Not matter what kind of work you do, you probably have a desire to do things differently and make your mark on the world. If you’re not careful, however, you can get caught up in trying to innovate and never actually get anywhere.
Photo by juanedc.
According to Arno Rafael Minkkinen’s “Helsinki Bus Station Theory”, real success and the chance to make your mark is about consistency, hard work and persistence. If you hop on a bus leaving Helsinki (a metaphor for your work), you’ll probably see that the route you’re taking has already been taken before. Wanting to be an innovator, you get off the bus at the first stop, grab a cab back to the bus station and get on a different bus. Once again, you realise as you ride that this route has already been taken as well.
Minkkinen uses a photographer as an example, who keeps realising the type of photos they want to take have already been done — and done better — by others. So the photographer keeps starting over looking for his trademark. But this process of changing buses never works, explains Minkkinen:
So once again, you get off the bus, grab the cab, race back and find a new platform. This goes on all your creative life, always showing new work, always being compared to others. What to do? It’s simple. Stay on the bus. Stay on the f**king bus. Because if you do, in time, you will begin to see a difference.
You may be doing something similar to someone else, but over time your own personality, voice and ideas will shine through. You need to master your passion first, then let the uniqueness of your work manifest. Sometimes it’s best to stay the course. You can read the theory in it’s entirety, as well as some examination from productivity expert James Clear, at the link below.