Personal notes on today’s class: there is a significant difference between cornflower blue and cyan.
Also: “nother” as in, “A whole nother,” is not a real word.
Who’s down for some silly metaphor and story time? I know I am. Gather ’round, children.
On Saturday, I really did not feel like actively designating my mind to do anything too stressful or purposeful. I began my day with a regular dosage of reddit, Slaughterhouse Five, netflix, and working through another page in the stack of AJC Sunday comics that my mother collects to give me every time I visit. This is irrelevant but it’s setting the tone for how little I did on my Saturday morning. Roommate Ryan emerged from his room and asked if I wanted to finish Resident Evil 5 with him today.
I said sure.
He said “Or, do you want to climb a rope with me?”
Well what do you want to do first then?
Climb a freakin’ rope, now.
30 minutes and a small chunk of flesh from my hand later:
“Gee Willikers. I really do not have the upper body strength for this, but I’ve realized that I can climb up the side of these stairs, instead of using those 8 steps on the other side, and that’s pretty cool!”
Do you want to go climb the brick wall behind our apartment?
So we went around back to the wall, which has an odd kind of stair-step structure to fit the preexisting landscape. This means that you can choose which height of wall you’d like to challenge. I first went to carefully climb a bit that was around six feet high, slowly locating sturdy footholds and being quite conscious of how close my beautiful and expensive teeth were in relation to the top corner of the brick. I made it up and felt pretty good aboot myself. Then Roommate Ryan told me that it’s so much more efficient and fun to actually scale the wall.
Well surely, thought I, I’m not capable of such a thing, I cannot even climb a rope. I clearly do not have the kinesthetic capacity.
No really, your body knows what to do. Just run at the wall, plant your foot on it, then pull yourself over.
But what do I grab onto? What if my foot slips? My steps aren’t going to line up and I’m just going to realize that halfway through and I’ll admit defeat then turn around and try it again in a vicious cycle of chicken!
This happened, as I predicted,
because I predicted.
Lila, I’m watching you over-think it before you run. Just GO.
nope. At a certain speed your body will override your mind and it will make all the right decisions for you.
Roommate Ryan is secretly a trove of infinite applicable wisdom.
So I ran. I didn’t smash my teeth into the wall. I didn’t slip. I just scaled a 6 foot wall on the first try. So I did it again. And again. And yeah, I started thinking and missed a couple of times, but I was having so much fun and self-satisfaction that I managed to turn the thinking off again. Then I shifted over to the 7 foot bit of wall. Second try: I did it.
With a few scrapes to remind myself of my great personal victory.
My victory that was not thinking
This is what will yield your personal best results in design, or any art form for that matter. As Ira Glass said in that video I posted a while back: “Your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer.”
Unfortunately, your “taste” is naturally filtered and “refined” through your judgement, expectations, standards, fears, inhibitions, education, and a whole mess of other mental sieves that whittle down your output abilities to something that you absolutely know is below you.
This is a wall for which I personally have yet to master the scaling technique, but I know that I do have the potential, and with continuing practice, it’s not an unreasonable goal.