“Change Is An Endeavor, It’s A Real Enterprise”

Here are a few quotes from a Harvard Business Review conversation with Twyla Tharp. These sweat beads of wisdom go beyond art. She captures the essentials of any dedicated endeavor.

“…everyone can be creative, but you have to prepare for it with routine. There’s no other way around it. It’s an absolute mistake to think that art is not practical—or that business cannot be creative. The best artists are extraordinarily practical”

“…The best creativity is the result of habit and hard work. And luck, of course.”

“Fundamental change is an endeavor, it’s a real enterprise, it’s not something that just happens. You make a choice to keep evolving and keep growing.”

To deliver a great performance be it in art, sport, business, teaching or any other field, you have to do much of what is viewed by some as the unnecessary work. Lance Armstrong built a depth of strength during his winter practices up the Tour De France mountain picks when most other cyclers were resting.

It’s the invisible work you put in when no one sees that later shines in your performance. By doing the extra work you make yourself an instrument and a home for the essence of your endeavor and it cannot help but shine through you. Tharp’s message is that it’s the same with creativity. You don’t just wait for a muse or inspiration. You build a practice of showing up and working at it. It is then that inspiration finds you and that you have built the muscle for what it then needs to do.

Here is another interview with Tharp where she explains that it’s about making the dance, and about what failure and success mean.


© Aviv Shahar

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