#011 Positive Steps Backward

Common Discourse Weekly Briefing

I’m in Joshua Tree hanging out in this house that feels like an Instagram dreamworld from 2015. It was booked out for the rest of the year but we happened to find a couple days of vacancy a few weeks back. The owner said a previous reservation fell through.

There was a time where I was excited to stay at a place like this with the intention to share the experience online through images, portraying an idealistic lifestyle that invited some form of dialogue from people who followed me on the Internet.

I feel liberated without that pressure on my shoulders these days. I still enjoy the thoughtfully designed homes, and still love to take photos of them, the difference being the security in knowing that I don’t have to share with the world in order for it to be considered an official stay.

I suppose at the same time I’m learning how to take steps back in order to move forward. Since we started the Studio about a year ago, the thought of taking a couple days off during the week hasn’t felt like an option. I’ve realized over time that I’m more focused and more creative when I disrupt my patterns, see new things, and take some time off to breathe.

— Alex


Ideas from me:

I. Complexity vs Ambiguity

Often times we see complexity as a negative component.

But complexity is typically never the problem.

Ambiguity is.

Simplicity does not solve ambiguity.

But clarity does.

II. One Percent

Try to improve 1% a day at whatever it is you are trying to learn or become more skillful at.

It feels like a small number but 1% a day, compounded, is 3800% per year.


Quote from somebody else:

"If a decision is reversible, the biggest risk is moving too slow.

If a decision is irreversible, the biggest risk is moving too fast."

— James Clear


Links Worth Sharing:

  1. ✨ Follow Suuuperposition for surprise and delight.

  2. 🦠 5 Months of the Virus in New York City

  3. 🏢 Can mid-tier to large agencies continue to exist post-covid?

  4. 💭 Naming your project can be one of the most difficult parts. Look at this resource to help you name your next thing.

  5. 🌵I’m staying at The Joshua Tree House right now. Here is the listing in case you’re looking for a getaway soon.


Thanks For Reading ✨

My name is Alex Tan and this is my newsletter. I created MOUTHWASH and MOUTHWASH Studio with my friends. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram if you’d like.

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