Consistency is Overrated

All my life I’ve been running from idea to idea, each of which I would fail to bring to reality, leaving me with a growing feeling of emptiness .   Too many ideas, so little time.  I’ve wondered for a long time about why I seem to be incapable of staying consistent with any of the projects I start.  Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about it.  I’ve gathered some thoughts in an attempt to make sense of my experience, and I hope some of this might speak to you as well.
Chasing the rabbit.

All ideas I’ve abandoned in the past seem to have the same thing in common:  they first feel like the greatest idea in the world, but then, as I start investing time and energy into them, I gradually lose motivation.  Sometimes I can keep up with a project for many months, other times only a couple of days, but I inevitably end up reaching a point of breakdown.

This pattern has made me feel as if I can’t bring any of my projects to an end.  I seem to always be losing motivation and interest.  This sounds like a curse… but sometimes I think it might actually be a blessing in disguise.

I’ve realized that feeling “unmotivated” has its function: it’s a safeguard that prevents me from wasting too much time into things I don’t find fulfilling or meaningful.   I can beat myself up about it all day, it doesn’t change the fact I know my lack of ability to stay consistent with projects comes from this gut feeling that tells me “you’re missing the point right now”.  Pursuing ideas that feel meaningless is stubbornness at best.

Infatuated with ideas.

I came to realize the deeper problem that hides underneath this pattern is my inability to distinguish infatuation from love.  New ideas always seem bring me this feeling of excitement at first, but I realize their inherent meaninglessness only after the initial flame dies.

I’ve accomplished a lot in the past years: I managed to sharpen my skills in music, build an online community, learned social media and marketing, ran a semi-successful YouTube channel, and a lot more…  Yet, none of those things mattered as long as I didn’t have the original music I dreamed of making to back it up.   At the end of the day, I still didn’t have anything to show for myself.  I had nothing I was proud to call “mine”. 

If I had one advice to give, I would say: “create the content first , figure out the rest later.”  It’s much harder to get distracted by the wrong ideas when you force yourself to face the real work they represent.  That’s how you know you’re chasing the wrong idea.  Ideas are cheap.

My one true love.

Even though it had been clear for me all along creating the music itself should be my priority, there is some part of me that made me believe I couldn’t afford to put my energies there.  Maybe the sheer ambition of my musical endeavors was a bit scary to face, but also I know I fell victim to the sunken cost fallacy.  I had already invested so much in all those other projects that abandoning those things felt like a big loss.  This prevented me from realizing those projects were costing me more time and energy to maintain that they were worth.

Last year, I had enough of this cycle and decided to take a break from everything  so I could focus on creating the music I’ve always wanted to make.  I abandoned things that were not worth my time, and I finally did it: I put together my first EP that is now in mixing.

The dark side of love.

Finding my “true love” has not been the fairytale that it sounds;  “Setting clear goals” and “finding my passion”   didn’t miraculously fix all of my problems with consistency and motivation.  There are definitely days I don’t feel like working on music.  In fact, the journey of creating the music of my dream has been a hell of a roller coaster.   On top of that, witnessing the slow death of my social medias, which I devoted myself to for so long,  has made me question whether my decision to put everything aside was the right one. 

What I know is, this feels so different from my past experiences; this project gave me a true sense of accomplishment and meaning.  Social medias are so fleeting: one day you can be at the top of the world, and the other you’re left with nothing.  The music I created, on the other hand, can never be taken away from me.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done, but the feeling of purpose it filled me with is ever-lasting.

Love is hard work, but provides a unique sense of purpose you only get when you invest past the “easy” part.

A change of season.

I think everything comes and goes, and refusing to acknowledge the changing nature of life is a highway for disappointment.   At some point I decided to value meaning above consistency, long-term vs short term rewards.  That’s a long road, but I’ve concluded it’s a much more fulfilling one for me.  I don’t care if I’m consistent or not because what matters is I make steps everyday towards what I value.  Consistency comes as a result of it.

Sometimes music will be the most important thing I should be doing, some other days it won’t.  Seasons change, and I rather ride with the wave than swim against the tide.  I don’t need to know what my true love is:  I know I will always get back to it and there will come a time when the wave drags me in again.