I was listening to Jerry Seinfeld on The Tim Ferriss Show. So many golden nuggets. He said, “When you have a creative gift, it’s like someone just gave you a horse. Now, you have to learn how to ride it. You got to learn how to ride this horse. I’ve seen people that are born by the dozens and dozens, I’ve seen people that were given black stallions, and it usually — if you have a black stallion, like from that movie, and you’re born, and they just put you on it — and that’s what happens. They just put you on it. And you either learn to ride this thing, or it’s going to kill you.”
You must put in the work. You must learn how to use that gift. For Seinfeld, it was writing and he explained how painful it was to learn to ride that horse.
Seinfeld said, “But my writing sessions used to be very arduous, very painful, like pushing against the wind in soft, muddy ground with a wheelbarrow full of bricks. And I did it. I had to do it because there’s just, as I mentioned in the book, you either learn to do that or you will die in the ecosystem. I learned that really fast and really young, and that saved my life and made my career, that I grasped the essential principle of survival in comedy really young. That principle is: you learn to be a writer. It’s really the profession of writing, that’s what stand-up comedy is. However, you do it, anybody, you can do it any way you want, but if you don’t learn to do it in some form, you will not survive.”
So many people might look at Jerry Seinfeld and say, look at this guy. Writer and star of an award-winning, go-down-in-history show for nine seasons. A comedian who is still doing live shows at age 66. What a gift. What a talent. But he puts in time for a writing session every single day.
Are we taking that kind of action with our gift? Are we learning how to ride the horse we were given?
As George Costanza once said to Jerry on the show, “Jerry, just remember, it’s not a lie if you believe it.”
What are we making ourselves believe about what is possible? And what action are we taking to learn how to ride our own horse?