A lesson from my grandpa
on creation & creating things
Written by jack friks
Last Updated: Sep 2, 2023
In many parts of my life I’ve questioned if something is worth the effort in which it entails.
Many times I’ve determined something is not worth the effort. For example: getting in a fuss about the car driving in front of me failing to signal and forcing me to press on my brakes.
Getting angry in many such cases I’ve determined is just not worth the time, nor the effort.
On the other hand there are what I would deem as: serious matters. The matters that involve doing something for the process itself, to put in effort to no tangible end, or to try simply because you can.
To create something, even though it would be much much easier not to.
Today I bring you a lesson on a matter which requires great effort, from my grandpa: rest his wonderful soul, that has since risen above the ground that lay at your and I’s feet.
Passing along a message from 20 years ago.
Recently, I started reading a book that my grandpa wrote & privately published in 2003.
In the first pages in my grandpas book are his notes to thank people for helping him write it… in these notes were also a great lesson.
I always thought my grandpa to be a man who could play music, write music, & write words very well from the get go… but he mentioned in his book’s first section that when it came to writing his book: he was not a good writer at all to begin with, & he had to thank all the people who read through his 1500 page manuscript with a great many additions & deletions over the course of a few years.
a quote that comes to mind is this one from Seth Godin on writers block:
Writer’s block is really just fear of bad writing. If you’re willing to do bad writing, then good writing will slip through — it can’t be helped. When people say “I don’t have any ideas,” what they mean is they don’t have any guaranteed-to-work ideas.
My grandpa, without ever seeing this quote of course, understood that in order to write a good book he would need to write a lot of bad passages first. So he could filter out the good in 1500 total pages down to what turned out to be over 400 good pages of writing & story.
Even though he was quite far from good at first, even though he knew it the book wouldn’t be able to reach millions of people in seconds like it could today with the internet, he wrote the book anyways… because somehow, or someway, he also understood what he stood to gain in the face of his own creation
The overarching lesson here is the idea that anything worthwhile or fulfilling is inherently hard. Another thing I realized reading the introduction of my grandpa’s book is that he was very pro creation from what I could tell. His way of thinking, although I barely got to spend much time with him, was very similar to mine: & to what I can gather from my mom too, we both were all for creating things, whatever they may be.
Sidenote: I plan on in collaboration with my mom getting my grandpas book re-published publicly through self-publishing… but that’s for another day. Stay tuned for “Jake’s Way”, one day, some day.
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What is there to gain from creating?
Why would anyone do anything that required effort? Well, most likely because they felt they had something to gain, even if intangible.
The angry driver puts quite a lot of effort to show their anger on the road, honking their horn, pressing the gas, giving the driver that cut them off the thumbs down, or another finger. In this such case: the angry driver is so angry that this relief felt is worth the effort of doing the forementioned things.
The effort a husband may go to creating breakfast for his beloved also shows quite a bit of effort, but what is there to gain? Well there may not be much directly for the husband, but a smile from his beloved or a feeling of being appreciation fill the heart, therefore the husband will certainly put in the effort. Love does more wonderful things than this, but that’s a topic for another day.
The point I’m attempting to make here is that there is almost always some sort of gain to be had when someone does something that they could very well not do too.
But… what is to gain from creation, if one is creating something just for the sake of itself? If someone is to play what may be deemed an “infinite game”? Well actually, believe it or no: there is a whole lot to be gained from the process itself, outside of any possible outcome that may result from such process.
I’m sure you’ve felt it before, you were doing something that required considerable effort: but it was enjoyable at the moment, sure your brain was scrambling, sure maybe your even out of breath… but no matter: you don’t want to stop.
You’re in a type of state that transcends worry about what comes next, you’re not thinking of anything else but the task you’re involved in.
This is a consistent state one finds themselves in when they are creating things, lost in the process, in an infinite game of sorts.
Creation fuels the soul through this high sure, but when times get tough there is another force at play… fulfillment.
In the example of my grandpa writing his book, he wasn’t a good writer to begin with, but he knew from his past creations that he was on to something worthwhile. He knew because he had experienced the feeling of creating something worthwhile before…
Creating music was hard, writing a book is going to be hard, all of his creations required considerable effort, & he could have very well not created such things, so that is why he created such things. Because it is deeply fulfilling to & because they are his very own additions to the world.
What you have to gain from creating things in general is to experience yourself adding to the world, because no matter what you take the effort to create: you could have very well not.
Thank you grandpa, for choosing to create a great deal of things: even when you very well could have chose not to.
If you want more on creation & all the in depth gains, hows, whats, if, ands or butts: then checkout last week’s article “You + Creation: the formula we all need”
oh, by the way: this article is going in my very own book, coming soon to an amazon near you. 🙂 Subscribe below to make sure you get the latest scoop on that sprinkled into my regular emails.
Thank you so much for reading, if you enjoyed this then let me know (please) reply to this & I’ll be sure to reply back.