The Long Game: best road to creativity and success?
Have you ever wondered why some people are more successful than others? Is it because they are inherently more talented, or do they possess some skills that others do not have?
Throughout history, highly successful people; geniuses, have had one thing in common: they played the long game of life.
What’s the long game? It could be called failure, rejection, or defeat. It should be called an important part of the creative process. In other words, or Robert Greene’s words, “a largely self-directed apprenticeship that lasts some five to ten years [and] receives little attention because it does not contain stories of great achievement of discovery.”
Therein lies the problem: these struggles of self-discovery are what make the creative process grand. Everyone struggles. Every single person struggles. And especially in the creative fields, struggle has a way of fine-tuning and refocusing your creative attentions.
Take da Vinci for example
For example, Leonardo da Vinci faced set back after set back in his career. He was rejected on more than one occasion and spent sixteen years drawing, sketching, and prototyping without a client in sight. He had sixteen years of simply creating work for himself. Marie Curie spent seven years in poverty living in Paris while she studied and researched radioactivity. Stephen King wrote every day for nine years before he sold his first novel.
What does the amount to? Just because you are not getting paid, does not mean that the creative process should stop. In fact, it is better for the process to continue. In our fast-paced, instant-gratification world, people have a hard time waiting. People have a hard time working at their craft. They want what they want when they want it. But, if history has taught us anything, it is that persistence pays off; because while you may suffer through your difficult period, you will emerge on the other side a stronger, more resilient artist. By skipping over these difficult periods, we are devaluing the long game. While the short game may have benefits, it does not teach nearly as much.
Inspirational video about the Long Game
Here is a short video from Delve that explain the process a bit further: