Thursday, June 13, 2013

Everyone In New York Has Four Jobs

"Fill the silence with ideas." The first step in creating value is taking initiative. Literally, the first step. Only when you physically move your carcass out of our chair can you truly contribute. That doesn't mean you have to be right. That doesn't mean you have to be perfect. Nor does it mean you have to be loud. But if you wait for people to tell you what to do, you'll disappear. Inspired by the winner of the award for the best acknowledgements.

"Young people overvalue the importance of their own opinions." Fascinating article about the digital manifestations of modern narcissism. Their study points to the millennial generation as the highest offenders. But you don't have to be young to fall in love with your own image. You don't have to be in college to have an inflated sense of self-importance. Facebook's average user is forty years old. We live in a culture that celebrates narcissism, and we live with technology that enables it. Perhaps age isn't as big of as factor as people think. 

"I examined your words as colorful butterflies flashing at my eyes." That was the headline of an email I got from a guy in Malaysia. Totally made my day. Don't you just love those lost-in-translation moments when the language feels off, but the spirit in which it's spoken feels awesome? There's something so human about that moment that just kills me.

"Everyone in New York has four jobs." Somebody once told me that when I first moved here. And they weren't joking. In this city, nobody does one thing. Partly because it's crazy expensive and people need to underwrite their lifestyle. But the other part of it is, New York is a permissionless platform. It's a city that naturally accelerates the process of putting dreams together. So when anybody can do anything, anytime, anywhere––and maybe even make a few bucks in the process––they will. And it's a beautiful thing.

"Made merciless demands on his own body as a transmitter of ideas." Creativity is not physical labor. It's not hard work. And it's rarely worth complaining about. But the process taxes your brain, and the pressure toys with your psyche. Especially when the quality and frequency of your thoughts determine your livelihood. No wonder so many artists go crazy.