21st February 2011, (3 Comments)
Advances in technology have given us a never-ending stream of innovation in computing and music devices. This is a wonderful age where progress is a constant. But it’s also a curse. It is easy to focus on the progress to the detriment of everything else.
Take, for example, gear- and feature-lust; the desire to be part of the next big thing. The argument is simple: “why should I do something now when something better will come along?” or “If something new makes me 300% more efficient, it’s in my best interest to wait until that thing comes along.”
This behavior is not exclusive to technological innovation. Have you ever heard the following?: “I’m halfway done, but if I start over completely, I know the end product will be better for it.”
Taken without context, the above quotes are rational. But if you hear them often — especially from your inner monologue, be careful. You may be focusing on the process instead of the end result. (A process which, by the way, will never end.)
This is not an indictment of precision, or of quality. It’s a warning for those who favor quality over results. The greatest process in the world (like the greatest idea in the world) is nothing without implementation. And implementation requires you to pick a moment and STOP, so you can go from thinking to working.
I’ll come down off my philosophical high horse for one example: instrumentation. Whether your weapon of choice is a turntable, a saxaphone, a controller or a paintbrush, it will not become your instrument until you stop, sit down with what you have, and practice. If you’re focusing on developing your craft, time spent drooling over the “next” and the “best” is time wasted.
Again, not an indictment of progress (or of awesome gear) here. Just a warning: you’ll never get good at it unless you stop to appreciate it. If you’re constantly looking over the horizon, you WILL find something to pique your interest. That’s the age we live in.
You must stop before you can move forward.
(Yet another sappy self-help message brought to you by 60 Works.)