That idea hit me right between the eyes.
It just so happens that today is the day before a group of very talented folks will be speaking at TEDxNapaValley on December 2. I have been fortunate enough to be a volunteer on this year-long project and have had the pleasure of working, along with Jeff Prather and the rest of the committee, with speakers during this whole process - from selection to their appearance on stage tomorrow.
Having been a speaker at this same event last year, I know exactly how it feels to try to cram your important, wonderful, funny, heart-breaking, humble but inspiring, educated but approachable, powerful, local with global implications, energy-efficient, exciting, peaceful, actionable, sustainable, vulnerable, authentic message into a tiny, less than 18 minute hole.
The pressure to deliver in a format like this is immense. Not only is there a live audience, but you are being recorded for a video that could potentially find its way to TED.com.
Your first inclination, in designing your talk, is to keep adding more stuff. You want to provide more and more proof of your message and theme. Maybe I should add another photo here, a few more thoughts there, an extra word or maybe even a couple of new ideas over there. Do I have enough slides? Maybe I should add a video or some music?
As the final hours approach, these speakers will likely question their slides, doubt their abilities, and wonder why in the world they volunteered (for no pay) to subject themselves to the pressure of speaking on a stage in front of 400 people. (Or maybe that was just me. These guys are pros!)
But I am here to tell you, and tomorrow's event will prove, that what they have created so far is absolutely perfect.
It is time to stop.
Is it time for you to stop working on your creative pursuit and let it go?
Photo via Peter Kaminski, Flickr