On ignoring your skills

— On ignoring your skills

Sometimes you have to make trade-offs…

I was really good at the illustration part of it, the drawing, but I struggled at the graphics part of it, the typography. But it was really the graphics that interested in… I was really keenly aware of what I was good at… I knew I needed an aspect of challenge. So I focused on what I wasn’t good at….And at that point just stopped drawing. So for 2 years in that program I didn’t draw, I just threw myself into making really ugly work and struggling with kind of re-inventing myself and learning a new way of thinking that I could apply hopefully to my career….

And it became very clear that I had like this binary system of things I knew and the things I learned and it was just about applying these two things. Applying what I was good at to kind of solve the struggles.. to solve the problems that I was presented and the things I wanted to learn. So it’s not like I was ignoring my skills, it was just using my skills as a bridge to learning new things to pushing myself and improving on what I was doing.

Geoff Mc Fetridge


Curiosity and attention

Satiating an overwhelming curiosity is I suppose the driving force in my life. It seems I wouldn’t know what to do next if it weren’t for my interest in these little mysteries. It is odd to me that some people could go about their life without this internal curiosity compass guiding them. Drifting at sea just sort of staying afloat and letting the waves take them wherever. Maybe even more than a compass. Like one of those water finder things. Dowsing is apparently what its called. Or Doodlebugging apparently.

Lately I have been thinking a bit about the things that are important and what I’m prioritizing. I need to pay attention to what I’m paying attention to. Sometimes I think I get caught up on sort of daily to-do type things and forget to think about bigger picture type things. Like, what I’m paying attention to right now is all fine and good but how will this help the future-me get closer to what I’m actually curious about? So I thought maybe it would be a good exercise to list out all the things I could possibly be caring about, like they’re features. If I were a product and I had to make decisions on which features to work on, what would I prioritize and what trade offs would I be willing to make in the mean time in order to accomplish them? This is very similar to what we do at work for product development except normally we get a whole group. But basically I just feel like lately I’ve been on drift mode when I should be on navigate mode. So this is my current list.. subject to change..

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Sharing Self improvement.

After making my list I found myself wanting to talk to other people about it. To share it with them to get some advice / feedback. To find out what their list would look like. And I think it’s this combination of things that makes me want to turn this into a larger project… I feel like it’s an evolution of the dating site idea except better because it focuses on the independent character choices so it is useful to the individual even without a network of other people.

Repeating a mantra.

In our improv class we had an exercise about building characters based on internal motivations. So before every line we would say out loud what our motivations are and react to what’s happening based on that motivation. Perhaps forming our actual life goals in the form of a mantra statement of sorts will help. I imagine it’s also similar to the way we write user stories at work. Where we say try to get into the character of the user.  Perhaps we need some little reminders what our preferred self is motivated by so we can be mindful of our priorities.