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What were you writing in?
He seemed way too interesting for me to walk away from. We happened to get off at the same stop, so I got off the train, turned around and asked, “What were you writing in?”
I was watching on the train. He had a magazine and a red pen, and every once in a while he would stop reading, get out his red pen and scribble something in the margins. Arrows pointed to an image on the center of the page. At the top, he started drawing a pair of pants and wrote something next to them—that’s when we got to our stop.
“It’s an art piece,” he explained, and it demonstrates how he learns and reads differently than other people. It’s probably not much like how I read—I can follow the threads pretty well and I tend not to get too distracted. It’s not so for him. Every time he gets distracted, he writes down exactly what he’s thinking or doodles to show where his mind is at. The pages of this magazine will soon, I expect, be covered in such doodles as he reads it.
He intends to be in New York for a bit. I wonder if he’ll stay. I told him he has a new friend in the city anytime he needs me.
You’re clearly talented, you have an eye, and a vision, unlike many others. I could tell just by your outfit and demeanor, but don’t ask me how.
Nice to meet you, MR.
For a brief period of 3–6 months, maybe longer, I woke up at 4:45 AM every single morning. It was wonderful. Those hours before the rest of the world wakes up are sacred. You can feel it in the early morning air. (I even used to go running super early in the morning.)
That was back in Austin. Here in New York City, the city that never sleeps, I’m sure it’s an even more pronounced effect. It’s 11 PM right now. If I went to sleep right now I could possibly wake up at 4:45 AM and get under six hours of sleep. So, I won’t be waking up at 4:45 AM tomorrow or even anytime soon. But I’m going to try to wake up an hour, maybe an hour and a half early, and see how that feels. I’ll get to work long before anyone else gets there and feel some quiet morning air.
Or at least quiet for New York City.
The owl only comes around
when it wants to—at night
usually. But unlike most owls,
this one does not sleep during
the day. In fact, it’s quite active
but you would never know that
because you do not look for the
owl during the day; you do not
expect it. I started to look for him
and became friends with him
quickly, and now every time I see
him, I don’t even think to ask what
he did last night.
A Letter to My Dog Who Doesn’t Know I’m Not Coming Home
I’m sure you’re wondering where I’ve been for the past month. Maybe you don’t wonder at all. I’m not sure. I only occasionally think about you (if that makes us even.) I hope you’ve been well.
I’ll have you know, I haven’t given my love and affection to any other dogs. I’ve perhaps petted one or two on the streets, but otherwise, I have not replaced you or even thought to do so. I shall be pleased to hear that you have not replaced me as your owner and household companion.
An insider tells me that you sit on my bed and in my room looking out the window and wait for me to come home. I am sorry I didn’t tell you before I left, but I won’t be back—at least not for a while. Despite your intelligence, you are a dog and I am a human, so you were not nearly smart enough to understand when I told you previously. That’s okay, goofy bastard.
I digress. I hope you are not too saddened to hear the news. Perhaps I will return for Christmas. I will not bring you gifts because I am frugal and you are the least of my priorities. But I still love you.
Much love, Diego
Blowing In The Wind, At My Desk Edition
How many lines
can one man draw
before he sees
the next step?
How many artboards
can one man have
before he keeps
Yes, and how many
nos can one man say
finally says yes?
The answer my friend
is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing
in the wind
14th Street & Union Square.
Harmless, but everyone on this train seems to be afraid of it. I guess city people don’t encounter this very often. A middle-aged woman near the door tries to feign toughness, but she is uncomfortable.
Flutter, flutter. Three young women smile until it reaches them. Now they are surprised, though not horrified. They do not know what to do, so they move.
The monarch of the train finds a perch on the light. The girls smile, and the woman continues to act unfazed. I smile.
Like a true commuter, it rises back into the space of everyone else, asking only to get to the door before its stop.
It lands on me. This is where I get off, too. The girls smile at me. One points and says, it’s on your back. I smile: It can leave with me, I guess I made a new friend.
This place can be home, too.
I haven’t taken a nap since I left home nearly a month ago. Maybe that’s why I’ve been so awfully exhausted since leaving. Naps are hard to take when you’re not comfortable. We have a couch in the apartment, and of course, I have a bed, but it’s not the same. It’s not home.
My nap today, though, was wonderful. I dreamed about walking and taking photos, and about people that I care about. Drifting in and out of dreams is fun. I had been reading the introduction to Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces, the section about dreams and myth. Maybe that had something to do with it.
