Un-complicate. De-Stress. Stop. Freaking. Out.
Here’s a list of my current top thought starters, which I think is especially relevant for young professionals who love to live it up, but sometimes feel a bit lost (friends, I’m talking to YOU).
- The Innovation of Loneliness An awesome short video that everyone in today’s age should watch for some perspective (4 min), explaining the loneliness of social media and “sacrificing conversation for mere connection”.
- Think like Afrojack–inspired by Afrojack’s Ultra 2014 Set and Next Album, Forget the World. Here’s a quote from a recent Rolling Stone article to get you started: “It’s basically a message not just to my fans, but also to myself, to always remember to keep following your heart, keep following your path, and never try to let the things around you get you down.” He then goes and talks about social media changing our behaviors and to do things for yourself and not others.
Re-Organize Your Life and Thoughts and Don’t Get Caught Complaining.
- “Life will be uncomplicated one day when you’re married with kids, you have a house in the woods, and your priorities have shifted…enjoy the complexity and uncertainty now“. My colleague Dulce said this to me in the car just over two years ago and it still rings strongly. We don’t have to have everything figured out right now.
- Are you doing everything you expected to be doing at 25?
With most of our friends in the same stage of life where we aren’t sure what’s next, I find a lot of us just venting our confusion. Let’s bring it back to re-prioritizing. See my old blog from about two years ago where I re-evaluated my roles in life and explained Covey’s quadrants to re-prioritize. If you are feeling ambitious and really lost, try 7 Habits of Highly Effective People Personal Workbook by Stephen Covey – an all-time favorite for people of the Covey era, but unfortunately not very popular among our generation (probably why we are all so confused about what our next steps are).
- Get out of Your Comfort Zone! For me this was swimming in the ocean for the first time in ten years last month (I know this is sad, haha!) and re-attempting yoga in January. I’ve gone to 25 classes at Yoga to the People and I’ve never been so relaxed. Without the extremely uncomfortable initial 4 classes of falling over and kicking a neighbor, I would have missed out!
- YOLO – You Only Live Once. Why not live a little and relax a bit when you feel like things are out of control? (Remember Avicii’s “I Could Be the One”!) Also, let’s be real–you’ll probably laugh in ten years at how dramatic you were when you were 25.
Don’t Forget Your Social Conscience and Where You Came From
- Feel good about watching Upworthy. Yes, it’s for-profit and one of my friends says “it’s just another way for people to pretend they know what’s going on in the world and pretend to support it even if they aren’t actually doing anything”. Fair point, but doesn’t the conversation and culture change have to start somewhere? And what about the huge power of making something relatively unknown super popular? And the for-profit bit–at least they are sustainable. Hey, yes, you can fairly say you are actually doing something when you are inspired to think differently and more socially and encouraging others to do so as well.
- Take care of your friends. Don’t let them do drugs or take unnecessary risks.
“Friends, we’ve got to take care of each other. If you’re on the inside, you get it. This music + its people can take you to the moon. Don’t put yourself in danger. Let the real magic get you there.”–Kaskade
How do we start the step-change to get people to just enjoy the music?
Stop and take notice when something is beautiful. With our go-go-go lives we forget this sometimes, but here are some interesting things in design I’ve been thinking about (a lot less heavy than the above!):
- Duarte - Story-telling. I sat through an 8 hour class that went 50/50 between how to organize a story and also how to deliver it graphically from a design perspective to have the greatest impact. It’s an incredible way of breaking down about pitch you are presenting to someone! Also, check out Diagrammer - an awesome resource for all of your diagramming needs :-).
- Helvetica - a movie about Helvetica, a super common font that we don’t realize is everywhere. It’s from 2007 and you can find it on Netflix.
This past Saturday I had a lovely experience with Publicolor, the non-profit that takes their own stab at inspiring kids to graduate high school. They reach their mission through paint and democracy. Publicolor will invade a school for a few weeks to teach kids color theory, how to paint properly, and invite volunteers on Saturdays to join in on the fun. The kids vote in the beginning of the project what colors scheme they want in the school, and choose from a palette of beautiful vibrant colors.
It was a commitment from 9:45am-3pm out at JHS 22 in the Bronx and each volunteer was paired with a member of the “Paint Club”, a student from the school we were painting. Publicolor’s intention is to get adult volunteers to facilitate in the painting and also have upbeat positive conversation about college and the future. After they are done with a school they induct 10 students into their apprenticeship program to paint with a stipend.
It’s always a humbling experience to hang out with kids and be reminded what schools are like. They had the exact same chairs and desks as I did growing up, and of course I felt a bit nostalgic! The school itself was actually a lot nicer than I expected with all the talks in our flaws in the education system. Perhaps we are having issues with teachers and curriculum, but the actual infrastructure of the school seemed very solid and up-to-date (no doubt with help from organizations and good management from the school).
I have only done Publicolor once before and it seems the organization has come a very long way. I vaguely remember not having enough gloves, rollers/rods, but they currently have a great partnership with Benjamin Moore and get all of their paint donated. The only thing that I regret about the experience is not being able to have a more long-term influence on the students’ lives! It always makes me feel extra guilty when they ask if you are coming back the week after and you know you aren’t.