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Perfectly Imperfect, with Chris Do

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169
Chris Do
Published
July 29, 2021

Chris Do leads a keynote on branding yourself when you don't know who you are and what you stand for.

Read Transcript
OK, guys, welcome to call number one, six nine. I'm calling this talk or conversation today perfectly imperfect. I have exactly 60 Minutes to talk to you about this, and there will be some exercises for you to do. It's a little bit of talking and a bit of doing some work and we'll do work together. I want to set up some context for why we're having this conversation. I'm talking to Anna Lee and she's like, you know this X factor thing? Tell me more about it. I know we've done something like this before. In fact, I have some of the slides from when you've done this before. But since this group has grown and changed a lot over the years, there's a good chance you haven't done it to me. And I've made some modifications to this and I've added a little bit more. So without further ado, let's get right into it. OK, so I just want to start off with the easy question. Who are you? Do you have a good excuse me? Do you have a good idea to who you are, what you believe in? And are you doing a good job of telling that story to the world? Is that narrative clear mine clear in their mind? And if somebody in this group had to tell your story for you, would they be able to do so? Have you done enough of that? And I think this mirror perfectly with this question about like, what is this 100 day challenge that everybody's talking about that seems like everybody's really excited to participate in? Well, I think that's going to help you a little bit, and it's something that once I figured out who I was, I started to come into my full power to be able to do my genius work. And that's what really gets me excited that I want to do this with you, for you and to see you blossom in that way. So how do you brand yourself like we talk a lot about personal branding and putting a message out there in design and in words when you don't know who you are? And what you stand for. Socrates said an unexamined life is not worth living, and so much so that he believed in that he elected to choose death over exile or silence. So the story goes, he was accused of corrupting the youth of Athens during a time, which was supposed to be dedicated to Democratic consolidation. So he was creating a fracture. In democracy there, so he refused opportunity to escape from his cell prior to his execution because he had this belief and the belief was so strong that one must obey the law. So he didn't even want to cheat that, and so he chose death. So he clearly knew what he stood for and what he was willing to die for. And that is really critical. So again. Who are you? And I asked this kind of a part in jest with tongue in cheek here, because I know it's a very difficult question to answer. And there's a reason why it is. It's because you've been really busy and I don't mean you've been really busy with doing your work, doing client work or managing your family or anything related to this crisis. I really mean, it's because you've been busy trying to be someone else. That there's this idea, at least in the American education system and the research that I've done on this and the thought leaders who've spoken on this is the idea that we teach everyone to a standard and we call that standard normal and standard or normal is just another word for average. So anybody that falls outside of that is labeled something else, there's a nicer term for it. We call them outliers today, but not when. When I was growing up, they had different words for that troublemakers, hyperactive geeks and freaks. So we learned really early on that when we stand out, we're punished. And that we need to get to go along to get along. And it's interesting that there's a circle of us here. Of almost 400 people. That have somehow survived childhood. To be different. But there's still that longing to belong to get back into that circle and to be normal, and I talked to so many people, people in this very group who have done one on one coaching with that we seem to always desire to be what we're not. We want to move into the center in the center is whatever it is that's in your mind. Some of you guys are developers, you want to be designers. Some designers want to learn how to code, so they want to be developers. Some people think their design is too feminine this, so they want it to be more masculine and up and vice versa. So there's this schism that exists between us and ourselves, this image of who we truly are, which has been buried deep inside of us and who we think others want us to be, not who others want us to be because we don't even really know sometimes. And the others could be someone related to you, somebody who has great power and influence over you, someone who your emotions are regulated by their approval or disapproval. And some of it could just be the public. Which is even worse because you can't talk to the public. So this fracture itself, we're searching for identity. This is a shot from split. James McAvoy plays a character that has multiple personality disorder, and it's quite a brilliant performance. So we've learned, in my opinion, to hate the part of ourselves that aren't normal. And what we have to do is we have to find those different parts and join them back together so that we can do some healing. We have to find ourselves and be in our element. And I think it's a very natural way of being. So we have to get back to that natural way and find your true, authentic self. So there's this idea, this pursuit of perfection and like, where did this come from? And started looking at perfection. What is perfection mean, like perfection or no work, but then perfection in ourselves if we apply that same definition that it's free of all flaws or defects. So if you have a rough piece of metal, you grind it, you remove the BRZ and the sharp edges. And same thing with a piece of wood. You use a planar, you get it to be perfectly smooth. So you're getting rid of all the parts, you're pulling them out, like in this game of operation, you're pulling out all the parts that you view as flaws or defects. Now this is a pretty hard transition. I want to talk about the story of a famous rock, not this one. But this one. I want to ask you guys, what's the story of this rock? You know, it looks pretty unremarkable. It's not famous. So does anybody know the story of this rock? And then. What's this rock worth? And usually rocks like this are measured in pennies per pound. It has no charisma. It's just a rock. It seems to be very common. And the reason why this rock isn't worth much is you can find it pretty much anywhere. But there's the story of a different rock, a much