The creative process is often akin to a rollercoaster, filled with highs and lows, victories and challenges. To truly thrive and unlock our full potential, it’s essential to cultivate the quality of ‘relentlessness’. In this article, we will delve into the advantages of embracing relentlessness within the creative process and discover ways to integrate it into our everyday lives.
As some of you may know, in addition to my role as the Co-Founder and CEO of The Creative Revolution, I also fulfill the role of an executive coach. In this capacity, I support business leaders at the start of their entrepreneurial journey, as well as startup founders, marketers, and content creators in their pursuit of establishing a purposeful life and thriving business, empowering them to prosper and excel. The content in this article is inspired by and stems from my course, ‘Life in Technicolour‘, which offers an insight into our Nevergrey framework—guiding you to realise your true potential and navigate the path towards happiness and success. If you find this article helpful, please don’t hesitate to enroll in the course if you haven’t already done so.
Without further ado, let’s explore the potency of relentlessness and examine the profound influence it can have on your creative journey.
1. The Importance of Losing “Good Enough” Mentality
In the pursuit of excellence, it is essential to abandon the idea of “good enough”. In his book, Relentless, Tim Grover uses the term ‘Relentlessness’ to mean pushing beyond your limits and seeking continuous improvement, even when you’re already successful. This mindset can drive innovation and creative breakthroughs, and so to incorporate this into your own life, you could try setting specific, measurable goals that challenge your current abilities, and seek feedback from others to further refine your skills. Beware though, as I cover in my course Unit ‘Gettable’, holding yourself to a SMART objective can be the unwinding of a good creative endeavour. Sure, consider setting these goals, but instead try to focus the measurable part on the process you can control, not on the outcome or result you can’t.
2. Consistency: The Key to Long-term Success
Consistency is crucial for sustained success in any field, including creativity. By committing to regular practice, you cultivate discipline and build a strong foundation for future achievements. To foster consistency, try to establish a routine and set aside dedicated time for your creative pursuits. Track your progress and celebrate small wins along the way to stay motivated. Celebrating your successes is a huge part of the process, covered in my course Unit ‘Yours’, but it’s understated and often overlooked. If we’re talking about Long-term Success through building consistency, then you need to get used to giving yourself a very sore back by the amount of patting you should be giving yourself. Give yourself a round of applause, go on.
3. The Difference Between Consistency and Discipline
Consistency involves the ability to maintain a routine or habit, whereas discipline is the act of forcing oneself to adhere to rules or expectations. The difference between discipline and consistency is key here. Consistency is the ability to do a thing repeatedly. It’s often confused with discipline. Discipline is forcing yourself to do what you don’t want to do regardless of time. It’s possible to say that discipline is unnatural and often forced, whereas consistency is natural and built. You can be sporadically disciplined but it’s not possible to be sporadically consistent. They’re often confused because disciplined people tend to be consistent and consistent people tend to be disciplined. Consistent individuals often exhibit discipline, but discipline alone may not lead to long-term success. To achieve both consistency and discipline, focus on what works and build sustainable habits from that so you can find internal motivation for your creative work.
4. Harnessing the Power of Scheduling
Creating a schedule and adhering to it can help you stay on track and maintain consistency in your creative endeavours. By setting aside dedicated time for your craft, you give yourself the structure necessary for success. To build a schedule, prioritise your creative work and allocate specific time blocks for it – I cover this in the Unit ‘Expiration’. A 2005 study found that 28 percent of an average professional’s working day was spent on interruptions – phone calls, emails, chats with co-workers – and on recovering from those interruptions, which is over ten hours every week. To structure your time better and stay focused, use blocks. Your week should include three kinds of protected time: strategic blocks, buffer blocks and breakout blocks. I go in a bit more detail in the course, but you can also consider using tools like calendar apps or planners to keep track of your commitments too. I have had a lot of fun trialling nearly all of them; I can tell you they’re all the same. It starts and ends with how you want to work.
5. The Role of Accountability
Accountability can be a powerful tool for staying focused and committed to your goals. By sharing your objectives with others and participating in accountability sessions, you increase your chances of success. It’s why I like being a Coach to creatives. There’s often an obstacle to overcome in sharing your work, so being accountable to another can feel really alien. To create an accountability system, find a coach (hello) or group (The Creative Revolution is full of Revolutionaries just like you) with similar goals, and schedule regular check-ins to discuss progress and challenges.
6. The Impact of Resilience on Creativity
Resilience is an essential trait for those who want to excel in the creative process. By cultivating the ability to bounce back from setbacks, you can maintain your momentum and keep pushing forward. To develop resilience, practice reframing negative experiences as opportunities for growth and seek support from your network when facing challenges. The Nevergrey framework is designed to help you understand that your circumstances are completely out of your control, and neutral. I know, some of you may have reacted to that statement, but it’s true. What you do with that information, how you view it, your emotional reaction and, critically, your response to it can vastly impact your success and develop your resilience.
7. The Influence of Passion on Relentlessness
Passion fuels relentlessness in the creative process. When you’re deeply invested in your work, you’re more likely to persevere through challenges and maintain a commitment to excellence. This is essential, and there is no better text and work than Sir Ken Robinson’s ‘The Element’ and ‘Finding Your Element’ books, and course (coming soon). Finding your passion changes everything. To ignite your passion, explore different creative outlets and identify activities that truly resonate with you. Align your goals with your passions and invest your time and energy into those areas; if it doesn’t align is it worth your time? Oooo! I may make that a T-Shirt!
8. Embracing Failure as a Learning Opportunity
As Carol Dweck says, failure is a natural part of the creative process, and learning from it can lead to growth and success. In fact, there are so many inspiring quotes backing this point it’s not worth writing around them, let’s throw them down here:
By embracing failure as a learning opportunity, you become more resilient and relentless in your pursuit of your goals. To reframe your perspective on failure, remind yourself that setbacks are opportunities for growth, and develop a growth mindset that focuses on learning rather than simply achieving.
In conclusion, being relentless in the creative process has numerous benefits, including continuous improvement, increased resilience, and sustained success. By incorporating this trait into your daily life, you can unlock your full potential as a creative individual.
To spark debate and discussion, consider the following prompts and questions and let me know in the comments below:
- How can you cultivate relentlessness in your own creative process?
- What are some examples of relentless individuals who have inspired you in your creative journey?
- How have you personally experienced the benefits of relentlessness in your work?
 Grover, T. (2013). Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable. Scribner.
 Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention. Harper Perennial.
 Ericsson, K. A., Krampe, R. T., & Tesch-Römer, C. (1993). The Role of Deliberate Practice in the Acquisition of Expert Performance. Psychological Review, 100(3), 363-406.
 Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D., & Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and Passion for Long-term Goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(6), 1087-1101.
 Covey, S. R. (1989). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Free Press.
 Locke, E. A., & Latham, G. P. (2002). Building a Practically Useful Theory of Goal Setting and Task Motivation. American Psychologist, 57(9), 705-717.
 Prochaska, J. O., Norcross, J. C., & DiClemente, C. C. (2005). Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward. HarperCollins.
 Reivich, K., & Shatté, A. (2002). The Resilience Factor: 7 Keys to Finding Your Inner Strength and Overcoming Life’s Hurdles. Broadway Books.
 Vallerand, R. J., Blanchard, C., Mageau, G. A., Koestner, R., Ratelle, C., Léonard, M., … & Marsolais, J. (2003). Les Passions de L’âme: On Obsessive and Harmonious Passion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85(4), 756-767.
 Dweck, C. S. (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. Random House.