What I’m learning this year

About this time every year I post about what I’m learning from Soundcrawl; this post, however is a mashup between Dream Year and Soundcrawl.

What got you here, won’t get you there.     AND

If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.

What strikes me most this week about what I’ve been learning is, well, let me say it this way… in counseling they have a term called “ineffective coping mechanism”  it means the stuff you do to respond to stressors that satisfies your psyche, but doesn’t actually resolve the stress. (think of the people who eat when they’re depressed).  There are ways I do that in my work, and they subtley sabotage aspects of my career.

I’m addicted to mediocre obscurity.

I balk in the face of awesome opportunities.  (it’s one of those ineffective coping mechanisms) Not because I think I can’t do the gig, but because doing the gig would make me someone else… Like an addict, I’ve effectively made my mediocre obscurity a part of my identity, and taking steps away from it means I’m moving away from a part of myself.  It’s incredibly goofy, I know, but no one said our psyches were supposed to make sense!

In the end, I have to re-frame and re-Cast myself.

I’ve previously cast myself as the “tortured genius” or other such nonsense.  Dream Year has helped me recast myself as a Designer & Impressario.  Changing how I talk about my projects and how I talk to other professional creatives has been eye-opening.  They had a lot more respect for me and my work than I ever realized. But, as long as I played the role of know-it-all-kid-brother, they treated me that way.


I’m not as focused as I think I am.

I’ve read the books, and seen the methods.  I work long hours relentlessly.  I thought that’s what it took to succeed and it was just life getting in my way.  Whoops.  Then I realized my time needs more structure, and a lot of my “research” was just playtime.  Actually being down when it’s “downtime” and actually producing work when its “worktime” has made a small but steady impact on my output.

speaking of downtime; it’s 12:15am as I write this.  See you all in 7 hours.