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When you’re not sure how to begin, continue

Beginning anything is heavy. Expectations and pressure can weigh down even the loftiest ideas — to the point those ideas never catch the wind they need to sail.

Before we start, our ideas grow heavy with fear: this might not work, I don’t know how to begin, my plan is not complete, what will they say, it’s not the right time.

Don’t worry about starting; instead, continue.

Take the gold of what is now and keep going. The future is imaginary.

Don’t waste a moment questioning what is next. Continue.

Uncertainty as a compass

When facing uncertainty, it’s helpful to revisit what you know is true. These truths can act as your compass, keeping you focused on daily choices as you move in the direction of your goals. Ask yourself:

What do I want?

What feels aligned with who I am?

What are authentic expressions of my being?

What do I know to be true right now?

Which of my relationships feel supportive, nurturing, and life-giving?

Return to your answers when you feel stuck.

Embrace mess

Side steps. Mistakes. A missed call. Broken code. Messes are often where innovation is found; the places we release control and let go of “perfection” is the space the unexpected is allowed room to breathe.

Julia Margaret Cameron’s smudgy photographs became her hallmark. Navajo rug weavers intentionally left imperfections in their work. Wabi sabi ceramics celebrate imperfections. Silly Putty wasn’t meant to be entertainment, and Potato Chips were the result of a complaining customer.

The next time you feel like you’ve made a horrible decision or dropped the ball, see if you can reframe the moment as an opportunity.

Have any of your mistakes worked in your favor? Tell me @redheadlefthand.

Celebrating 9 years of connection, questions, inspiration, adventure, and more

Welcome! And hooray!

After over nine years of blogging, dinners, questions, and exploration, I thought it was time to spruce things up. You may notice a new look on my pages. (If you see any “bugs” or places that need attention, let me know.)

Project Exponential now redirects to my personal site. Dinners in NYC may resume, but they’ll be adjusted according to scale and demand.

In the meantime, I’m taking on a select number of coaching clients and will consider consulting and writing projects upon request. If you’re interested in working together, you can reach out.

I’m grateful to be on this adventure with you. Thanks for being here.

Avoiding burnout

This is an important question. These six considerations can help:

  1. You can’t be everything to everyone, and that is okay.

2. Sometimes you will be recognized for your work. Sometimes no one will notice. Surround yourself with like-minded people — people who have your back and respect what you do.

3. Take time away. Say no. Know what you need to do your work and remain focused on creating art.

4. “Straight As” are overrated. Show up, earn that “C,” and be on your way. This is perfectly acceptable.

5. Cultivate a toolkit of music, art, dance, sports, writing, meditation, yoga, cooking, and friends. Regularly return to what brings you joy.

6. Remember: Take care of yourself. The world needs you.