Creative impermanence

The insight of an experience like Snapchat is that impermanence lowers the bar to action.

First, impermanence removes the urge to get it right: beautiful, meaningful, even interesting. We spend less time fretting over our sandcastles when we know that the tide will wash them away.

Second, impermanence negates our concern for reputation. Reputation is the child of history; when there is no record of what we made last week, who we were last year, we are free to be mercurial, absurd, idiotic. In other words, ourselves.

Knowing this, it’s worth considering where we (personally or collectively) creatively stall in other domains. The broad question: what do we not attempt, for fear of getting it right the first time, every time?

  • Fields where the initial investment cost is high
  • Fields where we will be judged/graded/evaluated, particularly publicly

Scientific research, starting a small business, switching careers, going back to school. Trying that new dance move. Giving compliments. Being honest. Raising our hands.

All subject to the tyranny of the high bar.

Perhaps we will run faster as we build ways to forget our steps.