Life is about shortening the gap between where we are and where we’d like to be.

In all aspects.

Think about it. You want to get healthier or lose weight. You want to have a more committed spiritual practice. You want to be more creative and book more creative work.

The only way you’re going to get there is to keep going. There’s no other solution. No quick fix. No short cut. And that’s how you shorten the gap.

And it takes time.

NPR’s Ira Glass, talks about shortening the gap in the creative process between your creative desires and your output of work. He says that when we first begin to create, we do so because we have “great taste.” But as we start creating, our work is bad. It doesn’t fulfill the picture we have in our minds of what we want to be doing. He says there’s only one way to get to where we want to go in our creative lives.

Don’t quit.

Most people stop during this phase because what they’re creating doesn’t match their vision. But by continuing to do the work, you eventually start to create better and better work. Work you’re excited about. Work that means something. Work you can be proud of.

I think the biggest gap we need to shorten is the gap we create by judging our creative selves. We have such unkind things to say to ourselves, that we shut down creativity before our creative ideas have had a chance to take root and flower. And so again, we stop.

The judgments force stoppage.

The only way you’re going to get past the loudness of the noise in your head is by doing. Constantly. And eventually, the outpouring of work exceeds the things you say about yourself. That’s the tipping point. And you’ve then shortened the gap and gotten to the other side.

Every time you judge yourself this week, what if you took the energy and time you wasted on those negative beliefs and put them toward creating something that means something to you instead?

This is how you shorten the gap.

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Anthony Meindl is an award-winning writer/director/producer/teacher and Artistic Director of Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop – where the “right brain rules” – in Los Angeles and New York. He is endlessly inspired by his students’ fearless creativity and is tireless in discovering new ways to help us all get out of our own way a little bit more each day. He just finished writing/directing his first feature film, Birds of A Feather.



Twitter –  @AnthonyMeindl

  • RMDauben

    Ah yes, keep on keeping on. Resistence and feelings of rejection brought on by negative self-concepts keep us stuck. Action is key, without it nothing happens, but continued negative self-rejection, which is a seemingly never ending cycle of uselessness.

    Thank You

    •  Thank you. You are right – let the self-rejection GO!

  • E

    So true!! Thank you for this. We’re our biggest critics. It’s such a shame that talented, creative people quit because perfectionism and fear of failure get in the way. I’ve been fighting my own battles with this lately and while it’s not an easy feat, having the awareness around this gap and knowing that that is all it is makes the struggle worthwhile. I always think of Rollo May’s The Courage to Create – it does take courage!
    Thanks for all that you do!!

  • Brenda

    God knows I love this post.  These words are so helpful to me.  I needed to read this. Thank you