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Friday, July 7, 2017

Lean Quote: To Succeed, One Must Be Creative and Persistent

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"To succeed, one must be creative and persistent." — John H. Johnson

People just give up too easily. They’re robbing themselves of their more interesting ideas by giving up too soon. Perseverance is what allows creative geniuses to keep pressing on through failures and bad ideas in order to uncover truly valuable concepts. No matter what your endeavor may be: if you aren’t invested to make it through the work until the end, you don’t stand a chance at succeeding. Persistence matters.

As far as creativity is concerned, in my mind it is not enough to just have ideas, or to be able to appraise them critically, or to sell, translate, or market them. What separates truly creative greats from those who are less creative is the aspect of persistence. It is through dogged determination that highly creative persons take their energies and translate their dreams into realities. Sometimes this means that they literally breathe life into mere wisps of visions and then work tirelessly until these threads are completed as something that can be viewed, felt, or understood by others.

It’s all well and good to talk about being persistent and working with Herculean effort, but how do we get ourselves to that state of mind? If we have no guarantees, how do we keep ourselves motivated when the work gets tough? (And it always does.)

The best creative minds and innovators don’t just succeed right away. Hell, they don’t even succeed consistently. All of us face at least the prospect of failure every single day. Failing really just means being open to experimentation—to working on things outside of our comfort zone without fear of repercussions if things don’t pan out. The freedom to fail is what will eventually make you look like an overnight success.

The winner of a long race, as creativity can be, is not the person with the best idea, but the person who finishes first. The world is littered with abandoned works and too-late arrivals. So knuckle down! Get on with it and never, ever give in!

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