Inspiration is for Amateurs


Chuck Close is an artist. He recently wrote a retrospective note to his 14 year old self as part of a CBS series. He writes:

Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. Every great idea I’ve ever had grew out of work itself.

Sign on to a process and see where it takes you. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today you will do what you did yesterday and tomorrow you will do what you did today. Eventually you will get somewhere.

And what he says isn’t coming from just a place of being self-disciplined, or overcoming the usual resistance. His plod-through-anything ethic stands as a beacon, calling for all stewards to give an account for their talents. Especially when you consider that he was advised against going to college, has face blindness, lost a parent at eleven years of age, and is quadriplegic.

Yeah. No excuses left. So, here’s a short letter to my 14 year old Joel Wilson self:

Joel, don’t be afraid to fail. Go. Have heart and show up. That thing you’re afraid of trying? Just go for it. Everyday.


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