“A band doesn’t ask marketing what kind of song to write. The guy falls in love with a redhead and writes about it. Then she breaks his heart, and he writes an even better song.” -James Victore
A singer puts a part of him in a song, and then shows it to the world as a gift. Not to satisfy the public but to connect with the public. Because the more personal the experience, the more universal. The clearer you manage to put in a song or in your craft something that you may think you and only you went through, the more people will resonate with it.
On the same note, I can choose to see my work as something that needs to be done, get over with and move on. Clock the 9 to 5, get the paycheck and move out. Or I can see my work as a Gift. My little Excel file, or PowerPoint presentation, or handcrafted object, or self-cooked meal, or the photo I took, or the car I repaired, I can choose to see my work as a gift. Because when I start seeing it as a gift, it is not about the other anymore, it is about me.
When work is something that needs to be done, a mere to-do list, then it is all about the person you are doing it for. Satisfy your boss, or the client’s needs, which can easily become a burden.
But when you choose to see it as a gift, it is all about you, because you put a part of yourself in the gift, and it is important that you are satisfied with it more than anything. You work to make yourself happy first. This is true especially in the creative industries. You give your best and then offer your gift to the world. Some might like it some will not, but what matters is that you gave your gift and that you are satisfied with it. And this is eventually what enables a real connection and the way to great work.