#009 Power of Choice, Opportunity, and Digital Safe Spaces

Common Discourse Weekly Briefing

Common Discourse is a weekly briefing designed to help others (and myself) think through creativity, focus, and intentional work. I send this newsletter out every Monday at 9:17am. To receive future briefings, sign up below.


Ideas from me:

I. Power of Choice

There is so much power in decision making that is overlooked. Being open to anything sounds like a great idea but often times leaves us aimless.

When I've decided that I'm going to send a newsletter on Monday, I can say "Sorry I can't hang out tonight, I have to work on writing."

When I know I should be working on this newsletter but haven't yet made that decision, I tell myself "Sure I can write later."

Option A helps us remove obstacles. Option B makes just about everything an obstacle in itself. If we're not focused on anything we'll be distracted by everything.

II. Opportunity

Opportunity rarely overstays its welcome.

Take notice and take charge.

III. Digital Safe Spaces

I think about safe spaces and what that means especially now that human contact is limited and much of social gatherings exist solely in the digital space.

What makes you feel safe? Is mental safety a thing? Do people who share a lot online need validation in order to feel safe or heard? Do we "like" posts online for ourselves or for others to see?


Quote from somebody else:

“Be curious. Read widely. Try new things. I think a lot of what people call intelligence just boils down to curiosity…

Assume nobody else has any idea what they’re doing either. A lot of people refuse to try something because they feel they don’t know enough about it or they assume other people must have already tried everything they could have thought of. Well, few people really have any idea how to do things right and even fewer are to try new things, so usually if you give your best shot at something you’ll do pretty well.”

— Aaron Swartz


Favorite links this past week:

  1. 🔴 Ikigai (生き甲斐, pronounced [ikiɡai]) is a Japanese concept that means "a reason for being". The word refers to having a direction or purpose in life, that which makes one's life worthwhile, and towards which an individual takes spontaneous and willing actions giving them satisfaction and a sense of meaning to life. Look at this chart.

  2. 💰 Good advice on pricing freelance projects.

  3. 🎧 Why it’s literally impossible to be a good cop.

  4. 🎨 MOUTHWASH Studio launched a new site last Friday. Portfolio for Colorist, Jacob McKee.

  5. 📀 One of my very best friends and roommate releases his debut EP, Do You Turn Red? this Wednesday, July 15th. I was lucky enough to have such a heavy hand in helping him dream this thing up. We’re excited it’s finally here. Pre-Save and listen come Wednesday.


Thanks for reading!

My name is Alex Tan and this is my newsletter. I’m a maker & educator, I created MOUTHWASH with my friends, and I own way too many white sneakers. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram.

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