For a split second upon waking, I thought it was a Sunday afternoon in the suburbs of Austin, and that I would turn over and see my dog laying on the ground next to my bed, that I’d get up, walk into the backyard to let her out and for me to get some fresh air and Texas sun. I thought I was home.
But I turned over, nearly fell off the couch and remembered that I was in New York City and that this place can be home, too.
Umbrella as Accidental Fashion Statement
I bought an umbrella today—it’s not raining. The other day it was, and I didn’t have one. That was a problem. So I walked to MUJI, bought an umbrella, and continued my day. Not one of the compact, foldable ones. A true, curvy-handled cane with a canopy. Umbrella in hand, I stopped by the grocery store before going home. It’s 80-something degrees, sunny, and hot outside, so it stands out. One guy asked if it was going to rain later, adding, “Don’t scare me!” This umbrella on this day is not utilitarian in the slightest—it’s an accidental fashion statement.
The umbrella, I thought, could turn into a motif. I could always carry one around, no matter what. Just like how Karl Lagerfeld always wore sunglasses and fingerless gloves. Or how Steve Jobs wore jeans and a black turtleneck every day. Or how Flava Flav wore a timepiece on his neck.
Or, I could take my umbrella home and leave it there until it’s necessary, and use it like any normal person would, i.e. not as a fashion statement. I’ll stick with that. (For now.)
Diego Segura’s 39th Brilliant Idea
I was definitely sick this morning, but also in denial, so I decided to go on a run. Brilliant idea, right? It felt wonderful—I set off with a smile on my face as I try always to do while working out. This isn’t a miserable activity for me.
About fifteen minutes away from my apartment, I’m already crazy fatigued. Doesn’t usually happen that way. I haven’t been running for a while, but just a few weeks ago I went for 45 minutes straight—what’s different now?
It might be the fact that I woke up uncontrollably shivering and then breaking in and out of a fever. Pain and aches all over, sore throat, headache, the whole nine yards. Again, definitely sick, but I refused to acknowledge it. It’s much nicer to think I’m invincible, yes?
That’s a nice revelation to have. It’s humbling. So much of life is in our control—until you realize the underpinnings you can’t control. I like to think I’m motivated and driven, but that’s nothing if I’m ill or somehow made unable to do the things I want to.
To a certain extent, thinking you’re unstoppable does work. I just finished reading Jerry Weintraub’s book When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead, and there are dozens of stories where his uncanny confidence and relentlessness leads him down a road that positively changes his life. That’s one thing. Being in denial is another thing. I learned that—at least temporarily—in a small way today. Maybe that will instill some humility in me for the rest of the week.
The Best City in the World
I walked out of the office today having made a new friend at work. Paul and I are very similar; we both read, write, and hustle. Paul is a few years older than me, and he’s at an awesome place. I hope that in a few years, I can be at a similar place in my field.
We shared book recommendations, our love for Notion (not sponsored, but I should be), and a brief talk about photography. He’s got a Leica camera which is an absolute dream. I’ve got a little starter camera, but it works and I have fun with it. Paul seems to be a student of the world. That’s why he’s been learning about photography—it’s another way for him to flex the creative muscle.
It was a great talk. I wish I met more people like Paul. Rare. But in this city, and particularly where I work, they seem to be abundant. We stepped out of the building to perfect weather and a big ray of sunshine and an accompanying shadow on the buildings across the street. I held my hands out by my side as if to bask in the glory of life. This is the best city in the world.
At least for today, that is.
Stepped out of the office today for a walk and set my phone on a timer for fifteen minutes. When it goes off, I’ll turn around and come back. I am not angry or distraught, but I do need a break.
There’s zero reason for me to rush. I suppose it’s more of a workout if I move quickly, but that’s irrelevant. I walk as if I have somewhere to be—and soon. But I don’t.
It’s fun to play this part. I usually wear an impenetrable expression on my face and a tight gaze that signals seriousness—I don’t do it intentionally, in fact, I often have to tell myself to relax.
I play this part among a sea of other people who seem to be playing the same part. Whether they are on their way home or to see a friend, their faces give nothing away.
Many of them do have somewhere to be. But I imagine there are a select few who have no destination—they’re on a stroll just like me, taking a break from their hustle, by participating in a walk that reeks of the same thing.
Have you ever seen the movie Jack Reacher? I’ve heard that you never see him run in any of the scenes—it’s an action film. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I do know that he runs on his own schedule.
