More time and more money? Pay attention to this

Guess what it is.

Grand goal? Endurance? Persistence?

They are all important… but there’s something that are in front of our eyes the whole time, but we sometimes choose not to see them.

When we talk about our work, our encounters with our clients and partners, what always seem invisible but crucial?

You have your goals set, plans made, ideas validated and you have started working on achieving them.

You encounter roadblocks and you overcome them; you have problems and you solve them.

You generate new ideas despite it’s difficult and frustrating as hell.

Still, something still so small are still causing troubles. They are everywhere and they really frustrate us.

Because if we fail to see them, we’ve got to redo our work, and the setback can mean days, weeks, or worse.

They are called “details”.

No matter whether you think you are a “big picture” person or an executioner, a dreamer or a producer, you are a fool if you say that you don’t need to care about the details.

Even for trials, details are significant indicators to whether something might work or not. Every designer should know that.

Some details might really don’t matter that much. But the ability to pay attention to detail is a must have. Because you don’t know which one detail is more important than others when you are in the flow of creating.

Time is the most valuable currency. Lacking of attention to details turns out to be extremely costly.

So if you want to be productive and rich, you know I’m right.

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Creative juices not flowing? No time to create? Try doing this first

Not having enough time and not having the right idea are the two big roadblocks for the creatives.

As someone working in the creative fields, we expect ideas coming and hitting us in the head. The working process is like water flowing from the faucet. 

“Just do it.” They say. 

But nobody tells us how. Like it’s all going to happen by some magical power. No intention of yourself. No decision to be made.

“It’s not in my hand,” the artist says, “God put it in my head and He holds my hand.”

It’s a nice picture. But it’s also just not how most of the creators and artists work.

We think we don’t need time solely designated for creative work. Because when it’s time, the process is going to carry out by itself.

We think we don’t need to make decisions to prioritise. Because of course the creative process has the priority — when its the time for it.

But if we, as the creators, don’t intentionally make the decision to prioritise the work, we won’t be able to have the time we need to produce, to deliver the work.

To prioritise means intentionally to do something first, to give it more attention and time.

It’s a decision to be made.

Making such decisions is actively taking responsibility in our creative lives. Even if we are the receiver of Godly creations of arts, this is the only thing that we shouldn’t stop doing.

Prioritise so that you have the time for the space so that ideas can come to you as they will.

Inspiration Vault: Back to Abnormality

I heard a story today.

A young dad had a son who’s suffering from ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). It went so badly that the son was expelled from school. He had bad grades and always picked fights with other children.

According to the dad, their family was in disfunction and almost broke apart.

The doctors told him that his son could only be treated with drugs. All of them had made him “like a living zombie.” He didn’t want his son to live the rest of his life like that. But there’s no alternative, the doctors told him.

In desperation, he searched for opportunities of treatment overseas. That’s when he found a training program in the US. After three months of treatment there, his son was treated well, and showed little symptoms after that.

In the end of the speech, the dad said that he went through all that and it was worth every tear and sweat. Because he made his son normal again.

It was a beautiful story of a parent going against all odds, fighting for his child’s life. But what struck me in the end was he said that his son now is “normal” again.

I think what he’s really glad about is his son will from now on, has “a normal life”.

I don’t have kids. And I believe it must have been very tough for the family to have a “trouble-maker” like that. It can be very destructive to the family if it cannot function like the other families in a society.

But I’m just wondering about this idea of a “normal person”. Is it real? How is it defined? Who can say that someone is normal and the other one is not?

A lot of things in human history have been once defined as “abnormal”. In most cases, they had to be “corrected”. But the idea of something or someone is not normal is not defined by the thing or the person himself. It is defined by its surroundings — whether it’s accepted and functional in its societal context.

We run a very strict society everywhere. That’s just how things have always been done. What we like, what we hate, have mostly programmed into our perception of the world since we were born.

When people talk about some crazy things others do, they like to say “there’s a wire misplaced in his brain.” Because it seems like he’s not behaving in a way which the general knowledge wants him to be.

We live in a society that accepts “normality”, that condemns “abnormality”, but sometimes celebrate other “abnormality”.

The abnormal people we celebrate are the ones who achieved something that the majority couldn’t, through a way that normal people might not want to or not able to go.

The “abnormals” must have behaved through their lives on an acceptable but despised situation. They have always been “the weird ones”, “the misfits”, the puzzle piece that never fit. Until one day, they do.

That’s when they got celebrated for something “extraordinary” for the majority of “normal” ones.

Who’s changed? What changed?

Maybe no one. Because we’ve all gotta play the rules or we are thrown out of the game. We either play safe, or play risky, but by achieving a common goal, to make sure that we are not outed.

I have a friend who had been diagnosed with ADHD when he’s a child. He had problems in school, went to mediocre college to study something that he didn’t like. But then changed his path to become an expert in IT Security when others thought it was too late for him to change his profession.

He had problems with emotions because people around him had problems accepting how he was. But it didn’t stop him to become a brilliant man — an intelligent, insightful, wise, and caring friend.

I’m not sure if he thinks so that he’s lucky to be “normal”. I don’t think he ever thought that he’s back to “normal” when his childhood ended. He’s still suffering from being a misfit. But he told me that he’s actually glad to be “abnormal”, even it has been bringing him much more struggle and pain.

“I spend a lot of time only in my head.” he said to me, “I go from topic to topic just not to get bored. I can’t focus for a long time but I read fast and gained lots of info while other people can’t. But I also spend a lot of time asking myself questions. I eat shitty food and smoke cigarets. I don’t exercise but I walk a lot with my dog.

I’m not sure what I feel as happiness matches other people’s definition. I am who I am. And I don’t spend time on thinking about that. It’s just in your head. I do what I’m doing. And no room in my head for judgement. That’s it.”