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Expectations Being Great

#
70
Chris Do
Published
October 2, 2017

Chris Do answers a Pro Member's question about the high expectations that lead to them not taking action.

Read Transcript
Would you say this works as well with learning new things? Sometimes I find if I put too many expectations, I don't end up producing something at all. You know what I mean? I get caught up in that state of mind thinking I needed to look this way. I needed to feel that way. And then I get so caught up into thinking of how I'm going to do it that I don't end up doing it. Oh, yes, yes, Yes. Yes so your question threw me off a little bit there. Let's see. Mustafa yes, but you can call me moose. See moose Mustafa. OK, OK. The real question is when you I think if I understand you correctly, when you're making something, when you're creating, you have all these expectations that it's going to be great, that it needs to be great. And so that's going to create a certain amount of stress on you. And then when you finish it, you define your own self-worth with how it turned out. And this is a super dangerous thing. I've spoken about this before and one of the talks, right, which is if your goal is to make great work, potentially that's very damaging to your personal, your own mental health. My goal isn't to do great work. My goal is to learn and to enjoy the process. Sometimes the work turns out pretty good, sometimes it's not that good, and that's OK. I hold learning and self-improvement to be the highest goal above everything else. And only I can measure that, and only I know what that is going in and after the fact. So for example, if you're creating something for a client, your goal should be to push your own boundaries, to try new things, to explore, to refine your process and to be really happy and to be in love with the process of learning. That's why oftentimes I'm up to 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. Working on stuff. And that's where my East Coast friends like, what are you doing up so early? It's like, I'm not up early, I just haven't gone to sleep yet, and I always kind of test my audience. I test you guys from time to time. I post things at one o'clock, two o'clock, 3 o'clock in the morning. And if you're in the same time zone or a similar time zone, I wait to see who's on, who's on the grind with me. And every once in a while, Bonnie saying is on the grind with me and I'm like, Oh my god, we're just messenger messaging each other like back and forth at 2/4 in the morning. It's like, what are we doing? I don't know. Maybe misery loves company. OK, so your highest goal should be to learn, to enjoy and love the process if you don't want to burn out, if you want to be a life learner. That's your goal and that'll make you happy. Can I can I tag along for that question? So you brought up a very interesting point that hit homes pretty, pretty hard. I'm seeing signs of burnout for myself because literally right now in the process of creating a new portfolio for myself, having to adapt and pivot the fact that probably I can't start my own business and I have to find a full time job or an internship, so I'm going deep in the process. I'm making sure the portfolio is on point. And it's hard to detach because a good portfolio is directly related to a decent job and hence a good self-worth. Right so I know it's a flawed thinking process, but it gets tied in because now dreams and ambitions that are attached to the same thing. Yeah Oh my goodness. Monday morning calls it are like deep. My goodness, you guys. Can we talk about typefaces or something? OK, so there's this attachment to your own self worth with the portfolio because the portfolio leads to a job and then job define success and fulfillment. It's a pretty standard metric that most people can use or parents or friends or cousin your siblings. Society can look at you and say, well, on-message is quite accomplished, isn't he? He's able to get this job with that kind of title, with that kind of prestige lives in that zip code. That's amazing. And so you could be making a lot of decisions for all the wrong reasons for the pursuit of that, and I'll tell you why. I've had many friends in my life who've pursued that exact thing. Now I'm not saying this is what I I'm saying, but I want to caution you on the other side of this. I've had friends who went to college and studied the thing that they thought was the most economically rewarding in the least amount of time they studied business. They study trading, aeronautical, engineering, whatever it is they thought was a booming field and really their heart wasn't there. It just wasn't there. And that's the real danger is that when you're standing next to somebody whose passion, whose dream they've been able to manifest in their minds since they were a little baby, how can we stand a chance competing against that person? You know, Bonnie saying she's super obsessed with Instagram. So she's going through friends accounts and editing it for them kind of unsolicited. That's how sick of an individual she is. And that makes her perfect to be a coach and a guide for people who want to grow their Instagram account. And she's like writing