Monday, December 24, 2007

Do what you are and you'll love what you do

I was thinking about this post I read on Penelope Trunk's Brazen Careerist blog where she makes a case against the classic career advice of doing what you love,"Often, the thing we should do for our career is something we would only do if we were getting a reward. If you tell yourself that your job has to be something you’d do even if you didn’t get paid, you’ll be looking for a long time. Maybe forever. So why set that standard? The reward for doing a job is contributing to something larger than you are, participating in society, and being valued in the form of money... Here’s some practical advice: Do not what you love; do what you are. "

While I agree with Penelope's definition of a rewarding job, I'd go further by saying if your job makes you feel valuable and appreciated, you'll feel like you're doing something you love. I'd also add to that you need to feel challenged, because no one loves being indefinitely bored.

I'm a huge believer in doing what you are so you'll love what you do. For example, anyone who has ever worked with me as a client, boss or coworker knows that I'm super organized. I can't help myself really. I'm compelled to record and remember the details of everything I work on because it makes my life, and everyone else's, easier. I used to view this as a handy little trait to have, but I realize now that it's my career calling. I am, and I love being, a person who understands, organizes and simplifies huge amounts of complex information. This is one of many skills that has lead me to a new career - user experience design.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

John Maeda for President (of RISD)

Rhode Island School of Design just announced that John Maeda has accepted the offer to become the 16th president of RISD. Check out this short video where John talks about the position and reveals what he said to his daughter when she told him she wants to be an artist.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Bliss is like a flack jacket

I just finished reading David Lynch's book Catching The Big Fish. It's a fascinating collection of his thoughts on film making, intuition, creativity, and transcendental mediation. "It's good for the artist to understand conflict and stress. Those things can give you ideas. But I guarantee you, if you have enough stress, it will get in the way of your creativity. You can understand conflict, but you don't have to live in it. So it just makes sense to nurture the place where strength and clarity come from - to dive in and enliven that. Bliss is like a flack jacket. It's a protecting thing. If you have enough bliss, it's invincibility."

David Lynch created a Foundation that promotes the teaching of stress-reducing Transcendental Meditation in schools. The Foundation also funds independent research institutions to assess the effects of the program on creativity, intelligence, brain functioning, learning disorders, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The grooviest holiday music, baby!

I'm crazy about Luxuria Music, an internet radio station that plays the kookiest collection of surf, swing, jazz, lounge and latin. If your eclectic taste ranges from Henry Mancini and Sammy Davis Jr. to The Beach Boys and the Osmonds, this is your mother ship of music.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bold advice from Wynton Marsalis' dad

I'm hooked on Iconoclasts, the Sundance Channel show that documents the insightful exchange between 2 very famous, and seemingly different people who greatly respect each other. In one episode, world renowned Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis talked about how he decided to dedicate his life to Jazz, like his father did. "When I was trying to determine what I was going to do after high school, all my school counselors, my mom, everyone was saying do not go into music - because you'll end up like your father. You'll basically be broke, struggling. You have to have something to fall back on. I asked my daddy, what should I do, man, should I have something to fall back on? He said the only advice I can give you is don't have anything to fall back on. Because what it will take for you to make it doing this, it's going to be very, very, very, very hard. So if you have something to fall back on, you're gonna fall back."

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Everyone's related

I just started exploring Geni, an online app that lets you create a family tree. You can invite your family by email and everyone can build it out together. Then you can click on any member and see the whole tree from their origin, as well as viewing as a list. There's also a personal profile/photo section for every member. It's an amazing view of not only how deep your roots are (your parents, grandparents), but how wide (your extended families through spouses, cousins). It gave me a very cool sense of belonging to something much bigger than I imagined - an infinite family.