I’m Brian E. Young. I’m a graphic designer, classical pianist and artist in Baltimore, MD. I host the Uncanny Creativity Podcast helping to demystify the creative process and creator of Funlooksfun.com, an online shop for apparel and games. Twitter: @sketchee
“Love of self, love of other: two strands in the love braid.
“I have braided these strands together in all sorts of relationships, in varying degrees of grace and ineptitude.
“I’ve messed up in both directions: being self-centered, being a martyr; not knowing my own worth, not valuing the essential worth of the other.
“To love well is to get the balance right. It’s the work of a lifetime. It’s art.
“In this world of coaching and personal development and experts, I think the old model was all about some Sage On The Stage.
“That’s always how I like to characterize it where someone was standing up there and pretending like they have all the answers and they never make any mistakes.
“They’re gonna bestow upon you this wisdom and guide you to the promised land.
“First of all, I think all of that is bullshit. I think it’s so inauthentic. It is not true.
“Every single one of us is a work in progress. We are all learning. We’re all trying our best. We will all face challenges.
“Not only the ones that we had in our past, but there are ones coming up in the future.
“I always like to describe myself never as a sage on the stage and always as a Guide On The Side. What does that mean?
“That means I’m someone who is really enthusiastic first of all about learning. Second of all, about using ideas for myself to see what works and what doesn’t. Then third, with sharing those ideas, the things I think are valuable with folks who might also be interested and might also want to try these things.”
“Nos are not personal. They’re because a business has some goal that’s not aligned with what you want to do. It’s because someone has a friend who talks to so and so who gets you the thing. Sometimes it’s because someone is better than you. That’s okay.”
“Just because you become successful doesn’t mean you get less no’s. If you can’t handle that, you need to re-evaluate. Do something else.
“If you can’t handle an onslaught of no’s, this is not the right career. Most people can. Over time you build a level of resilience. In the beginning, it’s much harder.
“The more times you hear no, the less it registers and ruins your day. There was a time when we’d be down for a week. Now, it doesn’t even get on my radar.”
Liz and Sarah answer all your questions about the entertainment industry in this very special Mailroom episode!
“If someone is whining about not having coffee – even if it’s your boss – you 100% not-at-all do not need to volunteer to do that. It’s not your job. He can get his own coffee. If he doesn’t want to, he can hire someone who has that in his job description.”
“If someone asks you to fix the vacuum, your answer can just be: I don’t know how to do that any more than you do. Sorry I can’t help If someone asks you to do other things that aren’t your job, you can say: sorry I don’t have to do that right now.”
“If not, you’re going to train people that you’re the admin. You’re not. Look at all of your coworkers who have decided it’s not their problem. Follow their cues.”
“Putting something on your list like ‘lose 50lbs’ or ‘learn spanish’. Those are outcomes. We can’t control outcomes. We can control actions.
“Translate that into an action that you’re going to follow. Like ‘Quit Sugar’ or ‘No more fast food.’ Put that on your list. You can’t wake up tomorrow and lose 50lbs. You can wake up tomorrow and not go to a fast food joint.
“Learn Spanish? That’s a gigantic goal. What are you asking of yourself? It might be: Watch one YouTube video a day. Or use DuoLingo consistently. It’s unlikely that putting ‘Learn Spanish’ on a list is going to help.
“Think more about: What would you do to get closer to your goal? Things that you can check on if you’re doing.
“Action items. Make action items. Concrete manageable action that you can make tomorrow.”
My one word theme for 2019 is ACCEPT.
I notice when others push against reality – idealization, disbelief, and outright denial. This is a cue for my desire to accept others, situations, and myself as they are. Feel as I am.
Accept that many things and people won’t be ideal. Believe others with supportive curiosity rather than doubtful skepticism.
With acceptance, I get to decide how I deal with that reality.
I can accepting present myself and still work toward my future self.
For 2018, my theme was COMPLETE
Where I am is the most complete version of me.
As I suspected, thinking of endings often leads me to feel my own resistance. I can complete by starting. Think of a new beginning, a fresh start.
I also enjoy reflecting after something is done rather than looking forward to a finish line
2017 was Go. Starting new things, projects, meeting new people, taking on new commitments.
2016 was Listen. As much as I want to be a creative force, more often I need to use what’s already there.
2019 / Accept – “Autobiography” by Ashlee Simpson
2018 / Complete – “Level Up” by Ciara
2017 / Go – “Ready to Go” by Panic at the Disco
2016 / Listen – “Listen” by Beyonce
Age 36 / Curious – :Witness” Katy Perry
Age 35 / Process – “Life is Wonderful” by Jason Mraz
Age 34 / Balance – “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World
“Being open to new experiences and talking to strangers. Both are outside of my comfort zone but I’ve found that the more I reach out and engage—interacting with the world around me—the more fulfilled I feel in every aspect of my life.” Helen Russell
“That the lows are all part of it and that we also need fallow periods to just be. I grew up in the 1980s and 90s where the pace of life was fast and if you weren’t aiming for the top (of everything) you weren’t aiming high enough. But life is filled with sadness as well as joy and not every day will be unicorns skipping with rainbows. This is something I’ve learned with age and through my research into happiness and the cultural differences in what ‘a good life’ means around the world.” Helen Russell
Source: Gretchen Rubin
“Life is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows.” Walt Disney, Deeds Rather Than Words (1963)
It stings for sure when someone says “You’re not perfect!” – to be clear I believe this is a perfectly good and kind for them to do.
I want to wear my faults loudly.
Be around people who are able to speak loudly about my problems and their own problems too. (Not in a pity party kind of way. In a ’Hey that’s so cool!’ kind of way.)
You’re right there are some flaws in the way I behave!! That’s not the worst thing in the world. If I’m aware of it, there’s the potential for the lesson to reveal itself.
There’s nothing duller than a day without enough risks that didn’t pay off.
“With a little bit of distance – and a little perspective and time – it’s easier to spot the lesson and growth opportunity without our egos getting in the way.
“Hindsight isn’t just 20/20, it’s often thick-skinned.”
“The team that makes the most mistakes wins.”
“You have to have some new moves. Some are going to work and some aren’t.” Liz Dolan