What I won’t compromise on

what i won't compromise on

Just a little note to self as I go through my career-life.

I got to meet a lot of pretty miserable rock stars…Because a lot of them maybe set out on a certain trajectory. When they were 17 they had a dream that they wanted to be a rock star on stage and by 25 they did it and they were a rock star and they got famous and at 35 they’re still doing it, because that’s just all they knew or they were on a certain trajectory but it didn’t actually suit them anymore. Or maybe when they got there they realized that this isn’t what they really wanted. Maybe they just wanted fame but they didn’t want to have a boss and they sign a major record label deal and they realize they’ve got a boss.

You need to know why you’re doing what you’re doing otherwise you’re going to go in circles for so long. You don’t want this deathbed regret where you’ve pursued something that someone convinced you that you should want instead of what really works for you and you’re left with this horrible feeling of “What did I spend my life doing?” 

Well, you should have asked that earlier.

What do you want? Money, Prestige, Fame, Leaving a legacy, Freedom. Whatever one or two appeals to you most, go for it.

Just know what it is, and don’t diffuse.

I lived in NYC for 10 years, and if you go around you see the word Trump everywhere…I thought: what’s with this guy? Why does he have such a need to put his name on everything? But then I realized that OK, at a certain point, he must have decided that it’s important for him to put his name on things, which means he decided to make less money by doing so, because if he let somebody else put their logo on the building then he could have just been the owner and made more money. But no, he decided to make less money and more legacy.

On the other hand, you can optimize your life for freedom. I really like setting up my life so that I could just disappear or be antisocial and go read books for a month. So I had to set up my life to make myself unnecessary so I was free to go do other things. 

Whatever you choose, this is your compass. You need to optimize your activities based on what is important to you.

Derek Sivers

People are adaptable

people are adaptable

My brother currently lives in a closet in New York City. It’s a nice closet, with a window. The only thing it lacks in the way of amenities is air conditioning. This is actually significant because New York City in the summer gets very hot. But as far as I can tell, my brother’s overall happiness isn’t affected that much by his simple living arrangement.

I visited my brother and slept on the couch in the common room. My brother gave me his fan, which helped me make it through the hot night. My brother’s closet was significantly hotter than where I slept. But he was able to sleep without a fan.

It’s easy to get used to modern life. Sleeping outside or on the floor or in a super hot room seems impossible to me, since I’ve gotten used to my comfortable bed over the past few years. It’s scary to think about living without modern amenities. But it is possible. People are animals and people are adaptable. I think it’s healthy to shed the trappings of modern life from time to time and test the limits of what you need to live. It creates gratitude, and makes you realize what you need and what you don’t and what is nice to have. I haven’t gone camping in a while, but would like to soon.

“One of the misconceptions about life is that you’re supposed to be out of pain. And we can’t be out pain all the time…Meditation taught me that if I look at the pain and be still with it, the pain lessens…Pain that comes and goes is different from pain that indicates that you’re harming yourself.” – Susan O’Connell

Dan’s Creative Chocolate

dan's creative chocolate

I remember getting dizzy going blockbuster video from looking at all the options. I’d look at one video and the next and the next. A lot of stores are disorienting because they have too many options.

I’ve decided to start a store called Dan’s Creative Chocolate. It will feature just one chocolate. When the chocolate is sold, the store will close. If this store is a success, I will reinvest my profits into starting Dan’s Creative Outlet mall. It which will be full of stores that sell just one thing, and they will all close when the thing is sold. The mall will last about a month.

Looking for a man with a focus and a temper

looking for a man with the focus and attention

Looking for a man with a focus and a temper / Who can open up a map and see between one and two – Sonic Youth, Teenage Riot

ADD is watching many things, lighting a match, saying: cool little fire but I’m bored, and lighting the next match. Focus is building one big fire.

Drishti = eye gaze. I just did some ashtanga yoga where there’s a flow and you have to synchronize your breath from one pose to the next. You have to look at your thumbs as the world is moving around. Focus is watching your thumbs with the gaze.

Computers promote ADD because you can see 100 different pretty things, click on one, get bored, click on the next, get bored, and click on the next and the next and the next. Match 1, match 2, match 3, match 4 but there’s no fire at the end of the day and we are out here cold in the woods. To do anything you need to focus. I’m looking for a man with a focus and a temper, who can open up a map and see between one and two.

In 1971, the psychologist Herbert A. Simon emphasized that a wealth of information means a dearth of something else: attention.

Nir Eyal

The art of noticing

the art of noticing

Just spent 4 days in New York City and went to exactly zero shows, concerts, parties, or museums. What we did do was walk around and sit in parks a lot. It was uncomfortable in the beginning. I felt myself getting bored and restless.

But after a while, I got better at getting entertainment from noticing new things. For example, in big cities every building has its own water tower on the roof. This is because the water needs to be stored above the level of the building to provide pressure for the faucets, and traditional water towers are shorter than skyscrapers. This is the kind of thing you only get to see when you give yourself time to notice things. Doing nothing is an investment in yourself.

Jonesin’ for eyeballs

jonesin for eyeballs

Why do I blog?

Every artist is a bit of an egotist and wants their stuff seen by other people. I’m no exception. I dream of scanning my stuff in and having a portal to a million eyeballs and becoming an internet sensation. Maybe even I’ll be able to make money off this blog…and so go the dreams. Fame and fortune, blah, blah, blah.

These dreams are stupid and contagious. I have been addicted to looking at my blog stats, trying to increase my twitter followers. It’s time to stop. The point of this blog is not money and it isn’t fame. The point is sharing my soul with other people, and helping me figure out myself. My goals with this blog are to:

1. Share my writing with friends.

2. Meet new people who like my stuff.

I’m not interested in having a billion anonymous readers that I can somehow serve and make money off of. That might be one way to make a living, but it’s not for me. So this blog will remain a little mom-and-pop operation, where you can come in and have a cup of tea and a chat. Really, this blog is just an excuse to have a chat about stuff that matters to me.

“And I thanked God that my blog introduces me to people who can change my life.”Penelope Trunk

Don’t read on the john

public service announcement

I’ve started a “Health Tips” section of this blog. I am interested in preventive medicine / healthy lifestyle stuff  and I’ll be posting health tips with drawings.

Here goes health tip #1:

Don’t read on the john. Apparently reading on the toilet causes hemorrhoids. This is a shame, because this is one of my favorite activities but I will give it up, because I spent 4 week working with a colorectal surgeon and would really rather not give that guy any business.