See the Vision

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Updated November 3, 2022

You’re reading an excerpt of Creative Doing, by Herbert Lui. 75 practical techniques to unlock creative potential in your work, hobby, or next career. Purchase now for instant, lifetime access to the book.

Martial artist George Leonard quotes Arnold Schwarzenegger in his Mastery: “All I know is that the first step is to create the vision, because when you see the vision there—the beautiful vision—that creates the ‘want power.’ For example, my wanting to be Mr. Universe came about because I saw myself so clearly, being up there on the stage and winning.”

Picture the final version of your project, or the specific accomplishment you want. You can put it all on a vision board, collaging images of your vision together. Or, you can write it down in your journal. You can also make it more formal and concrete, writing it down as a press release like the Amazon team does.

Align your energy all towards the same goal. Aim it. And then fire. Or, in Zen fashion, forget about the goal, and let the unconscious deal with it.

Keep Moving Forward

Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.A popular saying*

Donald Glover was a screenwriter for 30 Rock and played the beloved character Troy on Community, and his work has since earned him several Grammys, Golden Globes, and Emmy awards. Glover is a polymath. When he released his first official album as Childish Gambino, Camp, a critic at Pitchfork gave it a scathing review and a score of 1.6/10.

It’s not difficult to imagine how I might feel in such a situation—disappointed, embarrassed, and discouraged—at such a public rejection of what I had worked so hard on. And yet, whether it was due to his commitments or his drive, Glover kept moving forward with his music career even though he experienced so much success as a writer and comedian. It would have been easy to quit and stick to his comfort zone, but he didn’t. He said, “I don’t even really understand what I’m doing. I don’t. And I don’t think anybody great understands what they’re doing, hopefully. I don’t think they do.”

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