The challenge isn’t to wear the face and walk the walk, it’s to slow down—of course, while staying out of the way of those who are in a rush. Never be in a rush, even if you are—and you’ll realize the world goes on even if you’re not there on time.
Nice. Only a couple minutes late today.
Live first, then write.
I have a checklist of three non-negotiable things I’m supposed to do every day:
Walking used to be the most difficult one, but now I live in New York City so I spend quite a bit of time walking no matter what, and then I go on brief walks during or after work. Check.
Reading is also easy now. I read on the way to work on the train and on the way back. Sometimes I read more when I get home. Check.
Writing, however, is tough. Particularly today. I just realized—I have nothing notable from today to write about.
That’s not entirely true. There are things to write from days past that I haven’t mentioned because I don’t want to publish certain things on the internet. But today was a pretty empty day, and it’s my own fault. At work, I kept to myself most of the day. I didn’t go on a walk for lunch since it was raining, and I went straight home instead of taking a walk after work. The absence of any real exploration leads to a bland day to write about.
And now, I’m in a city where I have no excuse. I could meet a new person every single day at Union Square if I made it a goal, and I could write about those people. I could go into new stores all the time, take walks in all sorts of neighborhoods and sections of this city, but today I did not choose to make the world my playground.
Tomorrow: Explore, see, and write. If I live before any of those tasks, writing will become a lot easier to check off the list.
Writing Every Day
It takes a lot out of me. Even though these posts are usually very short, they still require thoughtfulness and care. It makes me wonder: is this the best use of my time? Should I be designing, reading, or taking a walk?
Perhaps. Life is all about focus, which is all about saying no. Since I started this little blog, I’ve released a post every single day, so it would be a shame to call it quits now, but it might also be for the better.
But I should remind myself why I started in the first place:
Writing every day gives me content for my magazines and print publications. It helps me document my life and what I’m going through on a daily basis so I can look at it in the future. This keeps me disciplined about my time rather than careless. I get to release content that, occasionally, real people read and respond to.
Instead of quitting now, I’ll outline exactly why I would quit in the future:
If I feel that it’s stopping me from other, more important creative work, I’ll quit.
Otherwise, I’ll keep going.
Here’s to another day.
What Ifs (for designers)
I notice a common question among the graphic designers I’ve observed in the last few weeks: They ask “What if we did this?” instead of taking ideas at face value.
For future reference, I want to compile a big list of “what ifs” that I can add to and come back to in the future when I feel like a design isn’t working out.
What if we…
- made the type really big?
- made the type really small?
- reversed the colors?
- didn’t align the type to the center?
- changed the weight of the typeface?
- cropped the photo differently?
- put the type on top of the graphic?
- tried a default typeface?
- outlined the type?
- repeated the type?
- repeated the image?
- added more random shit?
- took all the random shit away?
- set the type on a path instead of a straight line?
- used all one size of type?
- obscured the photo to make it more ambiguous?
- broke the grid? I mean, really broke the grid?
- put the text in weirdly shaped boxes?
- set the type vertically?
- turned a letter upside down?
- made the type wrap around?
- mixed up the typefaces?
- added icons inside the text?
- used every corner of the page?
- made it look really old?
- made it look brand new?
- made it look timeless?
- used cheesy techniques in an ironic way?
To be continued.
The Artist’s Subconscious
A thought popped up, I was struck with inspiration, I stumbled upon an idea—all of these are common ways we describe creativity. Knowledge comes consciously, it seems, but new ideas come out of nowhere. Creativity is practically magic.
It’s important to let our creative brains do the trick rather than labor for days on end on the same things.
You have to give your subconscious time to process. Rollo May says that insights break into the mind against what you’re trying to think rationally. That is to say, while your conscious mind is doing all sorts of calculations and putting things in order, your subconscious is the part that allows for chaos, which is not what your conscious mind is aiming for. If you never let the chaos happen, new ideas will never collide and form into new ones.
I’ve always been a bit afraid that this is the nature of the creative act.
You mean to say I can’t fully control how and when great ideas appear? Sort of. While they do seem to come out of nowhere, it’s usually a delayed result of previous inputs. This is why it’s so important to read and listen and see as much as you can—you give your unconscious and conscious brain more to work with when it needs it. Past that, though, you have to trust that the rest will figure itself out and show up on time.
A brief check-in: My creative work currently consists of my next print publication, titled Olive Branch, Extended Edition, though that’s the title only because I need something to work with. It might change; it might not. I might brand it as the sixth issue of my magazine, or perhaps a standalone project. I’m not sure about any of it at the moment. My hope initially was to do many magazines consistently and create an extensive collection of them, but that feels too rigid. I want to explore more than that, so I will. I can always redesign the content later if I feel the need.
