Letters for Creatives #51: Let your genius win to make an impact on your career
Put your lizard brain to sleep
Hello, I am Celeste. If you would like to receive Letters for Creatives, subscribe to receive weekly letters on creativity, mental wellness, mindset and more. Take a look at September prompts if you are looking for writing inspiration and get featured in the letter in September.
I am so grateful that I tend to find the books that I need the most in different phrases in my life. I am planning to read most of Seth Godin’s books this year because he gives a lot of value with minimal words.
Linchpin touches on how we can be indispensable at work and why being indispensable benefits us.
I [have] never met someone who had no art in them... We need you to stand up and be remarkable. Be human. Contribute. Interact. Take the risk that you might make someone upset with your initiative, innovation and insight—it turns out that you [will] delight them instead.
If you are not in the place where you can make a suggestion at work, use that suggestion in your project, whatever that project is (newsletter, podcast, SaaS, etc). It might or might not work but at least you try.
Godin pointed out the act of keeping up with the Joneses (and now certainly social media) is a recent invention. It is optional to keep up with the Joneses, whoever that is:
The sign in front of your … school could say:
Maplemere Public School
We train the factory workers of tomorrow. Our graduates are very good at following instructions. And we teach the power of consumption as an aid for social approval.
It is almost impossible to imagine a school … that said:
We teach people to take initiative and become remarkable artists, to question the status quo, and to interact with transparency. And our graduates understand that consumption is not the answer to social problems.
School don’t teach you to be remarkable artists but a cog in the machine. You don’t need to think, just follow the instructions.
The lizard brain and the genius
The lizard brain is responsible for your survival. It is the reason why you don't make the art you want to make, don't go to the event that benefits you or don't do the one thing that can change your life. (My lizard brain went crazy on day 10 of my current 75 Hard program but I pushed through.)
The lizard brain tells you horror stories and worst case scenarios to keep you in the same place. For instance, you have an event you need to go to but it is out of your comfort zone. Instead of going to the event, you stay at home.
When you decide to stay at home, the lizard brain wins. When you decide to go, your genius wins and gets you to a better place. Establish a habit of doing things that make you uncomfortable, your lizard brain would be taking naps.
Successful people learn from failure, but the lesson they learn is a different one. They learned that the tactics they used didn't work or that the person they used them on didn't respond.
Signs that the lizard brain is at work
I feel called out by some of the following signs.
Excessively criticize the work of your peers
Don't ask questions
Ask too many questions
Criticize anyone who is doing something differently
Invent anxiety about the side effects of a new approach
Slow down as the deadline for completion approaches
Wait for tomorrow
I highly recommend you to read Linchpin if you feel stuck in your career. Leave a comment if this letter inspires you and share your thoughts with me.
Among heart-shaped leaves
the white fish gleams, red tail.
Soft lotuses sleep.
In case you miss it, catch up on these letters:
See you next week,