On any project I can quickly get to the doing. Nearly as quickly I start thinking about how to improve whatever it is I’m doing. Sometimes whatever-it-is has a clear end; I can spend many hours (thank you ADHD) laser-focused on an immense number of trivial steps knowing it will mean I can remove something from a to-should list. But with open-ended stuff, like “publish conversations as podcasts”, it doesn’t take long for my urge to fiddle to get the better of me.

I recently went to a Picasso exhibition. What impressed me the most was not any individual piece of art, but rather his remarkably prolific output. Researchers have catalogued 26,075 pieces of art created by Picasso and some people believe the total number is closer to 50,000.

~ James Clear from,


I think it comes down to motivation. (And I find reading about others’ huge accomplishments to be crushingly de-motivating.) If I have the intrinsic motivation, then the iteration happens; only by great effort could the iteration not happen! Clear points out that Picasso had a very dark side which presented in his interpersonal relationships. I don’t think that dark side—anyone’s dark side—motivates iteration. And a dark side is not a necessary feature either. I really believe one can be a decent human being and be motivated and get great stuff done.