Why Your Work Disappoints You

Why Your Work Disappoints You


– This video is sponsored by Skillshare. Use the link in the description down below and get a two-month free trial which includes my productivity
essentials course. If you’re an ambitious person, then you like me are also probably somewhat of a perfectionist, whether you’re trying to write a novel or make videos or record your own music, the work that you’re creating right now probably doesn’t measure
up to your standards. There’s always some tweaking you could do or something you could
change or some improvement that you could make, but it seems like no matter how much tweaking you do, it still never quite measures up to that vision you have
in your head, right? This is called the taste gap, which is the term that was coined by the podcaster, Ira Glass. You’re inspired to start creating by other art that you know is good, which means that you
start out with great taste but as a beginner your skills don’t quite match up to that
taste, and by extension, neither do the first
things that you create. And I recently got an email from somebody that echoed this exact idea. They were in the process
of writing a novel but they were frustrated with the fact that the quality of their own writing didn’t match up to that
of their favorite authors. The taste gap was still there, despite the fact that they were able to successfully and accurately analyze what authors did, the way
they described environments, the way that they developed characters. Now, you might not be writing a novel but it’s likely that you’ve
experienced something similar in some other discipline
that you’ve been a part of. So what I want to talk about in this video is a rule that I’ve used successfully over the past few years. Start closing this taste gap, and actually start making progress instead of remaining paralyzed
by my own perfectionism. It’s called the one percent rule and before we get to the specifics of it, I want to do a quick thought experiment that will hopefully put
things in perspective. So picture in your mind’s eye, if you will, your normal everyday routine. Think about the mundane
boring sequence of actions that you go through every single day, but with one slight twist. You haven’t done any of them ever before. Now you’ve seen other people do them, so you know how to do these things, but you have precisely zero experience with brushing your teeth,
with tying your shoes, using a microwave. You don’t know how to
read and how to write. You don’t know how to use a computer. You’ve never done any of
these things in the past. But again, you’ve seen people do them so they should be easy. Now in this thought experiment you can probably come to the conclusion that if you’ve never
done these things before you’re gonna have a hard time with them. In the real world, the
only reason your able to go through your routine,
basically on autopilot is because you’ve done every single action in that routine so many times that they’ve all become habitual. Now, most people
intuitively understand this, but a lot of them fail to apply it to the art that they
wanna make and the skills that they want to build. Writing a novel is just
like your daily routine in that the process of doing it contains lots of individual steps. And your favorite fantasy author has spent years, or possibly even decades, practicing each and every one of them. At this point, certain
parts in the writing process are automatic for these people, which means that they can now
focus all of their attention and their creativity on other things. Meanwhile, as a beginner, you’re over here trying
to split your brain power between adequately describing environments and developing characters
and relationships and catching plot holes
and 800 other elements that you haven’t practiced before. This is why you’re
experiencing the taste gap. You simply haven’t had enough time or enough tries to make
some of these sub-skills into nearly automatic habits. And this is what stops a lot
of people in their tracks because so many people are unwilling to let their idealized perfected vision for their first piece go, and as a result they never finish it and they never develop
the necessary skills to close that taste gap. That’s where the one
percent rule comes in, and it’s really simple,
it just has two parts. Number one, put yourself on a schedule and publish on a regular basis. It could be a once a week schedule. It could be a once a month schedule. That will allow you to not get mired in perfectionism because
you know at a defined point in the future, you’re going to have to say this is good enough, it’s going out I’m shipping it. Number two, each time you make something on your defined schedule, focus on getting one percent better in some element of that discipline. This is exactly how I got
over my own perfectionism when I started my YouTube channel. I had that taste gap. I was watching tons of YouTubers that I really looked up to, and I understood what
made their content great, but I couldn’t replicate it myself. So, instead of getting
mired in perfectionism I put myself on a once per week deadline, and with each video I would
try to focus on something new. Sometimes I would focus on the audio. Sometimes I focused on
my delivery as a speaker. Sometimes I would get
really into animation. I remember one week, I was learning how to keyframe animations
so I can make pictures move across the screen. And then another week I got
really into After Effects and learned about easing curves so I could get rid of linear motion and make more natural motion. And then eventually I got
