Monday, April 11, 2011

Law 4: Hope is not Dismissive

Making Monday

One of the consequences of the casual way most of us use the word, "hope," is that we generally conflate it with optimism. What's insidious about the simplistic, cheerful, power-of-positive-thinking approach is that it categorically dismisses the friction, challenges, and frustrations that are part and parcel of any non-trivial undertaking.

The hope that is expressed by makers has little to do with positive attitude. Makers, more-so than others, understand that anguish and joy are inseparable parts of any creative effort. They know that in every project there will come a time when it feels as though Heaven and Hell have combined against you--as if the universe has come to test your resolve by asking, "How badly do you want this?"

Makers understand the dark night of the soul.

The hope of the makers is not of the grin-and-bear-it sort. The hope of the makers rests on the conviction that, "it's worth it."

Makers don't laugh at the darkness. Nor do they hide until it goes away.

Makers have the courage to face the darkness and embrace it as part of the process, because the process is as worth it as the product.

This is why makers see the project through when users run away. If you give up then your fears that the project is crap come true. If you finish, you might discover you were mistaken. And even if the thing made is deeply flawed, you've made yourself better because you now understand those flaws.

That's why makers keep going: they know, deep down, that it's worth it.

Image: Bill Longshaw /

1 comment:

  1. I needed this post. I just finished my thesis and turning it in was actually painful. Thanks for the reminder of hope.


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