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Newness is Hard

Nobody knows what they’re doing.

When’s the last time you tried something completely new? It’s not an easy question to answer, though 2020 certainly gave plenty of opportunities for newness.

My 2020 had running challenges, apartment moves, transitions to Zoom, and a spontaneous Vanagon trip to Maine.

Why is it often difficult to try something new?

Seemingly simple tasks of beginning a new project, cracking open the study materials, or looking at to-do lists bring pause or hesitation.

Part of this hesitation is fear. Fear of failure, fear of not being good enough, and fear of the unknown creep in.

But fear not.

Nobody knows what they’re doing.

Meg Jay writes this sentence in The Defining Decade.

“When we try to do something new, we don’t know what we’re doing. That’s the biggest challenge.” - Jeffrey Kalmikoff, designer (The Defining Decade, p. 143)

Nobody in the entertainment industry knows what they are doing, either. It’s often the first time something is being done or the first time that an individual is doing whatever it may be. There is a lot of prototyping, learning, testing, failing, and communicating before anything works perfectly, especially things like this.

Jesse Itzler, entrepreneur and doer of all things, writes: “The fact is, we live life in routine. And creating NEWNESS is hard (especially as you get older). You have to PLAN IT or it likely won’t happen. At the end of the day, all we have are our experiences. In 2021, if you have a chance to create a memory...TAKE IT. You may NEVER get another chance.”

Nobody knows what they’re doing the first time. It’s so important to keep this in mind and to be careful comparing yourself to others who have spent years or decades on projects and designs. Learn from others. Experience newness. Comparisons are detrimental.

Perfection cannot be the expectation the first time, the tenth time, or even the hundredth time. Learning and improvement are metrics that can make a difference. We’re all just making it up as we go.