Category Archives: Perspective

Reflections and inspiration pieces

How To Stop Your Quest to Be More

How To Stop Your Quest to Be More

Highs and lows. Ebbs and flows. Comfort and discomfort. Ease and challenge.

No matter who you are, what you do, or where you are, this is the reality of life.

Over the past month, I’ve been speaking with (and primarily listening to) a variety of architects:

  • individuals who aspire to run their own practice
  • individuals who run their own practice
  • and individuals who help others improve their practices

They have all been incredibly open, honest, and raw in sharing their struggles, challenges, and triumphs.

And they all are striving to be better and do more in order to reach that pinnacle of success.

But what if we have all that we need, right here, right now?

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The Surprising Discovery I Made By Going Offline for 6 Days

The Surprising Discovery I Made By Going Offline for 6 Days

Wednesday last week was the first time I officially shut down my office.

We had booked a 5-day holiday to southern Portugal where I was desperately seeking to disconnect, unwind, and relax.

But I also had on my mind to check email once or twice a day; publish my blog post on the regularly scheduled Thursday; and post photos on Instagram.

Sound familiar?

Well, my mind changed after a discussion with colleagues at the coworking space.Continue Reading

You Need to Know How to Combat Your Dark Passenger

You Need to Know How to Combat Your Dark Passenger

You know those days when you’re in a slump, when self-doubt overcomes your mind, when you question everything?

Well, Tuesday was that day for me.

Those days come around every three months or so (according to my partner’s memory.)

Majority of the day was thinking way too much about my business, our lifestyle, our choices. I was in a head spin of questions like this:

  • Why am I doing this?
  • Am I the best person to be doing this?
  • Will this work?
  • Have we put ourselves under too much pressure?
  • What would we ideally want to be doing?

And on and on it went.

As I kept running down rabbit holes of questions and responses, I noticed how my unique value was getting the better of me.

My dark passenger was showcasing the pitfalls of my talents

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The Mindset That Changed How I Approach My Career

Aiming for perfection used to hold me back from speaking up, sharing what I was thinking, and pursuing what I was interested in. I didn’t want to be wrong, ill-informed, or challenged.

Deep down I had a sense that I was seeking something impossible. But I still rationalized that I had to seek out perfection in order to be successful and, in turn, to find true happiness.

My first business venture in 2012 required a mindset change. What inspired me was a quote I captured in high school and rediscovered in my childhood bedroom the month before I started the new firm:

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Going Public about Failure: 5 Designers Share Life-Changing Mistakes

Going Public about Failure: 5 Designers Share Life-Changing Mistakes

Earlier this week, I wrote about the concept of “fail fast” and how it is being championed in organizations around the world. If you’re not familiar with it, fail fast is about making small mistakes and responding quickly with new iterations and changes while working towards a bigger goal. It’s the antithesis of holing up to create something in isolation and then present it to the world expecting everything to go well.

Companies that create products, like Dyson vacuums, to those that provide consulting, like PwC, use this method with success. By instilling it within the culture of their organization, it allows employees to practice and learn along the way, and in turn produce positive results for their customers and clients.

But what happens when, despite your best efforts and intentions, you still fail big?

How do you recover and overcome a huge mistake? For many of us, our loved ones and confidants receive the brunt of our crushing blows. They stand beside us, helping us through the agony. They create a safe place where we learn to retell the story in a “constructive” way.

Here’s a challenge to that: what if you just said, “I fucked up?”

And, to take it one step further, what if you told this to colleagues, peers, and even complete strangers?

Five well-known designers just did this.

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