more famous rock with a better story. What's the story of this rock? And what is it worth? Is it worth significantly more? So I posit that it is because it has a really good story, a story that we've all bought into, not all of us, most of us. I, for one, don't see a lot of value in this rock. And I looked up. The origins of diamonds. And diamonds on an emotional level are a symbol of wealth, commitment and love. We're even taught in slogans that are diamonds are forever, diamonds are a girl's best friend and that we should spend. Two months salary for an engagement ring like this. With a rock like this. But if you look into the kind of science, the logical explanation of what this rock is, it's pretty interesting. Diamonds are formed 100 miles below the Earth's surface in the upper mantle. And through tremendous heat and pressure. Carbon turns into a diamond, but not all carbon turns into diamond because it has to travel from the upper mantle to the surface in a really fast manner. Otherwise, it won't become a diamond. So scientists believe that the diamonds that we have here on Earth are shot through the earth, through volcanoes, volcanoes. And that they're very old, maybe Tens of hundreds of thousands. Are hundreds of millions of years old, so has a really interesting story, it's not so easy to find. Or so we think. And so we think, OK, it's beautiful, it's hard, it catches light in a certain way. But then now scientists have figured out how to make a synthetic diamond one that's made in a lab and they are virtually indistinguishable from a natural diamond made by nature. And it's literally impossible to spot the difference between these two by the naked eye. And it's actually very hard to spot. And that's why people who say when you buy a diamond, it's important to have a certificate of its origin. So now one rock has a story that is attached to it, where it came from. And sometimes it's a bloody story, one of oppression. But then you say like, well, why is one worth more than the other? So on average, a synthetic man made or lab made diamond is 15% to 35% less. Even though its origin story is much cleaner, it has an ethical story. And so now some people are choosing that over a natural diamond because they could sleep better at night knowing where it comes from. So what we've learned in this is the provenance of where something comes from. The story attached to it actually matters a lot. We have the uncharismatic, charismatic rock that has no story that's very common, that is just like every other rock we've seen. So the other lesson we learned here is scarcity actually increases value and scarcity comes from being one of a kind or a kind. And I just want to throw in one more version of a diamond. The simulated diamond, the one that maybe many of you guys know it's actually not a diamond, it just looks like one like the cubic zirconia. Or rhinestones? They're not nearly as hard, and they can be spotted just by the naked eye in terms of their differences, if you know what you're looking for. So the story attached is really important, it's because it's how we align our worldview with the things that we associate with, especially now that we've moved away from a place of need like basic shelter, food, water, clothing. So that idea of a life that's unexamined is not worth living. So I'm going to ask you guys today to examine your life. Who are you? What is your story? And I want to remind you of something I brought up many times before, but as a refresher, I want to help you. Become an attractive character. And there are four parts to this. Four parts, according to Russell Brunson and the research he did in his book secrets that you have to have a compelling back story, your origin story where you came from. And yet you have character flaws. See, even in his own definition here, an imperfect character is what is attractive, not a perfect character. We see perfect characters in movies. We don't relate to them. They're often the villain or the antagonist in a story and an attractive character has lived life, has experiences and are able to share those stories in the form of parables lessons learned short anecdotes. And the one that confuses a lot of people is that if you have a point of view. And you take a position, you're going to be polarizing. So this need to be loved by everybody to be just right in the middle. Actually goes against being attractive character. Now I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about any of them except for this one, because this is about finding your X factor. So your character flaws. Is what matters? And so Emily and I are having this conversation and she was like shocked and she was telling me that she had some ideas about that. Professor x and X-Men and. This very special school for gifted kids, and I laugh because it's like, this is kind of how I see myself. And I had this drawing commissioned a couple of years back from my friend Angie. And I wanted her to do this kind of graph by Professor X thing. Now for just the Side Story here, the back story to this image is when I was in Japan, I didn't realize that at the time about it, I had gout and my ankles were swollen and it hurt just to walk. So when my wife and I were walking around, I was hobbling around like just a really, really old person older than I actually am. So we asked the mall to provide us a wheelchair, and it felt really strange. So this picture was taken and then the basis of this illustration with a couple of modifications. So that is me, and it was commissioned. I didn't just find it, and I want to help you. These outcasts from society and in the ex universe, in that world, you're the mutant. You're the oppressed. And I want to help you find your power and your beauty. And one way of doing this is to look back at your entire life as a timeline and find significant moments to trigger memories. And this is really what this call is all about, because I'm going to give you a few prompts for you to think about. So that you can start to rediscover your true, authentic natural self. Where you were born, the city and the circumstances in which you were born actually create an imprint in you that you might not even realize. So it's kind of important for us to think about that and to think about every house you've lived in since you were born. And for me, I think somewhere between birth and around seven years old, I started to figure out things I was interested in. So up until three, it's really about just learning language and basic communication, but between 3 and seven, if you can go back in time in your mind to that time, I think you'll discover some really interesting things about yourself. And I'm sure there are other significant moments, but I just mapped out a couple of milestones as far as they relate in modern society, like when you go to junior high. The awkward