A friend messaged me today to tell me how much he loves my first magazine. He says the writing is enjoyable and reads like my voice. He loves the design. He seems pleased with it all, and I am happy to hear that. Unfortunately, he probably won’t enjoy all of them like he has the first one, but that comes with the territory. Hopefully, I’ll only improve in the future.
I’m stuck on what the hell I’m making with this current project, though. I need it to flow, somehow. There needs to be some narrative, which it sorely lacks right now. At first, I decided that was acceptable because, well, who the fuck cares what I create. But I’ve now decided that it’s not. The project will come together in a logical flow and will be enjoyable to read while remaining beautiful.
And if it doesn’t come together like I say it will: tell me. I’ll work on it until it does.
“I don’t have enough time” is bullshit.
Today, I was tempted to say that forbidden sentence:
I don’t have enough time to read.
I’m home from work and I still haven’t read, but I have other things to do. Pity me. The fact of the matter is that usually, I read on the train to and from work, which accomplishes my goal of reading every day. Today, I didn’t do that. It’s not that I didn’t have the time, it’s that I didn’t use the time I had effectively.
No more pity me—I just have to hold myself accountable.
“Creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.”
It’s not about hiding sources, it’s about having them. In the past, I thought I could only look at the blank pages in my notebook for ideas. However, I’m spending my days at work with extremely talented people, and they all have amazing mental libraries of work that they think about constantly.
It’s not that they copy other ideas. They have them as reference. That’s a big part of what I’ve been missing.
Now, I have a secondary goal to my creative work: Gain more references. This doesn’t have to be typography in a design book. It might be dresses by the best couturiers, or images conjured up in my mind while reading fiction novels. Who knows. The point is to have things to think about and use them to create something new.
I have been working out completely wrong for much of my life.
First, understand muscle growth: you get stronger when your muscles break down and rebuild themselves. (This is why eating a healthy amount of protein is important. It helps your body rebuild stronger muscles.)
So, the first step in working out is breaking down your muscles.
However, for many years I’ve prescribed myself a certain number of repetitions, i.e. fifteen push-ups, and done those in sets over and over. This works, but the problem is that I’m not pushing my body to complete exhaustion.
When you push a muscle to exhaustion—your maximum effort until you fail or your form breaks down—your body tends to come back stronger. It adjusts for the strain you put it under, and a few days later, will be ready for just a tiny bit more. Slowly but surely, you gain strength.
If you only ever do enough reps to feel like you’ve done something but aren’t outputting the maximum, it’s hard to get stronger, because your body doesn’t have to adapt to anything.
(Something I learned from The Dip by Seth Godin, a great book that applies to way more than working out.)
Slowly but surely my jacket
will be completely soaked,
and I will be tired of walking
through the rain when I’m
a hundred paces away from
warm and clean shelter where
I don’t have to endure this
That’s why I stay here and
refuse to go back to shelter
because I get to endure this
miserable fucking weather.
Just Like Her Father
I got to my train stop today and
overheard an older black woman’s
conversation on the phone. Something
along the lines of:
“Sharice looks just like her father,
the same dark pensive eyes,
oh boy, don’t they—Yes, yes—
don’t they give you chills? And she
talks just like him. Oh, both of ‘em
can go on forever, can’t they? You
know—Yes, well you know she’s gon’
give him the same problems he gave
me—Yes—I’m telling you now! I just
hope she stay out of trouble, yeah?
Them smart eyes is liable to wander,”
Smart eyes, liable to wander. That stuck with me.
Black Pants and Black Shirt, or A Day Spent on Madison Avenue
In one store, they have the most
beautiful handbags and fine jewelry
made not from fabric, but from
In another, the finest blazers and
high-fashion vintage garments from
the best brands in the world; and
plenty of serious buyers.
In the next, jackets made from fabric
engineered a century ago that make
perfectly clean lines and cuts along
Further along, the most complicated
watches with exquisite finishes on
every jewel and gear you
can see through a little window.
Some stores carry a more “rich”
variety of flashy shirts and dresses
designed for the sole purpose of
displaying wealth. Or trying to.
And in my store, there are seven
pairs of black pants, and two weeks
worth of black shirts, and one sales
rep, who never has to do much work.
The first day of work is always simple: Here’s your desk, here’s your computer, and here’s what we have around the office. Help yourself.
