Pillars…

Hugh at Gaping Void writes The more talented somebody is the less they need the props. Which resonates with me. Here are some snippets…

Abraham Lincoln wrote The Gettysberg Address on the back of his paper lunch bag, sitting on a park bench

…There’s no correlation between creativity and equipment ownership. None. Zilch. Nada.

A fancy tool just gives the second-rater one more pillar to hide behind.

Pillars do not help; they hinder. The more mighty the pillar, the more you end up relying on it psychologically, the more it gets in your way.

And this applies to business, as well.

Which is why there are so many failing businesses with fancy offices.

Which is why there’s so many failing businessmen spending a fortune on fancy suits and expensive yaght club memberships.

Again, hiding behind pillars.

…But nobody’s perfect. We all have our pillars. We seem to need them. You are never going to live a pillar-free existence. Neither am I.

All we can do is keep asking the question, “Is this a pillar” about every aspect of our business, our craft, our reason for being alive etc and go from there. The more we ask, the better we get at spotting pillars, the more quickly the pillars vanish.

I can think of a few pillars I’ve got lost behind. Like technology.. “If I get the latest computer, I’ll become so much more productive” (followed by hours of frustration trying to get it to work, or distraction playing with new toys on it instead of actually working).

A while back I bought myself a Mercedes SLK, and had this idea that it would turn me into this busy outdoorsy sort of guy, who’d be driving to Scotland every weekend. In reality, I found myself waking up in the middle of the night checking to see if it had been stolen yet. And dealing with “jealousy scratches” and stolen badges. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great car and fun to drive… and not really the fantasy I expected.

It’s all too easy to mistake the thing (freedom, creativity, whatever) and the symbol of the thing (the fancy PC, the car etc). So I’m with Hugh in keeping an eye out for the pillars.

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