#007 Surface Area, Finding Answers, Self Honesty
Common Discourse Weekly Briefing
Common Discourse is a weekly briefing designed to help others (and myself) think through creativity, focus, and intentional work. I send this newsletter out every Monday at 9:17am. To receive future briefings, sign up below.
I woke up at 8am last Monday and tried to write this entire newsletter an hour before it was supposed to go live. After writing a few thoughts I shut my laptop and realized that forced work isn’t something I’m interested in right now.
Reminding myself that good ideas need to breathe. Also reminding myself that I don’t always need more time to work on things, but rather more focus.
I got the message above a few days ago which was a great motivator to spend time on the newsletter. Thanks for keeping me accountable. It feels good to know people are benefitting from this.
Like always, if you enjoy this newsletter, please consider sharing with just one other person that you think might enjoy it as well.
Ideas from me:
I. Surface Area
Luck isn't random. Like lightning, it needs surface area to strike. That surface area is defined by your adjacent possible. Meaning, the sum of all possibilities within arm's reach.
Simply put, make a lot of things possible and lightning is likely to strike somewhere.
II. Finding Answers
I think it takes us a long time to find the answer because we focus on details before fundamentals or foundation.
Think about a tree. Without a trunk, there are no branches, and without branches there are no leaves. Rarely beauty without working through the mundane stuff first.
III. Self Honesty
There are a lot of benefits to being the first to do something, but infinitely greater reward for doing something better than anybody else.
Somebody out there is already working on the idea that "you've been thinking about doing" so you better get started.
And your idea has already been done, do it better.
If your product is late and inferior, there’s no penalty for moving on to something else. Just be honest with yourself.
Quote from somebody else:
"First forget inspiration. Habit is more dependable. Habit will sustain you whether you’re inspired or not. Habit will help you finish and polish your stories. Inspiration won’t. Habit is persistence in practice.”
— Octavia E. Butler
Favorite links this past week:
📚 Affirmation by Assata Shakur
🎥 Notes on Cinematography by French Filmmaker, Robert Bresson
🎧 Landa Conservatory is the most quiet place on the internet.
🔍 Rick Dove is designing really amazing clothes right now.
Thanks for reading!
My name is Alex Tan and this is my newsletter. I’m a maker & educator, I created MOUTHWASH with my friends, and I own way too many white sneakers. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram.
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