#078 Get To
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. Words from the Journal come on the first of every month.
If you know somebody that has been doing literally anything consistently for quite some time, especially when it requires discipline, you should let them know that you recognize their effort.
Most of this stuff is mental. Starting a company, running a marathon, practicing meditation, getting in shape, writing a weekly newsletter.
There are times where you hate it and there are other times where you realize just how beautiful the journey has been. I think there is something unique about the way an activity in your life transitions from something that requires great effort to something that feels like it’s missing if you skip a day of it.
It’s the have to → get to transition.
Have to is up to somebody else. Get to is a matter of perspective.
The best work is the stuff you get to do. If you are really good at that, you’re lucky enough to have very little of the have to stuff left.
There is a correlation between people who are both happy & successful who also look at their work as something they get to do. Many people will say that the success permits them to skip or delegate the have to tasks. But far more than that, these people have redefined what they do all day. Very simply, they view the tasks as opportunities instead of busy work.
A simple redefinition can transform quality of our days. And of course, how we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
A few ideas
If the stories we tell creatively are limited by what we’ve experienced in life, then they will only get better with time.
Extra hours right now don’t stand a chance against living through a moment, and your life’s best experiences are still unfolding.
Don’t rush. Just be observant.
II. WHEN ART IS POWERFUL
You start to believe in the power of art when the work leads to you to imagine parts of the maker’s life that you know nothing about.
The sound of their voice when you read their writing. The studio that a sculpture was made in. The style of clothing they might have worn.
The emotional connection to the work can be so strong that our minds create human-like qualities based on memories of people who have made us feel similarly—creating a new voice, image, or experience that feels vaguely familiar.
III. WHAT IF
A thought that starts with “What if” is an intrusive thought.
The things that are coming are better than the things that are gone.
A quote from somebody else
“In a world where you don’t need to work to stay alive, what would you do? What gives you excitement and joy? Completely ignoring what other people tell you is useful or good, what do you find intrinsically beautiful and good to do in the world?”
— Here's to the fools who dream, Jacky Zhao
Links worth sharing
🚻 Public Bathroom Walls by Leslie Liu
🎨 Creative Combinations is a platform that brings together a digital community of freelance designers, artists and developers in order to create unexpected outcomes for projects.
🎷Love Theme From Spartacus - Remastered by Yusef Lateef
🐞 Bug Guide is a blog created by an online community of naturalists who enjoy learning about and sharing observations on insects and other related creatures.
☁️ Bentoism is a tool designed to help us think past short term and beyond self-interest by providing frameworks that re-imagine what the future can hold for indivudals, our communities and the world at large.
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Sometimes life can feel overwhelming. But loving what you do, day in and day out, can be enough to keep you going.