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Ask “What’s Missing?”

As we approach the holiday’s and the New Year, I’m thinking about the projects I’ve worked on this year. The things I’ve done, the fears I’ve crushed, and the ones that crushed me. I’m thinking about the walls I’ve come up against and the one’s I’ve bust through. When I look at these things I want to look big picture, take myself back to the beginning and think about why I’m doing this thing.

Why am I writing this right now?
Why am I getting out of bed in the morning? What am I doing with this time?

There’s another question I’m asking that I’m not sure I’m totally comfortable with but I think I like that… a lot.

What’s missing?

If I’m looking at the “why,” the mission, the “project” as a whole, what is missing from the equation?


We’re called to create. Let’s make sure that we’re fully creating the things we make. That means sometimes looking at what you’ve made and asking “what’s missing?” My friend Dan O’Day calls it “Happy +1 +1 +1.” When he creates an image, he looks again to see if there’s a way he can “+1” it. It doesn’t mean your original is bad, it just means that you can sometimes see a way to make it better if you stop and look. That’s what an artist does.

**(Note: this method is NOT the plan-it-all-out-and-make-it-perfect-then-make-the-stuff method. It’s the Make-The-Stuff-Then-Make-It-Better method. Huge, huge difference.)**

It’s not about looking for the magic bullet. I’ve already found that. That was the idea and I’ve already made it real. No, I’m looking to do what Steven Pressfield says in his book Do The Work, “Fill the Gaps.” There’s probably something missing here that could make the idea more full, the project more developed, the why more clear. It might be something simple. It might be something that will take some time. But let’s not blindly march into the dark depths of idea development without stopping, looking around, and making sure everything is working. Do that, then keep diving into the depths.

Happy Tuesday, friends. I’m so glad your here. Thank you for making stuff 🙂


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