A Short Lesson in Perspective

January 31, 2013

It is possible to get so busy digging a hole that you don’t have time to take stock of how deep you’re in it.

I’ve now ‘enjoyed’ the better part of six months of enforced detachment from my old reality. When your used to turning on a sixpence, shooting from the hip, dancing on a pin-head (too many again?), the view back down from six months is quite giddying. And sobering.

My old life looks, and feels, very different from the outside.

Linds Redding looks back on his career in advertising and wonders whether the long hours, the demand to be creative with a gun to your head, and the enslavement to his own perfectionism were worth it. His answer, “Well of course not. It turns out it was just advertising.”

He write about ‘the overnight test,’ something he and his team would do in the early days: brainstorm all day, give it a night, and see with fresh eyes the next morning which ideas had potential. But then a kind of industrial revolution for the creative industry happened, with two significant effects: computers made producing graphics easier, and heightened competition increased the pace of business. The effect of both was that suddenly 24 hours to come up with an idea was an impossible luxury.

This would be interesting in itself, but Linds gets personal about how, just as he no longer had time to give his ideas the overnight test, he no longer had time to give his life the same. He was so busy being miserable that he never had time to take stock of what his life had become.