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#053 Modern Luxury
Common Discourse is a project designed to help others (and ourselves) think through creativity, focus, and intentional work—from Alex Tan & Alice Otieno.
Every Tuesday we share words from a journal, a few ideas, a quote from somebody else, and links worth sharing. On Fridays we invite a guest to share images from their camera roll and a sound that resonates with them.
One of the most significant differences between my early 20s and my mid-to-late 20s is that saying no is easier.
When you’re 22 and starting your career it always feels like if you say no to this thing then it will be the last thing that anybody tries to hire you for. So instead, you say yes to everything. Then you’re stressed out and miserable because of how overwhelming it is to have a lot of people expecting things from you. That type of strain usually deteriorates the quality of our health, which eventually affects everything else: the quality of work, the quality of our friendships, etc.
This was the same for when we started MW.S. “No” wasn’t necessarily an option. The only option was to make the most of every opportunity given or to create opportunities ourselves.
As we’ve gotten older, we’ve also become better at what we do. We’ve become more known and have been identified as a team that can offer something special to the creative space. This increase in demand unlocks the luxury of options. Aka, yes or no.
We don’t think about “What if this is the last project for a while?” anymore. Not in an entitled way, but in a “Is this worth sacrificing?” kind of way. In a culture that only focuses on gain, we’ve realized that what you’re willing to lose is worthy of equal consideration.
“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”
— Henry David Thoreau
There will always be more projects. And not only more—but ones with longer timelines, healthier budgets, easier people to work with, and ones that are a better fit for what you want your future to look like.
A few ideas
I. TEAM EFFORT
Collaboration can bring forth a number of positive outcomes—stepping outside of your personal point of view, leveraging the skillset of your counter-part, and obviously the relief of dividing the weight that a project can bring.
But it only works when there is a mutual desire to see what the other side can offer.
If you’re unwilling to compromise you’re unwilling to collaborate.
II. BIG PROBLEMS
It may be obvious but important to remember that a big problem is a bunch of little problems working together. Many people will fall into paralysis because they’re unable to see past the obstacle. The successful person can break it down into smaller parts and start chipping away until light breaks through.
Identify the little problems
Solve one thing at a time (Don’t let yourself get distracted by the larger picture)
Repeat until there are none left
III. SPEAK UP
One of the most simple yet profound things you can do is speak up. Your interests and unique experiences will have a greater impact than you can possibly imagine, even when it feels like you’re going through something in isolation.
When we speak up, we can help others feel less alone, celebrate wins, and overcome losses—together.
The things that feel most personal are also the most universal.
A quote from somebody else
“The greatest flaw of the species is its overwhelming tendency to mistake agreement for truth.” — Unknown
Links worth sharing
🍗 The Food Timeline illustrates the evolution and development of what we know today as “food”
🎨 A Dictionary of Color Combinations by Sanzo Wada
🔗 Fuse is a growing collection of creative reference and digital entertainment. New links are posted weekly.
💆 Sounds of the Forest is a collection of woodlands and forest sounds from all over the world.
🧔♂️ An illustration of how recent “ancient history” actually is.
Thanks for consuming!
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