into really complex masking, and if I were to try to do
all these things at once, well, I would have failed on my first try. But because it was focusing on just one of them for each video, I didn’t get overwhelmed and I started to build a repertoire
of skills, over time. Now, I understand lighting setups. I understand audio. I understand animation. I understand lots of elements that go into the process
of making great videos, but it took four or five
years to get to this point. Now the one percent rule is something you can apply to any discipline
that you’re pursuing. It doesn’t have to be video making. Because let’s face it,
video making is a pursuit that is very easily broken
down into different steps. Pretty much anyone can
identify that there’s lighting, that there’s audio,
there’s on-camera presence, animation, all these different things that you can focus on. So let’s take one more example that’s a little bit harder to break down. Let’s take the discipline of singing. I remember when I started singing I thought it was pretty difficult to identify exactly what
a great singer was doing to sound the way that they did. But this is a discipline
where the one percent rule can apply as well. In this case, you just need to do a little bit of extra work
beforehand to figure out what the sub-skills are, and that can involve, working
with a coach like I do, or just going and doing a little bit of extra reading or
joining an online community where people can give you some pointers. And eventually you’re gonna learn about all kinds of different sub-skills. There’s resonance. There’s eliminating nasality
in your singing voice. There’s dynamics, vocal fry, head voice, and enunciation, singing with emotion. And once you’ve identified
those sub-skills, then you can go start picking projects that allow you to focus on one at a time. For instance, I have a whole
bunch of playlists on Spotify, that breakdown singing skills. So I’ve got one for high voice training. I’ve got one for low voice training. I’ve got one for really powerful singing that utilizes a lot of vocal fry. And since I have one
vocal lesson per week, I usually pick one or two
songs to work on and practice and make recordings of, which
means that I’m essentially on a once per week schedule
with singing as well. So to recap the two big benefits, of the one percent rule are
number one, the deadline. As the old aphorism goes
perfect is the enemy of good and well, a deadline is
the enemy of perfect, meaning that it’s the friend of good. And it’s also the friend of completion. Putting yourself on a schedule means actually finishing things. And let’s just say you put yourself on a once per week schedule for two years, that means two years from
now you’re gonna be able to turn around and look
back on a body of work containing more than
100 finished projects. Secondly, there is the improvement, because focusing on
getting one percent better in a new area with each project means that over time you get vastly better in many, many different
sub-areas of your discipline. Again, if you make 100 things
over the course of two years, that means you’ve given
yourself 100 opportunities for practice and improvement, and each time you’re picking
one new area of focus you continue learning and
expanding your horizons, but you’re also gaining more practice in the areas that you
have focused on before. Now I do want to point out one resource where you can go to learn the sub-skills in whatever skill that you’re trying to build and that is Skillshare. On Skillshare you’re gonna find a library with thousands of in-depth courses covering video editing,
photography, illustration, animation, and even productivity. And since I talked about my
own video editing journey in this video, the course
that I want to recommend this week is how to make
an animated YouTube video by my friend Evan who runs
the channel PolyMatter. And if you go to his channel you’re actually gonna see evidence of the one percent rule in action because he’s been publishing
consistently for years, and you can see gradual improvement in his videos over time. And you also might want to
check out Jake Bartlett’s course on Animating With Ease in After Effects, especially if you wanna
learn how to start doing some of the things that
we did in this video. Also Skillshare is an
incredibly affordable platform with unlimited access to their platform starting at less than 10 bucks a month, which basically makes it
like a Netflix subscription that’s a lot more useful to your future and your skill development. And even better if you want
to get a two-month free trial, you can actually sign up
with the link down below and get that while also
supporting my channel. And by the way, I
actually have a brand new Skillshare course coming
out in January, 2020. So even if you sign up right now and activate that two-month trial today you’re going to get free access to that course when it comes out. By the way, thanks so much
for watching this video. Hopefully you found this useful. It’s definitely a rule that
has been very, very useful in my life so I really hope that you can apply it to yours as well. And if you enjoyed this video definitely hit that like button so the YouTube algorithm kind of likes my channel a
little bit more, I guess. Otherwise you can get
subscribed right there, if you haven’t done so already, And also maybe subscribe to
my music channel right there if you want some cool tunes
in your life, I suppose. Otherwise I’m gonna throw
a couple more videos on the screen that you
can check out if you want, and I will see you in the next video. (soft music)