The Emotional Journey of Creating Something Great
After the first bottle of wine we got the idea. After the second, we were nearly jumping out of our skins with excitement. On the third, not only had we agreed that this was The Best Idea Ever, we had even sketched the entire plan on the paper cloth of the restaurant table.
“This will be so much FUN”, we sang and danced our way out of the restaurant.
The next day we met, slightly head ached, but wildly high on life. It was Day 1 day of The Best Idea Ever and we were on a roll.
It was time to get practical, and our headaches grew; quickly realizing what sounded so easy the night before, suddenly wasn’t that easy anymore. Where on earth should we begin? How would we start? It was a sobering moment, realizing that our ambitions were greater than our abilities, and that our incompetence was at the level that we didn’t even understand what we didn’t understand.
Still, we didn’t waiver, deciding it would be worth the weeks, or maybe the months, the development and launch of it all most probably would require.
After all it was The Best Idea Ever. Wasn’t it? And surely, things would get a lot easier as soon as we got the hang of it. Wouldn’t it?
Days, weeks, months went by, but it didn’t get any easier. In fact; the more insight we gained, the more we realized how much we didn’t know or understand. Our frustrations grew. And we learned that there is a very thin veil between “The Best Idea Ever” and “This Idea Sucks”.
Oh, the pain of the day when we actually said out loud: “This Idea Sucks”. The ground we walked on shivered a bit, and slowly opened up, leading us down into the “Dark Swamp of Despair”.
Months had gone by, days, nights, energy and money had been spent. And we were stuck, stuck in the swamp, not remembering where we came from, not seeing where we were going.
There was only one way to handle the Dark Swamp of Despair, so we did what we do best; we started laughing.
We laughed at our initial excitement and naïve assessment of what we thought it would take, we laughed at everything we didn’t know, everything we didn’t get, all the mistakes we had made and all the mistakes that were waiting around the corner. We laughed at the fact that we were laughing and that whatever would happen or not, at least we hadn’t lost our ability to laugh at ourselves.
“Those who never made mistakes, never tried anything new” (Albert Einstein)
We had tried something new, it hadn’t turned out the way we thought, we felt failure knocking on our door, but we agreed we weren’t quite ready to let him in just yet. So we shrugged off the muddy despair, rolled up our sleeves, gave it another go and released something we felt we could live with, even though we felt it sucked a little bit, at least it was something, we got it out there, realizing it wasn’t perfect but at least the start of something we could refine, improve, build on. Eventually.
A few months went by, and while we were busy doing other things, The Best Idea Ever was still hanging around, refusing to leave us, slowly maturing, morphing into something new. Or rather; working its way back to its original form, to the way it looked before all the clutter, the challenges, the well-intended advice, frustration, self-doubt, challenges and obstacles that made us feel lost.
Then; one beautiful day, it jumped backed into our heads, The Best Idea Ever, in its purest form, looking as new, sparkling and exciting as the first time we met. But one thing was fundamentally different. We were. And we realized that the journey we had gone through wasn’t one of failures, but one of learning, growing, getting insights, experience and knowledge. So we finally could meet and embrace the idea in the way it deserved to be embraced: with a real and new-born understanding of how to make it come to life.
What only 6 months earlier had looked like an impossible task, was now something we felt we could easily manage. What only a short while ago had felt like a mountain impossible to climb, was now merely a small bump in the road.
In an instant, the fires in our bellies were re-lit, energy, inspiration and ideas came flowing, actions were taken, and suddenly The Best Idea Ever had manifested itself the way we once just had imagined it – but this time with much less effort and struggles; simply because we had stopped forcing it and allowed it to grow on us instead.
An idea is nothing but an idea until it is manifested into something real. The creation of it is the hard part; the struggling, sweaty, tearful and annoying part. But seeing an idea come to life and becoming something real… oh that sweet, sweet feeling makes the whole emotional journey worth it.