years, if you will, and then when you go to high school, still awkward but figuring things out. And then college, when you as an adult are making decisions for yourself, the things that you choose to do. Hopefully, some of it was for yourself and not because somebody else wanted you to do it. And the jobs that you've had since then, they all tell you a little bit about who you are. And then you'll make a map of it. And this is my map. With the things that I think make up me and I'm trying to find ways to bring them all together so that I can heal the fracture itself. And when I can bring all them together, I think I come into my full power. That's when I'm Professor X. OK, so as a little quick mental exercise here, I want to ask you this question. How many pentagram partners can you name? Because there are quite a few. I just did a quick Google search on this. There are 25 partners. And without using the internet. I want to ask you, how many pentagram partners can you name? You guys can unmute yourself, I can't really see you right now because my screen is being shared, but I just want to ask you, can anybody name more than one pentagram partner? Yeah, Yeah. And if you don't want to say, just say it in the comments in the chat. How many can name more than two pentagram partners? Let's get it gets much harder. And how many can name three or more if you can name three or more pentagram partners, I'd like for you to unmute yourself and name them. And Ali, is anybody doing that? Does anybody have their hand raised? Because some people don't know what pentagram is. Oh, this is perfect, then it's even better. Pentagram is a global design firm, mostly in the identity design graphic design space, but their interdisciplinary cross-disciplinary. They do lots of things in some of your most beloved logos. Identities are designed by pentagram. But there there are no hands. Somebody is asking a question. Go ahead. Yeah course I can name a couple. Yes Yes. And London pentagram is handled by an Indian curries from Tanzania. Somebody beautiful. Congratulations you did it. You have three. That's one more than me. OK And the reason why if you are, you're in the design space. Diane, if you're in the design space, you probably know who pentagram is and you would know the name Paula Sher and the name Michael Beirut. And that's about it. Those are the two easy ones. Paula Sherry is considered the most famous, influential female graphic designer, maybe of all time. And there was a series on her or an episode on her on abstract, she was featured in season one, I believe. Michael, Beirut is probably the only person within pentagram that has a name as big as Paula. And he's done really big things. And the question is, and if there are 25 partners, theoretically, because they're all over the world. Each one of us should be able to name a different partner based on where we are and our affinities, right? Is that? Why is it that we kind of just know about two? And we know a little bit about them, but not everything about them. For me, it's a little bit clearer as to who Paula shares because of her appearance on abstract. And I think it's because they've done a really good job of telling their story. They, as graphic designers, have learned early on that who you are in the design world is more than just what you make, it's how you present yourself and the ideas that you're able to communicate the narrative that you're able to tell. OK, so if we were to say, like, who's the most famous designer or know of, I'm sorry, not know personally or kind of in within our sphere. Who would that be? Can you drop that in the chat? Who would that be? Well, what are they writing in the chat? I can't see. Hey, there. Hello Rand Paul Christo, Aaron draft plain air droplet, yeah, Aaron Chapman comes up a lot. Yeah Dieter Rams. Dieter Rams. Yes famous. So people that are still alive, probably Aaron droppin. And here's the funny story about Aaron Joplin just a few years ago. Not that long ago, I was at a talk at Art Center with a guy from moving brands, one of the founders. And somehow somebody was talking about Aaron Joplin. And I heard Ben burns mention his name before, but I didn't know who he was. And I'm not talking about like a decade ago. I'm talking about maybe five years ago. Obviously, before we had him on our show and this woman sitting in front of me just turned around like, you don't know who Aaron Joplin is, and she had this look of incredulity like she could not believe. Like, I didn't know who he was, and I was just pretending to be like above it all. And I didn't. But now like once you become aware of who they are and drop on is. It's kind of impossible not to know who he is. And there's lots of parts of him, and I ask every one of you who is familiar with him and what he does. To think about all the parts that make him up. I think you would be able to tell me quite a lot about him, more so than Paula Sherry. More so than Michael Beirut and Dieter Rams. And Tibor Coleman and Stefan Meister. Because he's done a very good job of figuring out who he is, and he's gone 100% in into his weirdness. He's leaned into his difference, and I want you to do the same. So this whole X factor thing isn't necessarily looking at your strengths, the things that make you great and amazing because there's a good chance you already kind of know what that is. But it's what makes you weird and joining those parts together. And loving all those parts that you've been hiding. So there's this little grid, and we're going to do this together. So let's do this. Whatever tools you have to use, paper and pencil spreadsheet notion. Dropbox paper. Google docs, whatever you can. Excel spreadsheets. Make a five column. Great and these are little prompts. A modified them recently just to see if we can spark a different conversation today. And to title each column one as hobbies and interests. So anything you do for fun. Have a remote interest in. And remember, I was talking about where you were born. Your origin, your culture says a lot about you. Just even in the city that you were born in, says something, your birth order. How many siblings you have? The thing that you probably know the most about is the things that you study, the things that you have practiced deliberately, the things that you have skilled in things that come natural to you. Some of it is through study and practice, some of it just God given talent. And then your physiology just basically like what you look like. From the outside world, right? Things that we can see. And last but not least, things that make you happy, that bring joy to your heart. So those are the five, and I was thinking, I'm going to stop this part and we could just sit here silently and work on this together. We can try to do this with a person that we know, like Aaron joplin, and we could try to fill this in