so ‘secret’ that you can purchase it for less than lunch.
I have never bought into the ‘secret’ mentality. Nothing is really secret. BC couldn’t get a BJ in the OO without the NYT finding out.
Secrets? My ass.
(Except for those aliens they have stored up there at Area 51… that is really secret.)
The real secret is so evident that it remains elusive in its ubiquitous. Trees, forest kind of thing.
Work, hard work, is the secret that isn’t.
And work is becoming harder and harder to define and engage. So many people want the results without the work. The answer before the question. The finale without the beginning.
Just tell us how you do it.
Just give us the answer.
Don’t make us think. It’s not fair. It’s not just. It’s not compassionate.
“No Pain – No Gain” has given way to “No Pain, It Hurts Too Much”.
But there is true joy in the questions – real discovery with the pain. There is exhilaration in finding out the answer to the question. And in the finding, a new answer never conceived may be found. A new answer to the question may lead to more new discoveries and pathways and…
When the answer is prepared for us, the pain of the exercise removed, and the ability to challenge the status quo eliminated, we simply become “perpetuators”.
Happily perpetuating what we were told. Perpetuators perpetuate.
And that is fine for the masses it seems. Young pop singers strive to sound like other young pop singers. Innovation that becomes hard to contain in a perpetuated box is turned away.
The safety of the secret is that since it has become defined as simply being as good as the other guy or as ‘hott’ as the new girl, it is very easy to perpetuate.
And the work becomes more effortless, and easy. The challenge of innovation and leading the way is cast aside for the joy and wonder of the beaten path.
Less chance for failure.
Easier and faster outcomes… after all, we aren’t looking to be unique, we just want to be as cool as that guy we saw on Flickr last week.
We want to excel. We want to face a forest with no path and chop our way through it. We want to lift our vision to a place that few will ever see.
We want to fail… and occasionally fail hard.
Without failure, we are not moving forward. We are not facing challenges that challenge. If we win every creative battle we go into, we are not finding battles that are worth winning.
I have been thinking a lot about this lately. My own battles are producing scars and there are days I want to retreat and go have coffee with the contented ones. We can talk about stuff that doesn’t matter.
We can perpetuate the story, the view, the whole damn thing.
Maybe that would be cool.
Maybe I wouldn’t feel so alone. There is a certain glow of enchantment that comes with not trying too hard. Not falling on ones ass and bruising the butt as well as the ego has a sort of charm to it.
But the secret I carry is that I really kinda sorta hate that glow. I really don’t find it very interesting. Or stimulating.
If truth be told, the secret is that the work is more fun, more cool, more fulfilling and ultimately more valuable than the perpetuation of the status quo.
And I know you agree. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this blog.
Now let’s go to work.