Hypercritical #79: Grandpa Uncle Joe

Merlin Mann (60:08):

I’ve been so inspired over the years by people who felt just perfectly out of my reach. Far enough out of my reach that it pushed me forward, but near enough that if I do this thing really well, this person might not hate me.

In any field of the arts, it’s difficult not to look up at the top pros and think God, I’m never going to be that good.” I’m not sure how useful that is day to day, so I do my best to put it out of my mind. Instead, I do what rock climbers do: I look up to the next reachable point. I do this with people I admire. I do this with reachable, attainable, respectable people. They’re not megastars, but I still think they’re amazing, and they’re even more amazing for being relatable and, more often than you’d think, more than willing to recognize your existence and help you out. It’s not a matter of trying to reach some top, because that thing doesn’t exist. There’s just more tops the higher you go. It’s about recognizing that one of the best ways to get better at this thing you love is to ping off people who do that thing you love in a way you can eventually attain.


August 4, 2012