messages in her stories. I'm testing the algorithm like I haven't posted in like three weeks. See the big difference there. That's like Bonnie. And so I'm not going to go out there and say, I'm an Instagram influencer, but you know what? I kill you on YouTube. I love you, too. I'm up all night last night. It's 2:30 in the morning. I should be going to sleep. I'm so tired I bump into this video. It's like how to get more views in five minutes. Like, I should not be watching this. Just add this to your watch list, man. Like, no, I need to watch this right now, and I'll just watch some of it. That's why I tell myself just some of it. And then I'm watching half of it. I'm like, well, I finished half of it. Let's not go to bed without knowing what the other half says. I watch the other half. I'm like, I should go to sleep now. I'm like, no, no, no. You don't learn something until you actually do it. Remember, Chris, you tell everybody. Action beats intent. Damn it, I start getting into my video. I'll just edit one video based on what I know. So it took a screen capture, and I'm like, let me make sure I have a metric to make sure I know that I've done something good. I do one video I do two videos, 12 videos later. I gotta go to sleep, I have a call tomorrow, it's like 4 o'clock in the morning now. OK, so that obsession, just the desire, the passion that you have is your guiding principle now. The world can't pay you on passion. They can't pay you on how interested you are in something. But I suspect when you find the thing that you're very passionate about. Things will fall into place, maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but they will fall into place. And then this is where you're playing the long game and I think you're doing exactly the right thing right now, which is to know that you have to get a portfolio together because you've got to get a job at some point. But hopefully it's aligned around your passion and you're in this wonderful group of people who are very open and sharing. Just reach out and tap into this network. Don't be afraid to ask for help. I believe they will help you. Because we help each other. OK so when you work on that portfolio, I got to tell you right now the easiest thing, this is my quick 2 minute tip on this. The easiest thing is to put together a portfolio. You're you're going to look at me and say, shut up. That's what I'm struggling with. How dare you? How dare you say that, Christo, dare you? And I'll tell you how you do it. You look at the company's portfolio, the one that you want to hire you, whether it's an internship, a junior design position, a senior position study, their work. And then deconstruct that work and make work like that work and you will get work. That's how you work it. You understand we can all copy something. Not all of us can invent things, but we can all copy something, so we've done this before. You just look at the work, you deconstruct it. I know you're a smart man. You broke down the Socratic approach on the last call. Two calls ago. And you can do it again. Look at it and break it apart. Start with the obvious. OK, now let's say we're looking at a poster. Let's say it's a Saul Bass poster. The man with a golden arm. What makes that post to that post? Well, jagged shapes. To color design, orange and Black. Using probably accidents, grotesque, I'm not looking at it right now, so I don't know. Or hand-drawn type looks like it was made from scissors. So if I'm making an illustration, I need to use scissors or a knife. Something that's blunt. OK and a very graphic shape that draws your eye in, it's very jagged. That's what makes that thing. Now then go make a version of that, as if Saul Bass made the SQL to that movie. And you can do that. And I know you can do it because, like I've told you this before. My students Art Center had the same assignment, literally copy a master work, and they all told me they couldn't do it. Two weeks later, teaching me how to do it. So I know it's not that hard. They all panicked. They all threw up in their own mouths, saying, this was my hero. You're telling me now I can do work like my hero, and I said, yeah, I know you can't just do it. It's not as hard as you think. What's hard is sitting in a vacuum, not knowing what your goal is, fumbling around, trying to make something that you think is hot and working on that for three months and then realizing that thing has no correlation to the company or that place you want to work with. That is hard. OK give yourself. A week to produce two pieces, depending on the complexity of the work. That timeline is your friend. Believe it or not, that deadline, the shorter, the better. Now, you guys that worked on the 30 day challenge for the skateboarding thing. No, what I'm saying. At first, it's very frightening. Then it becomes a little less painful, then actually becomes fun, and some of you are addicted to it now. And we're talking about 30 minutes, 45 minutes an hour a day to produce something. Eric, wow, that surprised me. That turned out really cool. Now I learned new things. And that makes me happy or that things sucked, but I learned what not to do next time. That makes me happy.

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