‘Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.’ Oprah Winfrey
Some legacy projects, you can complete on your own. Creating something from scratch (e.g. writing, painting, composing) often falls in this category. Being the only person working on a legacy project can be a mixed blessing – you don’t get all the comfort of ‘group hug’ projects, but then again the quality of the project depends solely on you.
In other areas of creating legacy, however, you depend on other people. I was reminded of this today, as I watched someone I generally admire play the leading role in what must be one of the worst shows I have ever come across. This person (let’s call her ‘Danielle’) did the very best she could, and I know how much she had wanted that show to be a big hit. But the quality of the end-product wasn’t up to her, and unfortunately it was utterly dismal.
So what should Danielle do? Well, as the quality of this particular legacy project depends on others, she would waste time worrying about it. Instead, she should continue to do her very best in every single opportunity that comes her way.
In the short term, this seems like a waste of time and energy. But in the long-term, people will recognise that whatever fate throws in her way, she grabs with both hands and makes the most of. And as she impresses more and more gatekeepers with her determination to do her best no matter what, they will start to realise what an asset she would be to the really juicy stuff, and start opening up the gates for her to pass.
If your legacy projects depend on other people, don’t waste time despairing of their ineptitude. Choose the people you work with carefully, but once you have committed yourself to a project give it your very best, no matter what hindsight wisdom you gather about the calibre of the people involved. Don’t waste time and energy complaining and arguing, just get on with it. For now, doing your best is all you can do. If you stick to this strategy, bigger and better things await you in the future.
The time is now.
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