Excerpt from an interview with Charles Bukowski:
Charles: ‘What do you do? How do you write, create?’ You don’t, I told them. You don’t try. That’s very important: ‘not’ to try, either for Cadillacs, creation or immortality. You wait, and if nothing happens, you wait some more. It’s like a bug high on the wall. You wait for it to come to you. When it gets close enough you reach out, slap out and kill it. Or if you like its looks you make a pet out of it
I hate wasting time trying to do something. Trying is for the liberal arts majors and the bored. At this stage in life, you know if you can do it or not. Stop – stop – stop fuckin’ trying to do anything, ever. People will waste a day picking at a piece of work that they just don’t know how to do. They’ll fret over an email response to whoever, paralyzed with indecision or worry. There’s too many people who use the term “trying” as a blanket reason for why they’re not doing anything.
- Some things are hard and need time to think through.
- Some things require trial and error.
- Some things are so important you need to get them right.
My brother Dom came up with a great response for people trying too hard: there has to be an easier way. Sounds stupid right? No – it’s actually very true. If you’re struggling at something, anything, I am 95% confident someone, somewhere has an easier solution and you probably haven’t found it. For the love of all things sacred, some people approach a problem like it’s going to define their life’s purpose. You don’t spend half a day’s work researching travel tickets, and that’s a decision where you pick an aluminum tube to throw your body into the air 30k feet and hurdling to the ground at mind-numbing speeds. No one who truly knew the dangers of planes would ever rationally take them (I take them all the time, but I’m not feigning being rational).
Find a book, find a website, find a colleague – find whatever it is you’re going to need to execute. But don’t just try to get it right. And know what you’re capable of and what you’re not.