#096 High Hopes, Low Expectations
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 an idea from us, 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.
It was never part of the plan to go silent for 6 months on the back-half of 2023, but the work happening at MOUTHWASH Studio had other ideas for Alice and I.
I’ve been writing this project on and off for over 3.5 years and this is about the time where we publish something like: “This is the year that we don’t miss a single weekly briefing.”
And although we do publish more every year, I’ve come to agree with life’s ebbs and flows that are seemingly unescapable.
I used to be hard on myself. I used to get down when I couldn’t deliver in August on a promise I made in January. But I realized this year that the only thing that matters in the end is that we keep coming back, and that we find ways to fall back in love with things that bring us joy, however brief it was the first time.
I don’t promise myself anything anymore.
I’d rather have high hopes with low expectations.
Because hope fuels us, can be refilled, and opens the door to possibility. While expectations are traps that lead to disappointment.
Here’s to all of those things and more in 2024.
An idea from us
I. RIGHT & WRONG THINGS
Creative leaders and successful founders have a magnetism that leave many of us wondering: “How do they have the time & energy to do it all?”
One clear distinction is that these people often find their way to momentum.
When goals are being met, ideas are clicking, and projects are growing, it’s hard to put it down. We make time for the things we love. Working on the right thing is easy, energizing, and rewarding.
On the other hand, when we’re forcing the agenda or finding difficulty making progress, we’re quick to burn out. Working on the wrong thing is unenjoyable and tiring. Even if we want it to be the right thing, it just might not be working.
Avoiding burnout is not about working less, but rather, spending more time with the right things and less with the wrong ones.
A quote from somebody else
“Kindness, Kindness, Kindness. I want to make a New Year’s prayer, not a resolution. I’m praying for courage.”
— Susan Sontag, As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh
Links worth sharing
🧠 Attention Deficit Disorder Prosthetic Memory Program , by Slam Jam, Ill-Studio & General_Index
🎶 Brian Eno in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist on the idea of Composers as Gardeners
🐠 Special Fish is a project by Elliot Cost that allows you to create personal profiles housing anything from your favourite recipes, songs and videos, to lists and diary entries
🎨 rothko.me is a CSS experiment based on the expressionist artist’s work, Mark Rothko
♟ A Look at Solange’s songwriting process and sessions that contributed to A Seat At The Table. I’ve had the album on repeat quite a bit the last couple weeks. It’s always interesting revisiting music and projects that you used to frequent a lot, and seeing the ways certain songs grow and evolve with you. (Cranes in the Sky will forever be a classic).
❓What are some links that you’ve recently come across recently that have caught your eye? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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