together, or we could just work silently on our own and then share some of the things. And then maybe I'm going to send you guys off to a breakout room that you can discuss some of these things and maybe somebody in your group. Hopefully you're a performance partner. Can help fill in some of the gaps. So can you guys do this and before we do it, I want to. Have open it up to some questions. OK let's open up some questions that's kind of pretty much the slides, I have a few more slides, but they're not significant. Just a homework slide. OK, so who has a question? Well, I didn't realize there's a lot of today, which is really cool. Almost broke 100. Anybody have a question? OK, Adam. Go ahead. Yeah, so this might be a little bit silly, but what's the joy section supposed to be? What gives you joy? Let's see if you like skateboarding, if you like drawing, if you like reading. But is that a hobby or is that joy? It can be anything that gives you joy, right? Like I watch mixed martial arts, I watch I watch movies, I listen to 80s music that gives me joy. So I'm just trying to find different ways of bringing all little parts out. So sometimes people would not put that in the category of hobbies and interests. What makes you happy? Like if organizing your workspace and being really tidy, having a clean home gives you joy? You write that down. Gotcha OK. Anything that makes you happy. Just write that down. Anybody else? OK Lizzie. Hi, Lizzie. Hi, I'm just wanting to know a little bit more about the physiology in terms of are you talking about how you present to others, like how you know, you present to others? that's a really good question, let's do this way. Are you familiar with Aaron joplin? No, no. Who's somebody that you think, you know, like? Like a design celebrity. I'm not a designer, so that's OK. What are you? I'm a marketer, marketer, ok? OK, Seth Godin, do you know Seth godin? I, j. OK, describe Seth Godin. Um, I would describe him, like, like physically, yeah, physically. I mean, I think he's just your sort of traditional nerd, isn't he? I don't know. But nerd is not a physical description, right? So describe him physically. Just go with the basics. What I think you're reluctant to say, but I will say in a second, this describes I'm literally googling an image of him. No, no, you can't. I don't want you to go. I don't want you to Google My memory. No, because memory is really important. I mean, I like I don't even like, I don't look at that many pictures of him. OK, I'll tell you what, I'll describe him for you. Ok? like my I think he looks a little bit nerdy just because he is very prominent with his glasses OK there you go. That's one. Let's describe what you think of as nerdy because it's going to be a little different for each person, right? So nerdy for you, is he? He wears glasses and they're usually a little funky. They're like brightly colored, or there's an interesting shape to his glasses and then there's assumptions that we make about people who have glasses, right? It used to be that if you wore glasses, you look smarter because you're a bookworm. And if you have tape right here, then you're for sure, a nerd. Your glasses have been broken at least once, and that's don't even care about aesthetics, so we know he's nerdy, we know he's Caucasian. I think he's Jewish. He's bald. He likes to wear suits and bright patterned colored ties. And oftentimes, these suits are a little bit like bigger than it needs to be. Like he wears a suit jacket like an accountant does, which is one or two sizes bigger than he needs to be. We we know that he's a well-spoken, articulate public speaker. I don't know how tall he is, but he looked very big, maybe even frail or skiing. We know he's. What else can we describe about? Well, I mean, I think you've described the things about him that he's almost like saying to society, like almost like a fuck you about the nerd thing, like he is taking the glasses and he's running with them and he's taking the badly fitting clothes and he's running with it like he's deciding to do that. Well, maybe I don't know. And everything else is our judgment and us figuring it out and reading between the lines. I do not know. I don't believe he thinks his jackets are too big. As you know, I think that he's surely got someone telling him you would think, well, I don't think so because I've seen famous people wear suits that are just not fitting to who they are. They're in its comfort level, too, like I like to wear really tight suits that are almost like if I eat a big burrito, I'm done for it. I cannot sit down at that point. And that's how tailored I want my clothes to be. Right, and it's almost ridiculous, because usually when I go get fitted, I want in that tight, I'm like, yeah, and then it's too tight, I'm like, OK, let it out half an inch on the thighs or whatever. So whatever. OK, so he wears glasses and I'll talk. I don't to get ahead of ourselves a little bit, but it's really interesting. I didn't realize we were going to get so deep. No, that was lovely. I like it, psychology. You know, just think like he's leaned into every part of him and he is a nerd, a wealthy, smart, brilliant nerd. OK, so let's keep going here. So I want you to describe the way that you look without all the labeling. Just describe it as objectively as you can. OK so if you need to look yourself in the mirror. And let's see if there's any other hands here I'm scanning. I don't think so, I know all the participants, that's where I need to be. We're 8 to nine people. We've lost, we lost three people. That was sad. Yeah, OK. It was his close. Yeah, yeah, OK. Are you guys? Are they any of the questions about these categories? They're just prompts, really to kind of get you to examine yourself to pause in the busy life that you have, the hustle and bustle of your so-called life. You stop and just reflect. You want to. What's up? About the origin and culture? Like, can you expand that bit because I'm thinking about nationality and religion and that I'm a 90s kid or I'm somehow millennial or the indigo generation, what else goes into? Yeah so some of us have maybe more turbulent beginnings in terms of our story. Like for me, I was born in Vietnam and fled Vietnam when it fell to communism in 1975. So I'm Southeast Asian, I'm Vietnamese, I'm a refugee immigrant to America. And that's the beginning of my story. English is my second language. And I lived in Kansas City. And my dad. He was in the army. My mom was a Secretary and worked in the US embassy. And then eventually we moved to San Jose, and then now I reside in Southern California. So all those things start to shape the narrative. And if I tell you nothing else about myself and you know that I'm pretty sure you're going to start to formulate a story. You can make a lot of assumptions, and some of your assumptions will be wrong, and it