Forget what happens next

There’s something powerful about letting go of all expectations; focusing on the thing that’s right in front of you, and taking the closest next possible step.  When you’re actually doing what you’re supposed to be doing, you need to shift your brain into a state that can let that happen. Success or failure is probably […]

Kirby and the power of polish

In 1991, Japanese game company HAL Laboratory Inc. was 1.5 billion yen in debt and had to bet its future on one game. It was called Tinkle Popo, featuring a rotund protagonist named Popopo. HAL Laboratory had planned to publish Tinkle Popo independently, and sold 26,000 pre-ordered copies.  Nintendo—a HAL Laboratory client and investor—intervened; game […]

Write the book you want to live

On either fence of, “Write what you know,” I tend to lean towards writing about what I don’t know; “Write What Obsesses You,” as Meg Wolitzer describes it.  A year after publishing Creative Doing, and a few years after the initial manuscript, I still pick it up and enjoy flipping through it. Although there are […]

A little flame of talent

At Granta, Kent Haruf writes: When I finished that novel I wrote John Irving to ask if he would connect me with his agent, and he said he would. He said he had sent fifty writers to his agent and he hadn’t taken any of them, but maybe he’d take me. And he did: I […]

Results orientation

Several months ago, the Nintendo Switch became the fastest console to sell 120 million units, and the third best-selling console of all time after the PS2 (158 million) and the Nintendo DS (154 million).  Nintendo has also sold over 100 million of its Wii consoles, many millions more than the competitor’s much more polished and […]

The illusion of catching up

One of the most important parts of hesitancy is that it compounds. When you notice other people making progress, and you feel caught in inertia, it’s important not to let your own expectations get away from you; you’re not going to catch up by aiming to catch up. Let’s say you and your friend had […]

Confidence compounds, so does hesitancy

At The Knowledge Project 169, Dr. Julie Gurner says to Shane Parrish:  I think that there is a very strong link—more than we think—with hesitancy and self-esteem. For example, I think the more you hesitate, you see other people doing things. You watch, right? If you don’t take the chance, and you watch other people […]

Jamming on a WIP

For whatever reason, while I’ve known the power of collaboration in my head, my heart generally inclined itself to stay hush on my works in progress (WIP). Some reasons: I don’t mind telling friends or people, I just also don’t want to tell everyone; there’s the paper suggesting that publicly announcing your goals could make […]

Google and the Dip

Seth Godin describes The Dip as, “The long slog between starting and mastery.” Two excerpts from Seth Godin’s The Dip stood out to me: “The brave thing to do is to tough it out and end up on the other side—getting all the benefits that come from scarcity. The mature thing is not even to […]