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Achieve, Heal and Discover

Work Less, Steal More- AHD Issue #22

Published about 1 year ago • 2 min read

Achieve, Heal and Discover Issue #22

A biweekly newsletter for dreamers, builders and creators to achieve (get things done), heal (fix what’s broken) and discover (learn something new).​


If you are a creator, writer, artist, or dreamer, you need to hear this:

Work less. Steal more.

I took this away from one of my favorite books, “Steal Like an Artist” by Austin Kleon.

The defining principle behind this: There is no such thing as an original thought. Everything created today is inspired by something that came before it.

Here are three actions that will help you steal like an artist:

  1. Play like a child (Achieve)
  2. Love your obscurity (Heal)
  3. Stay on the bus (Discover)

Achieve (Get things Done)

Play like a child

All of that heavy lifting is keeping you old.

Try for a moment to remember your playful childhood experiences. Do you remember how carefree you felt? Summers with no responsibilities -- no need to worry about money, no dentist appointments to schedule? Being a child was defined by carefree play.

Creativity is the opportunity to rediscover carefree play.

Here’s how: Rather than setting out to create something new, set out to copy something that gets you genuinely excited.

“Start copying what you love. Copy copy copy copy. At the end of the copy you will find yourself.” —Yohji Yamamoto

Here are some prompts to get started:

  1. Be an amateur- Give your first efforts permission to be ugly
  2. Go with what resonates- your emotion-based, intuitive mind has the inspiration to share with you; follow it to discover what resonates.
  3. Adopt Interleaving - Instead of focusing on one growth area, have fun learning about adjacent topics, subjects, and activities. David Epstein's book Range highlights how mixed play maximizes learning and growth.

Heal (Fix What’s Broken)

Love your obscurity

No one wants to feel lonely, unseen and obscured. Loneliness condones a sense of desperation. It symbolizes a state of failure. It is ok to notice this truth and to embrace it because it is a valid part of the bigger picture.

Another part of the truth in that same picture is that obscurity can be a blessing. This quiet space allows you to steal in peace, learn how your heroes think, and connect the dots to understand how things work.

Many main characters in the Bible are great examples of this: Moses in the wilderness (Exodus 2), Elijah by a brook (1 Kings 17), Jesus in the desert (Matthew 4), David in the fields with sheep (1 Samuel 17), and Joseph in jail (Genesis 39).

They all had things they needed to rehearse without an audience. When they finally arrived on the stage they didn't just have a message, they had conviction.

Do not despise any state of obscurity. Learn, iterate, and rehearse until conviction sets in.


Discover (Learn Something New)

Stay on the bus

In writing this newsletter issue, I kept thinking of a specific excerpt from another one of my favorite books, “Four Thousand Weeks”, by Oliver Burkeman. In it, he refers to observations made by Finnish-American Photographer Arno Minkkinen as he compares the creative process to navigating the bus system in Helsinki, Finland.

“It’s simple,” Minkkinen says, “Stay on the bus. Stay on the fucking bus.” A little farther out on their journeys through the city, Helsinki’s bus routes diverge, plunging off to unique destinations as they head through the suburbs and into the countryside beyond. That’s where the distinctive work begins. But it begins at all only for those who can muster the patience to immerse themselves in the earlier stage—the trial-and-error phase of copying others, learning new skills, and accumulating experience.”

Stay on the bus, I’m there with you!

Talk to you soon.

Edvardo Archer


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Achieve, Heal and Discover

by Edvardo Archer

A biweekly newsletter for dreamers, builders and creators to achieve (get things done), heal (fix what’s broken) and discover (learn something new). I am a licensed clinician, purposefully provoking security in others.

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