Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free.
"In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few." - Shrunryu Suzuki
Last night christianarca spoke briefly to our class about the feeling of “imposter’s syndrome.”
The positive side of imposter’s syndrome is beginner’s mind. There are solutions in the question, “Why do we do it this way?”
When we know all the answers, then we can do some real damage.
And on the other hand, sometimes there’s a point to the old way of doing things.
gianagonzalez was talking about fast fashion on Saturday — and holding the value that people making clothing should be able to make a living.
"Experts" out there today have created a conventional wisdom that it’s okay for someone to work full time and not make a living.
When the old ways would have said, an honest day’s work earns an honest day’s pay.
We’re listening to, and actually living in some agreement with, these so-called experts, when we vote with our dollars. And actually, when we vote. (Or fail to vote.)
It would seem to me that they’ve overcome imposter’s syndrome. Quite neatly, and detrimentally.
Maybe “imposter’s syndrome” is adaptive. Maybe it can be a feature, not a bug.
We all have that little voice in our heads that tells us we don’t know what we’re talking about.
Killing that voice kills the possibility of learning.
Maybe the real expertise we should seek is to come into conversation with our inner voices. The finger pointer who’s naming us an imposter. And the learner.
I did a round of feedback sessions at garychou's Orbital NYC bootcamp today. I love participating in these feedback sessions. I don’t know a thing about the projects the people are working on and in the span of 45 minutes to an hour I try to help them as best I can.
I think this type of feedback works extremely well.
I don’t have any context or background on their project. I haven’t put in the same amount of time that they have put in to work. This makes it easy for me to not be attached to their plans. Instead I’m invested and focused on their problems, vision, and goals.
I wish I could get this type of feedback more often and realize it’s hard to access that or make it available. garychou has done an amazing job of making this a staple of the Orbital Bootcamp - curating a list of advisors and making sure they come in at the right time.
Maybe some day he’ll make it available for people at organizations. I know I would want it.
Thanks, christianarca for making the time to come by!
I’ve been thinking about how innovation is often not so much about building new technology as about how existing technology is used and experienced — it’s possible to do revolutionary things simply by combining existing tools, structure, and ways of thinking in creative, novel ways.
About fifteen years into my career, after I inherited a new editor, I walked into his office and handed him a document. “This is my owner’s manual,” I said. “I call it “‘The Care and Feeding of a Banaszynski.’” It was my guide on how to best manage me, based on a bit of reporting on, well, me. It was made up of two simple lists: Do and Don’t. If the editor followed the Do list, I would be loyal, productive, and his best advocate in the newsroom. (Example: Tell me once a week you’re glad I work here and make me believe it.) But follow the Don’t list, and … I wouldn’t do my best work. (Top of that list: Don’t gasp at the length of my story until after you’ve read it.) Then I asked him to write his own manual for me.
Why is it that people are willing to spend $20 on a bowl of pasta with sauce that they might actually be able to replicate pretty faithfully at home, yet they balk at the notion of a white-table cloth Thai restaurant, or a tacos that cost more than $3 each? Even in a city as “cosmopolitan” as New York, restaurant openings like Tamarind Tribeca (Indian) and Lotus of Siam (Thai) always seem to elicit this knee-jerk reaction from some diners who have decided that certain countries produce food that belongs in the “cheap eats” category—and it’s not allowed out. (Side note: How often do magazine lists of “cheap eats” double as rundowns of outer-borough ethnic foods?)
Yelp, Chowhound, and other restaurant sites are littered with comments like, “$5 for dumplings?? I’ll go to Flushing, thanks!” or “When I was backpacking in India this dish cost like five cents, only an idiot would pay that much!” Yet you never see complaints about the prices at Western restaurants framed in these terms, because it’s ingrained in people’s heads that these foods are somehow “worth” more. If we’re talking foie gras or chateaubriand, fair enough. But be real: You know damn well that rigatoni sorrentino is no more expensive to produce than a plate of duck laab, so to decry a pricey version as a ripoff is disingenuous. This question of perceived value is becoming increasingly troublesome as more non-native (read: white) chefs take on “ethnic” cuisines, and suddenly it’s okay to charge $14 for shu mai because hey, the chef is ELEVATING the cuisine.