This notion to wait around in the rain until you get struck by lightning to make art (or anything) doesn’t mesh with my experience at all. What comes much closer is the famous Chuck Close quotation: “Inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work.”
I’ve learned to prefer being in over my head. It’s definitely scary; that never changes. But it also forces me to perform in ways that the shallow end never does.
Micro-actions are actions so small, so easy, that they hardly feel worth doing. When we think of things like this (if we ever do) we often think about how taking one small action, repeatedly, over long periods of time, adds up. It’s the compounding effect of incremental change, and it’s awesome.
One pattern I’ve noticed in people who do scary things is that once they see the roadblocks in their way, they take a specific kind of action to begin to break them down — a micro-action. Having figured out the big goal, they focus on the next, smallest action that will get them a bit closer to it.
Even after years of sharing my simple sketches and speaking all over the world, you'd think I’d be used to the feelings that come with the impostor syndrome. The impostor syndrome has not gone away, but I’ve learned to think of it as a friend.
There is an actual cost to holding onto things we should let go of. It can come in the form of anger, frustration, resentment, or something even worse. The question is, can you really afford to keep paying the bill?
I’ve known about the benefits of taking cold showers for a long time. Many of you are probably familiar with some of the science. But I’ve discovered the thing that most draws me to the cold water is also the thing that most repels me: it’s really hard to do.
Experiences and security don’t have to be mutually exclusive. Whatever you want to do, start asking yourself a simple question: “Why not?”
You’re fired. The job you’re fired from is one you never should have had in the first place — being a critic of your own work. Your job now officially has nothing to do with deciding if the work is good. Your job is to do the work, put it out there and let the world decide.
What do we really need? Are we buying things thoughtfully or carelessly? I believe our willingness to look at our buying behavior can have a huge impact on whether we reach the goals that we say matter most to us.
What if instead of making big goals around the new year or during a life change, we focused instead on making small, incremental changes? At the New York Times, I outlined three steps to get you closer to your goals.
- Page 1 of 3