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Last week, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where I was inspired by artist Gustave Courbet among others. His 130 paintings from a 30 year period of his life accentuated the walls of 4 ballroom size rooms. Gustave coined the term realism, which is a visual art style that depicts common (and sometimes ugly) everyday life as opposed to the distorted romanticized view of the world that many artist promote. Keep it real Gustave!

Despite his 130 amazing works, only 13 (or 10%) are well known and mentioned on wikipedia. This made me question...What if only 10% of the things I ever create will be considered great or successful by others' standards (even if I think each one is great)? How would that change my behavior as I deal with my success-aholism?

A perfectionist, who is likely afraid of failure, hopes to succeed 100% of the time and it stifles their creativity. For perfectionist, success is usually defined and determined by someone else whose opinions they can't predict. An in-perfectionist creates without ceasing or concern, aware that everything they create won't be well received. They define and determine success for themselves, knowing that the world will only honor 10% of what they create if that. Sometimes, perfectionist slay their creative spirit. In-perfectionist allow creativity to flow freely through them because postponing or saying no to creative urges eventually silences the creator within.

An example of a modern day in-perfectionist is 2 Pac. He is still releasing albums 12 years after his death and he only lived until the age 25. His catalog consists of 14 albums, 8 of which were released posthumously. One of hip hop's rising stars and creative geniuses, Lil' Wayne, shares 2 Pac's work ethic and says "Man, I just work. When you work the way I work, things find themselves." At the end of the day, a perfectionist creates very little and an in-perfectionist continuously creates until they get it and for themselves. The irony is that the moment the in-perfectionist achieves greatness in their own eyes, the world not only admires their "great" works, but it awakens to greatness of the other 90% of their creations that were always there but overlooked.

Keep creating. You are perfectly in-perfect.

The 13 Paintings on Coubet's Wikipedia Page
1. The Origin of the World (L'Origine du monde)
2. After Dinner at Ornans
3. The Valley of the Loire
4. Burial at Ornans
5. Stone-Breakers
6. Peasants of Flagey
7. Village Damsels
8. Wrestlers
9. Plage de Normandie
10. Bathers
11. A Girl Spinning
12. Portrait of Jo (La belle Irlandaise)
13. The Artist's Studio


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Jullien's Purpose Statement

My purpose is to help as many people as possible reach their full potential by helping them making a living doing what they love and in the process of doing so achieve my own. I want to do this through writing, speaking, and creating offline and online spaces that facilitate conversations around purpose.

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