No one wants to take the first piece of dessert because of the chance it’s been touched. People prefer the pieces in the back. The same goes for the first milk carton at the grocery. Why grab the first one we can see presumably untouched versions inches behind?
No one wants to sit in the front of the classroom because it increases our chances of getting called on. We prefer to sit in the back, hiding like a needle in a haystack.
No one wants to be the first to dance at a gala. But everyone starts dancing as soon as one couple makes the first move. People feel more comfortable in conforming when they can blend in.
Who wants to be first? No one, typically.
No matter how much we obsess with primacy, most people fear to take that first step. People desire success, but they refuse the extra attention that comes with it.
But being first can become normal quickly. The jitters fade after we decide to dive in. We halt the mind’s exaggeration and imaginary fears.
So that piece of cake is just as fresh. Buying the first carton of milk makes it taste no different than the rest. Sitting in front of the classroom is as equitable as the back. And taking that first dance becomes a pleasant rhythm everyone else wants to mimic.
No one actually cares about standing out as much as we think!
There’s no harm in being the first to make the leap. As opportunity dries up, hesitating to the end can even be more uncomfortable
The longer we wait, the worse it gets. In some cases, it’s better to go first and get it over with than fueling a sense of doubt.
People learn through experience and clear examples. That’s why classrooms and meetings are full of images, maps, and graphs.
But the teaching only starts there. It’s the teacher’s responsibility to give context to the material. A good teacher communicates effectively and provokes different trains of thought amongst students.
Meanwhile, it’s the student’s responsibility to be curious and ask questions. A good student thinks alone but bounces off ideas within the classroom.
Teaching and learning are reciprocal relationships that lean on an open forum. So while visual examples explain everything, they don’t make sense until the material in them gets talked about or written down.
Goals create focus. But those same goals can also crimp the pursuit.
Instead of focusing on the goal, focus on the process.
Instead of relentlessly pursuing positivity, happily chase failure.
A real goal is one that’s doom to fail. It probably is impossible. But no one succeeds in their first try. Life is a game of increments.
Skip progress and perfection and embrace process and uncertainty. Show up everyday, do the work, and ship it if it’s good enough. Keep the practice of patience and success will meet you on the other side.
1. Frederich Church was a devout Protestant. However, he prioritized his interests and curiosities over religion. Since he was an artist, he may have also used his house to market/differentiate himself from the others.
2. The museum had a couple offices inside. I would say that seeing those rooms tainted the illusion. When you’re recreating stories, you should probably close the door on modernity.
Story short, you have to admire Church for doing something different in a more parochial era of American culture. But you have to do what no one else is doing if you want to stand out. Uniqueness is timeless.
Cut and paste is more than a computer shortcut. It’s the paradox of our times.
Cut and paste can save you time and make you more productive. Why rewrite the same formula in excel 100 times over? Why attribute the source when you can embed a photo and make it look like your own? The Internet is the world’s largest cut and paste machine.
However, reducing the brain to automata poses serious consequences. It undermines thinking into desultory action. It turns man into a machine.
Machines reproduce. They don’t think and create new things, yet. God gave humans brain to release them from the prison of biology.
Everything is practice. Repetition is not an excuse to skip steps. The power of habit compels the human to start all over again.
It’s what you look for and what you see. If it was just what you see you’d go blind to your surroundings. If it was just what you looked for you’d miss the subtle differences you see by focusing.
Observation is the practice of zooming in and zooming out. Your eyes write stories and etch memories with every sight. No person’s vision is exactly the same. Perspective is a singular experience in which everyone sees different things.
What’s obtuse for you may appear obvious and normal to other people. And vice versa. But vision is ultimately social. People have to agree on the same things. So we drive on the right side of the road and define cats versus dogs. What you see is what you get, but that doesn’t mean you always have to agree.