After you make something, step away, stop thinking about it, come back and look again. You’re a different person when you come back. Sometimes you need feedback from a different person and this is the easiest way to get ahold of one.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell what people really mean. But sometimes, they tell you exactly what they mean, and you don’t listen to them. Or maybe you can’t believe them - maybe what they have to say is totally beyond your experience.
You know how when you throw a rope into a box, when you take it out it’s all tangled? Here’s a weird fact: nobody really understands why.
Hear that? The wind is blowing through the trees. It catches the leaves, and they stretch and rustle and tug on their branches. The trees flex and allow the wind to pass. The wind will blow itself out, and the trees will still be here in fifty years.
Okay that’s it, I am removing 90% of all items in my working space right now. I have long stretches where I get lazy about putting things into their proper place, and I have a lot of things where it’s not clear what their proper place is at all. So over the course of years, the space where I work tends to accumulate crap at a slow but significant pace, and before I know it, I’m surrounded by stuff I will never need again. If I ever really needed it in the first place.
When someone misunderstands you, what should you do?
Have you ever had something happen which was such a coincidence, so unbelievable, that you were convinced nobody would ever believe that it really happened to you? And it’s such a shame that nobody could back you up, because you were the only one who saw it?
I’m doing this thing where I read and respond to letters from people who are struggling, and a surprisingly universal sentiment is that people feel bad for feeling like they might need help. Like at all.
How many great ideas have been stopped in their tracks because the person who could implement them was discouraged?
Yes, it sucks when there’s nothing to do but wait. But really, a lot of life is waiting. You may as well find a way to enjoy it. Take your mind off things, find a new creative solution, read a book, call a friend, see something you’ve never seen before, share a humourous observation. It’ll be over before you know it.