But there’s more I can help myself to: people who are already working that I can shadow and learn from.
At first, I was too scared to ask people if I could shadow them, but I got over that when I remembered it’s only my first week—the perfect time to be a fly on the wall and just learn. Besides, when I asked, nobody thought to say no.
There’s a story from The Third Door by Alex Banayan where Alex gets to shadow Tony Hsieh (CEO of Zappos) for a day. While he’s at the office, one of the Zappos employees says that he would love to shadow Tony for a day. Alex asked Tony, “Why don’t you let your employees shadow you?” to which he said that nobody ever asks.
And that’s the secret. Few people ask. So long as I get over my nervousness and ask, I have the opportunity to learn a lot.
Don’t quit (at the wrong time)
When I started learning graphic design, I was learning a ton and learning it fast. If you were to graph my learning, my knowledge would have been skyrocketing because I started from next to nothing.
However, that’s only the beginning. After a while, it feels like you’re learning less because you got so much of the easy stuff out of the way, which felt substantial when you learned it. This is when things get difficult—it’s what Seth Godin calls “The Dip”—and you have to push through and keep learning even if it feels like you’re making less progress.
This is the situation I’m in with my new job. For the previous year, I’ve been learning all the (relatively) easy stuff, but now I’m faced with the gauntlet of all the things I didn’t know I didn’t know.
Two possibilities from here:
One, it could get difficult, scary, and overwhelming, and I could quit—which would be a grave mistake.
Two, I can push through The Dip and reap the rewards on the other side, even though it’s not immediately apparent how it’ll all pay off.
The choice is mine.
I asked a guy at a basketball court if
I could get his rebounds. Not shoot
around, just rebound the ball and
pass it back to him, so he can get more
reps in—and hopefully make some shots.
Clearly, this is not a common question—
I guess helping a complete stranger
practice his sport is a bit weird, I admit
but he said yes anyway.
We had a bit of a conversation, and he
even had me shoot around for a bit while
he got my rebounds. I missed many shots
but then went on a streak of four or five.
Thank goodness—I proved I had some
semblance of skill with a basketball.
TJ and I parted ways, me in a mild sweat
in the same clothes I wore to the office, and
him off to who knows where.
I’d like to tell you that my evening walk would
have been better if I’d have gone shopping,
bought a cool new jacket, or met a cute girl
from some far away land who is going to
school and otherwise uninteresting, but pretty.
But that was not the case today. Getting to
shoot around a basketball like I used to do
back home meant more than any of the new
things in the world.
The Loneliest City in the World (or one of them)
London is technically number one, but New York City comes in a close second. And I’m starting to feel exactly why.
While I’m out during the day, it’s the most stimulating place to be. There are people everywhere, and always something going on. But in the midst of that is just you, and rarely a soul takes notice. It’s not that I want to feel important, I’d just like to feel human.
Of course, I need to find a good group of friends and feel like I’m part of a community, but before all of that,
I need to learn from loneliness what it wants to teach me. I’m not sure what that is, exactly, but I intend to find out.
I just moved into a new apartment and helped one of the previous tenants move their stuff out. They filled an entire hallway with stuff, and I brought only a suitcase, a backpack, and shipped one small Home Depot box of stuff up, too. The difference was astounding.
Looking at all those things piled up, I realized that the same could happen to me. I could move into this apartment, get comfortable, and start bringing things home all the time. Better yet, I might never throw things away or get rid of them. Before you know it, I’d be the one with a hoard of stuff to move out.
It’s like getting a new car. At first, you think you’ll keep it nice and clean no matter what, but a few months later you’ve completely screwed that up.
There’s no silver bullet to prevent these things from happening other than the following impeccable advice:
Don’t let these things happen.
I’m afraid to stop reading a book, and I shouldn’t be.
Usually, my goal is to pick up a book and read it from cover to cover, and then mark it as finished on my (public) reading list. This helps me keep track of my progress and, over long periods of time, I can show exactly what books I’ve finished reading.
But that’s not the most efficient way to learn.
I’ve figured this out because of a book that I’m not interested in. I’m incentivized to read it all the way through, but when I try to do that, I get bored and end up not reading at all.
“The trick is to be bored with a specific book, rather than with the act of reading. So the number of pages absorbed could grow faster than otherwise. And you find gold, so to speak, effortlessly,” says Nassim Taleb in Antifragile.
That makes perfect sense. The challenge it poses me is to care less about the number of books I read and more about the amount of knowledge I gain.
A Quick Question for the Exit Row
are you ready, willing, and able
in the event of an emergency
to put your oxygen mask on first,
pull on this latch, open the door
and then assist those around you
in climbing out of the cabin and
jumping out into the cold, brisk
thirty-thousand-foot altitude air
ensuring that their wings come
to their rescue before they hit the
ground, knowing that you, too,
must spread your wings and fly
when the aircraft can no longer
take you any further, and the pilot
must occupy his own airspace
without a care in the world as to
whether or not you reach your
If you’re not selling, who do you expect to buy?
In the movie Field of Dreams (1989), a farmer hears a voice whisper, “If you build it, he will come.” He ends up building a baseball field on his farm, and a bunch of baseball players show up out of the blue at his field. Magical.
Real life is not so magical.
“If we build a great product, the people will come to buy it.” No, they won’t. You need to show them the product. “If I get a great degree, the companies will show up and hire me.” No, they won’t. You need to sell yourself as an employee.
No matter how great you are, you have to put yourself out there, and many times at that. Countless bestselling books were there—i.e., the book was written–but the publishers did not come. Why? Work is useless without someone selling it. That might mean sending the same book to fifty different publishers until someone takes it. (Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Work Week was rejected 27 times.)
Don’t be scared to be a salesperson.
I know, you don’t want to be sleazy, so don’t be. You don’t have to be full of shit to sell things. But you do have to put your product in front of your customer—or your resume in front of employers, or your personality in front of a potential partner. If you’re not selling, who do you expect to buy?
Who cares if you’re an entrepreneur?
“I don’t want to work for anybody else.”
“I want to run my own company.”
“I want to be an entrepreneur.”
An entrepreneur doesn’t think about those things. They just run their goddamn company, and they don’t work for anyone else. Meanwhile, there are a million and one kids who dread their job saying: “I don’t want to work for other people.”
I’ve written some books, dropped out of school, made money on my own, and for that reason, many people want to label me an entrepreneur. The fact is, I don’t run a company and I work for other people. No shame in that.
Yet for some reason, some people think it’s bad to work for anyone else; as if the title of “entrepreneur” is like being a king.
News flash: It’s not.
Do what you do, and do it well. If you’re good at starting and running companies, then do that. If you find out you’re not a CEO and you should work for other people, do that. Who cares if you’re an “entrepreneur”?
Today, I board on a one-way flight to New York City to start a new life. It is both day zero and day one.
Thank you, Austin.
Doing the right thing is (often) lonely.
Doing the right thing—according to your goals—is often lonely. Most people aren’t very focused, and that’s not limited to teenagers. There are middle managers without an ounce of ambition or focus and do not care to change that. If you want to end up like that, spend time around those people.
But if you want to do something different than the people around you, don’t be surprised when you’re the only one climbing up the mountain.
“Forgetting purifies and I know how to be an amnesiac.”
Those words once spoken by Karl Lagerfeld were said in scorn of an ex-friend. It was more about leaving people behind and making them completely irrelevant. That’s one way to practice the art of forgetting.
But there’s a more positive, less bitter way: forgetting (or moving on from) your mistakes.
Of course, you don’t ignore your failures; you learn from them. But at one point, you have to forget that you’ve failed in the past and move on with some confidence in your next action. That’s hard, especially when it feels good to victimize and pity yourself from being so shitty.
So forget about your shitty past enough to move on. Forgetting purifies.
You’ll start succeeding when you stop caring
“When you don’t have debt you don’t care about your reputation in economic circles—and somehow it is only when you don’t care about your reputation that you tend to have a good one.” (From Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb)
Applied to social life, there’s a similar concept. When you don’t care what people think, it becomes a lot easier to make your mark. Think Andy Warhol or Lady Gaga—have either of them shown a record for giving a shit? No, yet both have lead illustrious careers as artists because of this willingness to push the limit of their identity.
As Richard Feynman once said, “What do you care what other people think?”
Here I am closing a “big” business deal!
Here I am watching my sales “skyrocket”!
Here I am standing next to the CEO of an important company!
Here I am looking at metrics and graphs! “Analytics is everything,” I say!
Here I am giving my opinion about a business idea even though it’s been said a million times before!
Here I am being an “entrepreneur” on Instagram but accomplishing very little in real life!
All this to say: spend less time talking about the things that make you look like this or that and focus on doing the work. If you’re in the game to be called an entrepreneur, one day you’ll surely be called one—but it might only be yourself saying it.