On a random Tuesday in – actually no wait, maybe it was was a Wednesday? Honestly, I have no idea what day it was and it’s not at all relevant to the story.
The story is that it was mid-day on a day with nothing planned when my mother found my grandmother getting all dolled up. My mom is a little kid in this story.
Anyway, she asked my grandmother where she was going my grandmother said, “Nowhere.”
“Then why are you getting all dressed up?”
“For me. (pause) Why do I need a reason?”
In my mind, there is no worse crime than having to get dressed when you don’t have to be. Never in my life has there been a Sunday where woke up and thought, “You know what this Sunday calls for? Doing my hair!”
The only things my Sundays have ever called for besides coffee are yoga pants and an oversized sweater. Anything else should be a national crime. But I digress. The point is we save the good stuff for when we’re going to be seen by others.
But when is that, exactly?
For my teenage self, that was whenever boys were around. I’d “save” my “good pants” for when I thought a boy I liked would be at a party. Correction: When I thought I might be invited to a party where I’d see a boy I liked.
We save the good stuff for hypothetical situations. Just in case we need it later. When *the right people* are paying attention.
Which is why my “good pants” lived and died in my closet.
The right people are never paying attention.
But that’s no reason for us not to wear our good pants or get dressed up or do our hair or if you’re paying attention this is a metaphor for not saving your great work for when you think people are watching you.
There’s this myth that you should “save the best for last” which is a really dumb idea especially if you’ve ever eaten ice cream. Everyone knows the first bite is the best one. After that your mouth is numb and you’re eating more out of commitment (I will finish this pint calories be damned!).
Save the best for first.
Wear your good pants on a Sunday (after you’ve had your coffee, obvi). Write the piece you’re afraid to write because you’re worried there’s not more where that came from.
Or maybe there isn’t I don’t know I’m not God. But Paul Graham says that ideas lead to more ideas. “Working to implement one idea gives you more ideas. Shelving an idea costs you not only that delay in implementing it, but also all the ideas that implementing it would have led to.” (Page 68, Hackers and Painters).
And in my experience, P.Graham is rarely wrong about these things.
And neither is my grandmother.
If you’re ready to stop holding out on yourself, check out my virtual coworking space. We’re a community of business owners who are actively putting our best work into the world and mostly falling down and getting shat on. But then (drumroll please) we get back up. Like the Chumbawamba song.