just depends on how much life you've experienced in your worldview. But some of them would be just so dead on. Because we like to think we're so different in some ways, but we're actually more alike than we think. Does that help you? You want to. It does it gives me more tools to work with and waste you to think about it. Thank you so much. Sure and Aaron Kaplan, I think he grew up in Michigan. I want to say, but he lives in Portland. In the upper left, as they say in Portland. And so he has those kind of Midwestern values. And Midwestern sensibilities, he's like an everyman in a way. As much as any grappling can be an everyman. OK, any other questions? And are you finding that you can easily fill in these things? You got some interesting things going on. Yeah OK. Fantastic Charles, what's up? Hey just for the study and skill part is it will we're currently practicing in terms of our part of work or how would you go about that? Yeah so assuming that everybody here has gone to some form of schooling, even if you're self-educated, what did you study? Has some of you majored in philosophy? Communication media production, graphic design such as myself, what did you study? And that could be formal. Or non-traditional? Either one works if Aaron Pearson were in this room, it turns out he's got a lot of different skills. He used to be a semi-pro professional yo-yo person. And he also was competitive on the jump rope level, which are things I'm like here, and this is kind of you're a really interesting person. He's got a lot of hobbies, and so some of you might practice mixed martial arts, so that's a skill. Maybe you're really good at calligraphy. And it's kind of interesting when you go and listen through all of your skills that you start to see, like why am I only focused? My career is only focused on this one part of all the different things I'm good at. Why have I yet to combine all these things together? And many of you guys know this about me now is that I make commercials and music videos for most of my career. I started my company with little to no money, have had a lot of failures. I taught at Arts Centre for 15 years. And I love just the idea of entrepreneurship that you can be the author of your own destiny. And then I started to make videos on YouTube. And it wasn't until I was able to bring all those things together that I get to be me. My cousins, they would see a very different version of me growing up than the professional me running a company. All of that was being suppressed or repressed because I didn't think there was a place for that. And truth be told, there isn't. I can't be the wild, goofy person that I am around them. But I can for YouTube. YouTube allows me to do that. If I allow myself to do that. And so I love watching comedians do their bits, and I tried to impersonate them for my wife and I'll do bits from it because I'll Watch Series on Netflix that she's not really interested in. I'm like, honey, let me tell you this joke. Let me set it up and I do my best to emulate these people. And again, in my professional world, there's no place for that. But now you can see, like I'm pulling all these parts together and it's forming a more complete me. That's the part that I used to hide on this side is now being led into the light. And it's a really great feeling. Now my students at art center, they would see this version of me. No cameras around six to 12 people, students wanting to learn something and they're like, who is this insane guy? Like, I was literally jumping on top of the table saying, what are you guys doing? And we would make people do wall Squats. You guys know what wall Squats are. Well, you have to lean against the wall and pretend like you're sitting on a chair, but there's no chair. It's actually excruciating. If you do it for long enough, it will really burn out your quads. And the reason why I made people do wall Squats is if I ask you a question and you weren't present. And you ask me what or to repeat the question? Wall squat time. So you can bet the students who are paying attention and there are quite a few who had to do wall Squats. And I thought it was a great way to connect a lesson with physical activity. It's probably considered torture, but whatever, I didn't get fired for it, so it's all good. We did do a lot of funny things like that. Ok? is that sauna or sauna? Hi Hi. I was curious about hobbies and interests. I have quite a few interests. Awesome like a lot, I think that I could almost say that I'm interested in almost everything because somebody will say, hey, I do this, and I'm very curious about it. So how would you narrow it down if you say that you just like a lot of different things and you've tried a lot of different things? OK, so there's a couple of things here. One is, if you're curious, that's not necessarily a hobby or an interest, but you can put it what gives you joy? You're really you love learning about other people's story. And that can point you to something. OK, so let's put a pin on that and let's save that. Let's come back to that in a second. So I would say a hobby or interest is something you've actually spent time looking up and learning and maybe participating in question mark. How does that help you to reduce that list down a little bit? I think so. OK would you like to share some of your interests with me? Sure I like reading drawing. Most anything in art, if you can look up a different medium and everything, I've probably done it in grammar school. I like exploring doing different things with other people. I like adrenaline sports as well. I name a few. So I used to watch the X Games when I was a kid just to like, watch sports. Yeah, I just love that. And now every now and then, I think I like going to different countries where I could probably do like whitewater rafting, or bungee jumping or something like that, something of the sort. Have you done those things? Yes, they were fun. So you like to travel so we can put travel down? Yeah and you're an adrenaline junkie, right? That gives you joy. Yeah, it's fun. OK, so let's write those things down, and that's how we would categorize it. So we don't have to list every single sport that you've done or really interested in. We can generally just put those extreme sports. And then what gives you joy is like adrenaline. Which is really cool. And do you work out to are you like, really physically active? I used to be before COVID. It's less physical now. OK, we can. We can answer this in a pre-covid tone of voice because COVID is just wrecked a lot of things. OK, very good. So there's a couple of things that you said that you were really interested in all kinds of art, but only in grammar school. Has something happened between grammar school now? Are you not participating in art anymore? I am more so now because I'm taking on the identity of a content creator that