I want to share with you a simple, yet profound mantra:
There is no should
For me, this mantra encourages a sense of flow. Here’s why:
Consider the pressures creative people often face when building something new. You may hear that you should focus on a niche, buuuuut creativity often thrives on the convergence of seemingly unrelated ideas.
When an artist lets anything and everything flow out without filters or rules or constraints or boundaries, real progress is made towards innovation.
Yes, your first draft may not function in the real world of users, but that’s no reason to skip the first draft. It’s in this space of building stuff that doesn’t fit any of the rules or constraints that real innovation begins.
You may hear that you should be original, but copying your competition when you’re not inspired can help spark your own creativity. Borrowing ideas can lead to unique combinations and novel concepts that eventually evolve into something truly original. Borrowing ideas also works a unique creative muscle: the critic. By finding what you like and dislike about the work of others, you can better understand your taste and approach.
Self-criticism is often considered a negative thing, because people ussually view self-flaggelation as self-criticisism. But true balanced self-criticism is the hallmark of every mature artist. This practice is as essential in software as it is in art.
You may have other shoulds tugging at your anxiety.
I should finish that other project before I start this one. (Listen to the productivity gurus!)
I should stick to a plan, be more organized… (Put yourself in a box, already.)
Counter these thoughts with… should I?
And let it go.
By adopting a “There is no should” mantra, you free yourself from the shackles of expectation and pressure and second guessing. You make way for your true creative potential. Allow yourself to simply explore, play, and experiment without any “shoulds” holding you back.
Brilliance always starts inside chaos. Maybe it shouldn’t, but there is no should.