How to Exist

1. You’re a person, not a brand or product. Your worth is not predicted by your output or productivity

2. Partaking in “Self Care” means you’re only taking care of yourself sometimes. Build a life with care integrated, if possible. 

3. Your body and mind are not separate. Your body is not a vehicle for the mind. 

4. The best ideas may not be monetizable. This fact does not make them any less worthwhile

5. The drive for perfection always feels like the death of progress and innovation. Experiments often aren’t perfect

6. Give yourself time. THE idea might be the fiftieth idea. What is idea one hundred?

7. Just keep trying. One day you will find your first attempt and see it in new light

8. Stop trying to please everyone. Trying to please others will paralyze you and devalue your passions

9. The people you are meeting are incredible resources, not dragons to slay. Stop pushing down others to get to the front.

10. Be a detective in your own life. Our lives have so many beautiful coincidences. Stop rushing. Stop, look, listen, smell.

11. Find people doing what you want to do. Ask them questions. The loudest voices aren’t always the most correct

12. Gifts can also be challenges. The strengths we possess can have weird effects on other parts of our lives. This doesn’t make them challenges. 

13. Lean into how you are. No one does well playing their weaknesses. Improve them over time and lead with your strengths.

14. Do the work that feels too personal. Being vulnerable is an emotional muscle that helps others support you.

15. Develop your values and inspect them closely. Ask for guidence from people you respect (and people you don’t). 

16. Nobody “has” to do anything. There are consequences to actions, but also choices in action.17. If you’re not getting paid you should strive for activities that are: fun, interesting or meaningful. Otherwise what’s the point?

18. A portion of your time should be spent on experimental play for which the end result isn’t important. Relax.

19. Innovation and creativity don’t bloom under efficient routine. Try something new.

20. Each thing you create will be a step closer to your “vision”. You have your whole life to build to that moment

21. Building and having relationships with others is a basic human need. Anything that prevents this should be inspected and evaluated.

22. You don’t have to be good at and know about everything. Just ask questions. Only assholes will make fun of you for it.

23. Optimism is great if you’re feeling optimistic. DOn’t feel guilty for fully experiencing a wide range of emotions.

24. Do the better idea if it’s feasible. You will always wonder about it.

25. Make sure your side hustle and side gigs are fulfilling and aren’t another obligation to a perceived audience.

26. We have a role in how others treat us. Healthy people do not let others continually disrespect them.

27. Luck is a big factor in life. You must work hard, but you must be in the right place too. Give yourself time.

28. Just call people what they want to be called. Change the term, use the pronoun, just like you would call “Bob” “Rob” if corrected

29. Compassion should be cultivated, not ignored. Self compassion is often the most ignored. 

30. Our bodies are telling us so much information. Work hard, but once you start getting sick or hurt that is hard enough.

31. How often do you change your mind during a debate? You can plant seeds but they won’t grow before your eyes.

32. Being “on brand” reduces your personality to a bio. People are complex, if you have done it, it’s “on brand”.

33. Consistent behavior and actions are the best way to predict the future. Stop listening and start looking.

34. We are all trying and changing all the time. Look at progress, not level of achievement to assess how you’re doing. 

35. Change your mind as many times as you  need to get where you want to be. It’s normal to change priorities

36. If you’re comfortable, content and independent you don’t need to feel pressured to do more if you don’t want to.

37. If you’re uncomfortable and discontented, investigate and dissect why. Make small changes to shift course in the long term.

How to Exist

Acrylic Ink on Paper, 2019