not, I think, for a while I did not do that because I wanted to make some money and take care of myself and build a savings. So that's what I did. OK, so it sounded like your book ending something here where at the beginning of your life, you're really interested in art and media and you left it for a little while and now you're back into it. Is that about right? Yes OK. Beautiful OK, you're in exactly the right place, by the way. All right. So does that help you out a little bit? Yes yeah, it's giving me more of a picture of who I actually am. Yeah OK, good. I'm getting a sense of who you are, and you're not an easy person to put in a box, which is fantastic. OK, so the trick later on will be to think about these things to synthesize as many of those things into who you are as possible. But the first part is just to technology, and that's as much time as I'm going to be able to spend with you on this particular call. OK, now I see a bunch of new hands have gone up. Thank you very much. Let's go like. Let's see who raised their hand first. Milo hey, Chris. Yeah, I'm just wondering, can you explain the difference between the study and skill versus a hobby and interest? Yes, I'm OK. I'm like, I like fishing. I like skateboarding. I like comic books, but I wouldn't say I've studied them or I have practiced them in any meaningful way. So oftentimes when we ask people who are like, you meet somebody at a party or a networking event, what's the first question that comes to your mind? Usually it's like, what do you do? So all of our brain and attention is focused on the study skill part, right, like what? You've spent a lot of time harnessing your professional practice and we then don't think about all these other parts that don't fit within our regular world. And there's a good chance that most of you have something that the world pays you to do that allows you to pay for the roof over your head and electricity. And there's all these other weird things that nobody pays you anything for that you readily spend money to pursue. That's what I would consider hobbies and interests, and for me. A big I've been a big fan of martial arts like all my life. And when the UFC was formed, I became hooked and I watched every single fight, probably up until a couple of I bought every single pay per view. Once I was aware of it, and so the pay per views were like 50 bucks, 60 70 dollars, something like that, they range. And so you can say that even just the first 100 UFC, I've given the UFC a lot of my money. I've been at several live events. And so you see, it's like it's telling me a little bit of something about who I am. And maybe things that I can do to bring those worlds together. Coincidentally, they did come together for me, but we'll get into that a little bit later. OK thanks, Paula. All right, thank you. Mm-hmm So now let's move on to Alec. Hey, Chris. Hey, man. So you're talking about coming together as a whole person, but then you're also talking about all these things that made you who you are. And you're talking about how a lot of it happened in the last like 20 years. And there's people here that aren't even that old yet. And so it's like, it's true, right? So you're sitting, you're like, oh, I really enjoy these things and teaching, and it's like, well, you didn't even start teaching and it wasn't a passion of yours until later in life. So I just kind of wanted you to break that down for people that might be questioning themselves like, well, I think when you're young also, you have all these different things and you don't really know what interests you. Right and I think the whole world is possibilities. And so for people like me that are starting to bridge that right, I'm going to turn 30 this year. So I'm about to in my mind, like, go over the hill, OK, it's no longer fun. Play around time. It's now what's my career like? What am I doing? But like, so how do you when do if something's something's a part of you versus something is just an interest on your journey that you can leave behind? I think a lot of people are trying to decipher that. Yeah, that's a very good question. It's a very complicated question. So let me see if I can break that apart in several parts. OK the first part is your age and your timeline. And when are you supposed to know you're not supposed to know about any timeline? We find who we are supposed to be when we find who we're supposed to be. So I don't want to do this call to make you guys feel pressured like, Oh my god, XYZ has figured it out. And there's 14 years old and some people are 14 years old and do figure it out because they have amazing nurturing parents who give them space to explore lots of things. And then they are very watchful and then they encourage them to try. And then all of a sudden they hit their stride. Child prodigies become, you know, anybody that's a child prodigy has figured out something about themselves. They're bringing their total self to this thing, and it's amazing. And sometimes there's a dark side to that. I won't go there just yet. So if you're early on, in your career, in life, I'm not here to add stress to it. I'm just here to say now you have something to look forward to and be more cognizant so that you can recognize all these different parts and to stop fighting and suppressing the parts that you think aren't normal. And remember, just this, you know, our whole school system, our whole society is built on just building out average people. If you're too smart, if you're too to too dumb or too slow, I should say they put you in different categories and then they just move you right out because they just want to make us all the same. It's much easier for them to manage people that way. So the only thing I can share with you is if I could go and have a conversation with my younger self, I would do something like this. I would say, hey man, there's a lot of things that you used to do. These things are actually important. They're going to be part of who you become and the quicker we realize that, the more that we lean into it. The happier you'll be, the more fulfillment you'll have and turns out the world's going to love you more for it. Just don't fight it. And I think we've been conditioned so much in our light to do the right thing. Just like to think of design for many of you guys or a career and arts in the arts or some other weird thing as not safe and Asians will know this. It's always like your backup plan to be a creative person, like your primary plan is to be somebody else, which is really weird. Such a strange concept. So, Alec, being the old man of the group at the ripe old age of 30. Can't believe you're even telling me you're over the hill at that age, right? It's like we're all figuring it out. And if we can accelerate it for some of you to help you get there faster or for you to stop hating that part of