You don’t need confidence, just contribution. | Derek Sivers

I'd like to share an awesome post from Derek Sivers. 

You can (and should) subscribe to his blog/newsletter and check out anything by him, especially the TED talks

This bit is also from the book “Hell Yeah or No

This is poignant stuff, and fits with some things I've been sharing on social media today. Chris Brogan wrote in his newsletter that "Purpose plus movement is life".. we had a discussion on the equation. Life without movement like breathing would not work, "purpose" includes a lot of figuring out what we really value. 

You can live without examining your values and direction. But would you want to? 

Regardless of your life goals, value or what you deem "success" to be, can we agree with Derek and say we have to do the doing? 



You don’t need confidence, just contribution. 2018-08-06

Years ago, I was so confident, and so naive. I was so sure that I was right and everyone else was wrong.

Unfortunately I was lucky and got successful, so that kept me ignorant of my shortcomings.

I sold my company, felt ready to do something new, and started to learn. But the more I learned, the more I realized how little I knew, and how dumb-lucky I had been.

I continued learning until I felt like an absolute idiot. By then I was paralyzed, unable to create anything new.

I’d start to make things, but then see how stupid they revealed me to be, so I’d stop. I lost all confidence. I spent a few years completely stuck.

Eventually, some new thoughts helped.

Learning without doing is wasted. If I don’t use what I learn, then it was pointless. How horrible to waste those hundreds of hours I spent learning, and not turn it into action. Like throwing good food in the trash: it’s morally wrong. At least I should share what I’ve learned. Really I need to use it to improve my life and create something.

This isn’t about me. My self and how I feel now doesn’t matter. Nobody is judging me, because nobody is thinking of me. They are just looking for things to improve their own life. The public me is not the real me anyway, so if they ridicule my public persona, that’s fine. When I’m contributing something to the world, I’m happy and don’t need recognition.

The work is the point, and my work is unique. If I can do something that people find useful, then I should. It doesn’t matter if it’s a masterpiece or not, as long as I enjoy it. I’ve got my own weird angle on things that’s a useful counter-melody in the big orchestra of life.

So I’m glad my old confidence is gone, because it thought I was right, and maybe even great. But I quit that contest.

Now I aim to make my work — my contribution to the world — just unique and useful.

© 2018 Derek Sivers. Copy & share: sivers.org/contrib

This article originally appeared at: https://sivers.org/contrib.

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