What can you do with 200 words?

Before a perfectionist releases a piece of work into the world, he tries to anticipate and address every possible objection. If he can eliminate them all, then he won’t be exposing himself to criticism.

This tendency typically leads to one of two results.

One possibility is that there is no work, because it’s extremely difficult (or impossible) to produce a criticism-proof piece of work.

The other possibility is that the work produced is not worth paying attention to. Work that matters, whether it’s a Facebook post or a dissertation, requires going out on a limb and saying something that somebody might disagree with. If you’ve said something that nobody would disagree with, you haven’t said anything.

Instead of striving to produce a perfect work, which requires many words, consider what you can accomplish in 200 words.

Can you shield yourself from criticism in 200 words?

Not really.

Can you provoke a thought, a connection, or a conversation with 200 words?

Definitely.

Can you take a stance about something you care about?

Of course.

Opportunities abound when we worry less about having the last word and focus instead on starting meaningful conversations.

I’m pretty sure I’ve ripped these thoughts off from Seth Godin’s Linchpin, a book that’s well worth the read for anyone seeking to do meaningful work. 

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