yourself, then I think I've done my job. OK, so other than just interest, how do you what is your decision making process? I won't ask how you apply it to others. Everyone's different. But as far as your decision making process as Chris. How do you decide what to double down on and what things to kind of let go because you can't focus on everything, right? Because you are obviously interested in comic books and everything else, but you haven't developed a comic book yet. I'm sure it's in the works, you know, x factor, you know? But yeah, yeah, you're right. See, so this is fantastic. Let's talk about this, and I'll talk to you about how you can leave these things in. It's not as clear as just going and pursuing that profession. I'm really into comics like I love everything that you can imagine about comic books down to the way, the way they smell, the sweetness of the pulp and the way that they used to be colored versus today, that uncoated paper and the typography, the lettering. And I've consumed myself in this. I've spent a ton of money following this passion, this interest in this hobby. I'm pretty good at drawing those, are you guys who have seen me draw, I can draw things from my mind, but I'm not good enough to be a professional at it and I'm able to bring all these things in. I'll tell you where this makes sense. So when I got out of school, I was doing motion design, something that I was not trained to do. And motion design is essentially designing, as you know, Alec. Little story beats. And I was like, how do I how do I do this thing? And then I would work with artists and they were trying to draw things to tell me like, that's kind of what the frame is supposed to look like. My skill is in practice in drawing really come to help me out here. I'm like, no, no, I mean it like this. I want to compose it like this. And what I was able to do is make the composition is a lot more dynamic. It's because I've been studying these panels by these artists for over a decade at that point. So I know you need three things in the frame something big, something medium and something small, and that the lines in the frame are converging along with a prospective line which makes things really dramatic that when Captain America has his shield and he's surrounded by ninjas or the red skull's squadron, all their guns point at him so that our eye is directed towards that. I don't use those same rules in composition, and all of a sudden I'm able to connect to things that maybe somebody else will not see. So my interest in skateboarding led us to working with quicksilver, and quicksilver is creative director at that time, not as Scopus. One of my childhood heroes. And I was able to work with Stacy Peralta, another childhood hero of Powell Peralta. My interest in the UFC and MMA led us doing, I think, four seasons of The Ultimate Fighter for spike TV. See, I'm bringing all these things in like I love watching TV and I'm able to bring that in. And that's what we're talking about. We're not saying that this is what you do and they're separated, but. Joining them together, that's the key. OK, so my love in skateboarding, like the people who did the art. I think it's Jim Phelps for Santa Cruz and then Clive or Sean. Sean barker, I think, is his name. Something like that with Clive barker, who did the artwork for Paul Peralta. And so when I go into the street fashion people, I'm able to talk about that. And from a point of. Of authenticity and genuine, because I love this artwork. I love these people, I'm interested in their stories. Gator, Marc Anthony, go to prison. Christian hustle is his bit with being a born again Christian when he was in prison, you know, just all these things. OK is that OK, alec? I think so, just to try to distill it a little bit to make it more applicable, you're pretty much creating a giant Venn diagram of sections of your life. And so what you're trying to do is touch all these things and then figure out where they connect into. What would you say is your main line, which is something along the lines of like making a living as a creative or something? So, yeah, something like that. And so you have this main tree and it's like, how does this loop in and how does it and where does this go? And some of these things might stay individual bubbles and never, never loop. So here's a visual for you. Yeah, here's the visual for you. So I'm the conductor of an amazing orchestra, and the orchestra is all the parts and pieces. All the players, the cellist, the violinist, the percussion department, the wind, the brass, all. They're all there. I don't want them all playing at the same time. be very noisy. And I, as a conductor, get to draw some in and then leave something out, and I'm able to move between these things. But the difference between that and saying, you've only got one player, one artist, and that's all you've got. And you can make beautiful music that way, but I don't think then you're coming to your full power and all these other people of the orchestra are going to get bored just sitting there, they're forgotten and neglected. You see, I think a lot of us feel like we sound like they're practicing before they play, where they were, they're all going at the same time, right? I know what are you talking about? I think that's how a lot of us feel. Yeah, that's before the conductor taps. Right? yeah, but I love that little bit, you know, right before the orchestra plays. It's kind of weird because I know it's going to get really good, so it's beautiful that way. OK, I have to run in 4 minutes, so I'm going to try to do this. So it's Waldemar. Radhika and Annaleigh. Let's go fast. I'm sorry. And then you guys can continue the conversation without me, but I have to leave. OK, I just I just got disconnected for like a minute when you were explaining. So but my main question is just, I think I'm seeing like overlaps like, for example, in scale, I have a lowly ixion guitar playing. And what makes me happy is like those things too like for singing like and in hallways. It's the same playing guitar design and logos. So does that mean something like, is that my x factor? I think, you know, Jamie Foxx says, yeah, OK, I only knew of Jamie Foxx as comedian in Living Color. He's a standup comic, right? And then it turns out he could sing really well. Mm-hmm And he can dance and he can act. And this is the guy who was like, this guy, there's nothing he can't do. But in living color, he's a comic. And he was kind of goofy looking. And now he's like the superstar, and I didn't even know he sang on tracks for Kanye west, I was like, that's Jamie Foxx. That's really cool. So I think you have to start thinking, like all the little parts of you being a musician and doing other kinds of things that there's talent there that you have yet to exploit. You better believe if I could do impersonations, I would be doing them on YouTube like every other day, if I could sing, I would sing the intro or I would sing my way through lessons because that's what makes me unique. And you can see who's the chubby guy, the late night show host who does Carpool Karaoke something Gordon. James corden, James corden, James corden, Yes. So who knew James could sing? Mm-hmm And he sings with so much passion and energy, and he likes theater, and he's funny that way. And so he found his thing in a me to everybody's the same sea of sameness. He's able to do something. Right, and I think that's really, really cool. Yeah OK, I get it, Yeah. All right. Veronica, please go. Hey so I know that a large part of what makes us unique. Can you hear me? Chris, I can hear you. I'm sorry. I can hear a large part of what makes us unique are personality traits. But also personality traits are messy because you had some good ones, you have some bad ones and you need some. Maybe not so optimal ones to do what you're doing. Say, for example, because of my origin, my culture, I think so. I'm very competitive because there's always a survival instinct. OK and I don't know if I should embrace it and run with it, or if I should tone it down just to feel better. OK, I'm going to ask you to do a couple of things. OK, fredricka, first, I want you to remove the label bad or good. They're just traits. OK OK. And I think you being a really competitive person. I think that's pretty cool because I'm a really competitive person like I know some of you guys have been paying attention to this, but when we're going to play poker together, many of us, I've been practicing like an hour a night because I just don't want to show up and be embarrassed. I'm a competitive person and what? I'm done with this poker thing, then I go back to doing whatever else I was doing. Mm-hmm So when I was playing video games halo with my friends, I downloaded maps. I drew diagrams. It was like a war map with my team. I'm like, we need to be here. We have to have a name for this. This is a trap zone. Don't go in here and we run this cycle and we run drills. It's because I don't want to play just to play. I play to win, and if I can't win after a while, I don't want to play anymore, so I don't think you being competitive is bad at all. I just think that you have a spirit that you want to do the best at whatever it is you apply yourself to. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. OK, so personal effects are not pretty bad, right, like you have Black hair. It's not ugly Black hair. It's not brilliant Black hair. It's just Black hair. And I have no hair. And that's just the way it is. I want us to try and strip away the judgment if we can, especially when we're looking at ourselves to see yourself for who you really are. So if a friend had to describe you, they would say, definitely, Radhika is competitive for sure. So we don't that's part of who you are. OK OK. Yeah all right, Ali, go ahead and then, Ali, you lowered your hand. No, I think it's. I can. I can. I know you need to go. So take Chad and I can. Yeah OK. OK, Chad, go ahead. Oh, man, I didn't think you'd get to me, so I'm at a point in my career where I could probably go in any direction that I want to take things. So this call is really interesting to me, but I don't think what you're saying is like, what makes me as a person in my experience is those aren't things that I should necessarily be generating content on, right? Because that would be kind of confusing to people. If I'm talking about skateboarding one day and then I'm talking about Jeeps the next day, right? So how do I do I generate content? So it's not confusing to people, but yet very good. I'm sorry. Normally I would chat with you longer. And ask you more questions, but I can't, because I have to. Maybe this is a coaching call. This is totally OK. It's toll, ok? Because right now all I want you to do is just understand who you are. Forget the application of it for right now because we're getting ahead of ourselves, and I think that's a trap that we fell in the first place. Like when we started studying architecture or marketing or graphic design, we started to forget all these other parts because that's not going to be useful for me right now. Right it's the way that we have to manage our energy and our time that we get rid of these other things or we forget about them. So just for this exercise of finding your x factor, I just want you to try to understand who you are and give your list isn't deep and rich and varied in a reflection of who you are. I think we got to go to a quiet room to really reflect on this as our friends, our parents, our coaches, anybody that really knows who we are to help us complete this list. And that's all I want you to do. And this is the last bit of instruction for you. I want you to complete the list. And live with it for a few days. And if possible, what I'd like for you to do is just to read this list several times at the beginning of the day, at the end of the day and really not try to do anything with it. And then let your subconscious mind start to glue it together. And I'll tell you why. It's because when my wife challenged me to teach a different way to use technology to scale my operation, I did not know the answer. The answer did not come to me four months later. So it wasn't obvious at that point, like, what am I to do with all these weird things. And how crazy I am in class? It's not YouTube channel. I'm going to talk about the business design and the design of business. It's it didn't work like that for me, and I think I'm a pretty smart guy. So if you're like less smart than me, then I would say, look, it's going to take even a little bit longer and it's totally OK. You're saying take me longer than if you're above average intelligence, then you'll do it faster than me. OK, so that's all I want you to do, and please don't filter this through judgment or application because it'll change your answers. It's not a test. There's no right or wrong answer, just right. OK I have a few more graphics, but whatever. I don't need to show you those. I just want to make sure that everybody that's on this call or is interested in this for you to do your homework, which is to complete your list and then post it under this event. Please don't post it in the wild. Alec will help us say post here. And what I mean is post on this event, so it gets tied to this call. So people who watch this will see this event and see all of what we've done as a hallmark. And I will do the same. And if you feel like you don't want to do it, find somebody famous that you like and then do it for them, so at least you're doing something here. And that's OK too. And of course, don't share it if you feel embarrassed by it. I'm not here to, like, make you feel bad, ok?

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