Jerry Seinfeld never made a sitcom after the immensely successful Seinfeld. It is only imaginable the kind of offers he must be getting from network executives to make something. The reason being he had already made his masterpiece. He very well knows that whatever he makes next is not going to be as good as Seinfeld and it will be in comparison, no matter how successful it is, sub par.
Another television personality I adore is Aaron Sorkin. Sorkin, in my opinion, had a masterpiece in The West Wing. He followed that by shows like Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and The Newsroom, but none came close to getting the acclaim he earned for The West Wing. Both these shows were great in their own ways, but their problem was that they were following Sorkin’s masterpiece.
Masterpiece is a dream and a curse. Everyone, be it an artist or an entrepreneur, wants that masterpiece in a lifetime. It brings with itself all you want for which you burn that midnight oil, put your more than 100%. You got to earn it and it’s not easy. But once you have it, it instantly becomes a curse. The act that follows the masterpiece is the hardest. You set the bar way above anything that is normal by any standards and to meet it is as rare as it gets.
The best thing to do is to accept it and move on to do something completely different. John D. Rockefeller and Bill Gates have done the same and they went on to have (or are going to have) a new masterpiece stroke in their second innings which will be incomparable to their masterpiece in their first act.