When it comes to the arts and creativity, we’ve all see some things that are great and some things that are… well… not great. What is great work, and how can we do great work every time?
Let’s start with the basics. “Great” is a subjective term. One person’s “great” is another person’s “garbage” and there is precious little we can do about that. I know I belabor this point on this blog, but if you strive to please everyone, you will end up pleasing no one, least of all yourself. So it appears we will need to look for “great elsewhere.
Here’s what I suggest. Be your own critic. If you have created the best work you can do today, making the most of everything you can do today, that is the very greatest you can be today, and by the way that is good enough. If you bring your all to a project, you have done great work. Will everyone think it’s great? No, see the above paragraph, but if it is your best, put it out there for the world to see and learn from it. The people who love your work become your audience, your faithful fans and followers. You now have two people depending on you for greatness—first and foremost, yourself and secondly your “fans.” These are two of the best motivating forces for making you do better, and how do you become better? You bring your best to the work every day.
That’s called faithfulness, and by the way, it’s what God desires too. Don’t let the people who think your work is to great to discourage you. Give it your best, share your gift with the world and focus on pleasing yourself and the ones who think your work is pretty great. Get better for them and for the One who makes you great.