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
“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Learning means letting go of yesterday’s identity.
Let others try to hold us to who they think we are. Who we genuinely may have been for a moment. It’s up to us to decide who we are in the present.
Resisting change makes life difficult.
Action is change.
We bound ourselves with lists of what’s good about inaction. Focusing on what’s bad about taking action.
These lists aren’t wrong, yet incomplete.
List the downsides of inaction. See the upsides of action frees us. Make for a simpler life.Also on:
“This is your life now. This is not school. There is no assignment that you are supposed to be turning in. You are supposed to set the curriculum yourself.
“That’s a big change a lot of people don’t make.
“In your school, you’re told: this is your assignment. Turn it in by this date. If you do what was asked, you get an A. Life doesn’t give out As. You have to have your own plan that you are executing. And executing well.
“It will often not make sense to other people. By definition, you have to do things that are not by consensus. Or you end up with an average career. Which is a big part of your live.”Also on:
“I didn’t realize there would be so much backlash. Because I didn’t realize it was anyone’s business. … I spoke about it because my life turned out pretty great because of that decision. … I wanted to impress upon those students how important your own decisions are for your self. Not for monetary reasons. Never to do it for someone else’s benefit. Do it for yourself.” Julianna Margulies
“No one likes an angry person but so what! We can be so fixated on being likable all of the time. One of the worst things a person can do is to not acknowledge their feelings. Even if it’s negative. You say: Nobody likes me when–So what! Give yourself the kindness, the generosity to allow yourself what you’re feeling right now. It’s not a good idea to ignore that anger and not figure out it’s roots.” Morgan Jerkins
“A true meritocracy is impossible to achieve. I love Kara Swisher’s term mirror-tocracy. It perfectly encapsulates the idea. That we hire people who look like us. The reality is that we all come to the plate with different kinds of access. The escalator of life moves far faster for some than others. When you believe you’re operating in a meritocracy, you’ll be more anti-meritocratic.”
“There’s a study that shows people who believe they work in a meritocracy are the least meritocratic of all. They don’t acknowledge their biases. What is it, Avenue Q? ‘Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist’ Everybody has these biases. If you’re not cognizant of them, you can’t compensate for them”
“The actual word meritocracy was coined by a British sociologist Michael Young in the 1950s to warn about a future where people use their success to justify their success. The winners use success as a reason to dismiss the forces working against everyone else.”Also on:
Extremism – “splitting”, black and white thinking or all are nothing thinking – as a psychological concept feels to me a relevant concept in the world right now.
A theory by Ronald Fairbairn holds that we develop this belief as infants. Rather than see a parent one complex and complete individual, we develop simplified concepts of a lovingly good force and a bad.
So as adults, we might not notice the details of a complicated situation. We forget we can make informed choices about our own behavior based on that information.
Our mental first draft falsely thinks we either “won” or “lost”. The result is a “failure” or “success”. An event is either a “catastrophe” or an “achievement”
In our revised reality, every person and situation has some advantage and disadvantage.
Every win involves some sacrifice. Every loss has a lesson. Throwing babies out with the bathwater is the thinking of babies.
As infants, we’re not wrong to see the limited in our choices.
Part of the journey of maturity* is accepting our opportunities. What once we knew as shame becomes gratitude. Where once we felt a need for negative attention becomes our own participation.
Observe without judgment the benefits and drawbacks of our own thoughts.
We all have a reason to be who we are. Also true that we often also can observe a reason for a desire to change. If we accept why we’ve been this way for so long.
Apply this as you will to extremism you witness in yourself and others
*(Side note: Originally drafted with the word “adulthood” instead of “maturity”. I think these concepts connect and work more understandably when separated. Adulthood exists as a legal, biological, and social method of repercussions and consequences. The term maturity implies a more inherent active self-acceptance of our behavior and any results. This might mean that I accept my choices can be both displeasing and – at the same time – advantageous. For example, graciously denying an occasional request can both a momentarily unpleasant expression of autonomy and by its very nature creates truthful intimacy, resilience, and trust in a relationship )Also on:
Lucky to have so much love in my life. Past, present, and looking forward to future love too.
The love of familiarity (Greek: storge) exists as an affection we have for family, natural connection, and contact through chance. I’m bonded to my family by our generous desire to be giving, our hope to keep each other safe, and our trust in each other’s independence. I’m especially lucky to have a family that is loving, honest, considerate, and kind without condition.
Intimate love (eros) embodies the accepting of each other’s true beauty and honest existence. In the vulnerability of romantic love, we gain an understanding of each other as individuals. With all of the emotions revealed through intimacy, I’m glad to love the bold hearts whose paths crossed mine. You taught me so much and today let’s celebrate our reckless courage.
Regard among equals (philia) manifests as the loyalty of friendship, virtue in companionship, and care among those with shared values and interests. Incredible to experience quality time and kind words my longtime friends who have been there for many years and new friends who share the details of their hearts and minds. All of your compassionate honesty, beloved consideration, and undying respect continues to help me get my shit together.
Goodwill (agape) is charitable love independent of circumstance. This is a spiritual generosity that allows us to care for strangers, treat our enemies kindly, and engage in an audacious hope for those who we have no connection. For all of the struggles of society and the world, I’m grateful for all of our human efforts which have kept us together. Our ancestors who built the world around us imperfectly and as best as they could. To strangers who do their daily work that gives us electricity, housing, food, and shelter to create our lives. Too often we give them no thought even though we rely on their existence. Thankful to all of those who it took to manufacture our cellphones that let us hear each other’s voices. Care for who keep my car running with parts from around the world.
The world however flawed does it’s best to be beautiful.
Happy Valentine’s Day <3Also on:
“There’s all kinds of data. How well is this room constructed? Who’s wearing glasses? How many men and women are in this room? What’s the makeup of the population of this room?
“You just haven’t noticed even tho it’s right here. Unless of course, you’re into building construction. Or you’re an optometrist. Or into affirmative action.
“In which case you wonder why everyone around you hadn’t noticed something that is very relevant to you.
“What is it that creates relevance? Relevance has to do with focus. If you focus on eyeglasses, these things kind of pop out.
“You can change focus instantly. Start noticing what you’re noticing. You have more to do with setting up than you realize.”
David AllenAlso on:
The world around us was built by others to make us act a certain way.
As a designer, that awareness is my entire job. Notice your computer interface, your smartphone app, the very cities and buildings you are in. They were built by others to subtly push you in various directions.
The shape of paper stacked and glued together is a human-made design that hints to you that this is a book to be read. Shapes on the cover arranged a certain way appeal to past patterns you’ve learned enticing you to read it.
A narrow cylinder with an open top, solid bottom and curved exterior ornamentation makes you think you to put liquid in it.
The magic of design is that its subtle hypnosis. I place shapes on the page and you see images, new versions of your life, and change yourself.
Most of the designers of our world died long ago in obscurity. They placed lines in our cities that control the way you walk. They encouraged customs that you blindly follow with no grasp on why.
Every moment you spend indoors or in a city, in a country or in the world, you’re in an entirely false environment. It’s a virtual reality. Man-made signs, roads, and contraptions certainly brought you there.
Do you ever stop and think of the grand design of a human-made world?Also on:
“Don’t let that blind you to the realities of the things he says or does. Sometimes when somebody we love does something wrong, it’s so difficult to hold those two images in our head at once. We find a way to resolve them and we say ’That’s not the real him, the best version of himself is this other person. That’s the real him.’ Your brother is the things he says he does. That’s not all of him, but that’s part of him.” Mallory OrtbergAlso on: