Monday, November 04, 2013

When Good Enough Isn't Enough Anymore

Ever feel like you've settled into a place so long, where everyone thinks you’re awesome, and things have been going well a long time? Everyone is happy. Good work is being done, and even though you could do more (like your real heart’s desire), you stay right where you are like a good little soldier.

Or maybe you have just found yourself as the top dog in your little creative world. By either hard work, or maybe default, you have found yourself in a place where you are the king of all you survey creatively. People come to YOU with their problems, questions, and creative desires.

You are good, and I mean pretty darn skippy. You know it, your pastor knows it, and darn it, people like you!

But one day you wake up and realize, is this all there is for me? Is this IT? Am I at the top of what I can do? Or worse, you go see a concert, attend a convention, or go to some creative mecca where everything is just on a higher realm of quality than where you, and you come back to your little domain an look at things differently.

Are you all you can be?

“You sit on a throne of lies!”
- Will Ferrell, Elf.

Sometimes we get so enamored with ourselves, and think so highly of how others think so highly of us, that we forget that we can still grow. There can still be a next level to mature to.

In his book “The Dream Giver”, Bruce Wilkinson chronicles his character who finally achieves his Big Dream. It was a long road for Ordinary, but he finally gets to his Big Dream. Then the Dream Giver calls him over to a small door in the back. Out of that door, the Dream Giver shows Ordinary the next Big Dream.

Sometimes when we feel like we have arrived and reached a goal, we think we deserve to sit there a while and enjoy it. This isn't necessarily wrong. But if we’re not careful, a year can grow to 10 years, and suddenly we’re nowhere near what we once imagined our life would take us.

“Don't let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth - don't let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.” - Aesop 

The Way to Great

It is much more difficult than you can imagine to convince people to pursue greatness. Many feel they don’t deserve it. Some feel they already have it so what more do they need?

I see young artists all the time that are super talented and unique for 16 or 17, but if they don’t grow, they could be just an average talent as a 25-year old, and then it’s life as usual for them.

To be a lifelong creative, where art, writing, or being a top musician are key to your success and the life you want, then greatness means that you keep taking new steps to get there.

You don’t just get to a plateau and sit there because everyone in your church or small town or family thinks you’re really boss! You have to find the next territory to conquer.

Were you the bomb in high school and ruled the world? But now you’re just a 19 year old? Time for the next thing. Could be a program or college music degree in music, acting, dance, art, songwriting, or worship leading. I don't care how old you are, don't believe that lie that music or any creative training and education only can lead to teaching. Study and practice are how the truly talented move to a whole new level than other gifted, non-taught artists.

Are you a creative director or leader at your church and even though you are the big kahuna around there, you sometimes feel like you are on an endless treadmill? Technically you’re on stage doing your thing, but creatively you are at a complete standstill. You don't have to quit or leave in scandal, but you can bring a whole new dimension to your career as it is. See: Casting Crowns.

Have you been so busy raising kids and supporting your spouse while your talent, which your kids and spouse love by the way, has languished in the laundry room? (Well, except for that yearly talent show at the local Hog Days Festival of course!) Maybe it's time to take some time for yourself and begin your life's dream.

Somehow, someway, you need to break out of the gerbil cage. You've been good enough for a while now. When will you take the steps to be great?

Have a great week!


Eric Copeland has been on plateaus and on gerbil wheels before, so he feels your pain. He finally took steps to leave his comfy home town and bring his music production company to Nashville, TN to help people break out of the creative doldrums and pursue their dreams. Ready to get started? It’s as easy as an email. Check out

1 comment:

  1. Great article. You totally reeled me in with that Elf quote, too.


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Eric Copeland is an author, producer, keyboardist, songwriter, and president of Creative Soul Companies. What is Creative Soul? Our main goals are to inform, encourage, and assist Christian creative folks in ministry, no matter where they are in their journey. Thanks for reading! Find out more about us at