Have you ever said, “I could have done that?”
Just between you and me, have you ever, in a moment of subtle jealousy, heard a presentation, read a blog post, seen a video, or even watched a TED talk and grimaced an unspoken, “I could have done that.” If you’re like me, you may have even been so bold as to say, “I could have done that better.”
Creators make “stuff.” They see a need in the world (possibly with imperfect information), but they take a risk and execute. Could they have spent more time on the project? Could they have incorporated your ideas, you bet, but the timeline would have suffered. As I observe successful creators, they are intrigued and curious about the work of others–even if they are “experts” on the matter. Creators look into the future and ask, “what if?”
For every creator, there are multiple critics–laying, waiting, and preparing their sharpened words to pounce. Critics are a dime a dozen. They look into the past with 20/20 vision saying things like “I had that idea years ago” or “they missed a critical piece of research” or “who designed that? My kid could have done a better job.” As they gaze into the rearview mirror, their regrets only compound.
If you want to find a creator, sit down with an eight-year-old and build stuff with Legos. Any ol’ eight-year-old will do. They are curious and wild-eyed as they stack blocks into unlikely fortresses. They want to see your creation, but they never look at you and say, “I could have done that” because there are too many endless possibilities to waste time on nonsense. Remember this: the next time that tinge of jealousy pokes you on the shoulder imploring you to turn around and look into the past, remember that the really cool stuff is in front of you.
So, I have to ask, “what could I have done better in this post?”