How to affect perfection. Chapter five habits. Let's read the chapter Opener. Nothing shapes us as much as our habits the way we move the way we speak and eat and even think these are all habits picked up along our trip and we adopt new ones every day. Some are useful. Some are not. Most habits are unconscious ingrained by mere repetition and hard to shake off. But you can get good at anything. Start forming new habits that will shape your professional practices and gain a positive attitude and perspective about who you are and where you need to go, not where you're unconscious. Acts and thoughts take you. These two can be trained shaped and made strong by steady practice and awareness. Take an inventory, pick and choose which habits to keep and which to ditch and maybe add some good ones. You know, it's funny in the, in the book, there's a beautiful little piece of art amongst the many beautiful pieces of art. Uh and it's a poem by a Persian poet, huffy's and it says habits are human ...
nature. Why not create something that will mint gold meaning habits or human nature? We pick up new habits all the time. If I brought you into a classroom on the first day, you pick a seat and then when you came in on your own the next day you'd probably take the same seat. You've created a habit. Right? And what Hafeez is saying, why not consciously create some that will mint gold. Okay, I've got my notes, let's uh let's go. So we are a gaggle of habits. Everything about us as a habit. How we talk, how we move. I know that I walk the way I walked because that was how my dad walked. Right. Uh, we pick up the same facial quirks as our partners. You know, we're just, we're just a lot of habits and habits are actions learned by repetition. Simple enough. They form who we are and they form how we think and how we move everything about us is a habit. But we have to understand understand that the only thing that we are in control of our lives because sometimes we are not in control of our habits at all. Right. The only thing that we are in control of is our thoughts and our actions. We're not in control of our partners. We're certainly not in control of our Children or barely in control of our Children. Um, and we're definitely not in control of the world and how it spins, right? All we can control is our own thoughts and our own actions and everything starts with a thought, right? Our thoughts become our words. Our words become our actions and these practiced, become our habits and our habits continually practiced, become our character or who we are right and our character becomes our destiny where we're going. But it all starts with our thoughts. So we need to be in control of our thoughts. So our thoughts and our actions become our habits. And like the chapter opener alludes to, here's the big idea. Either consciously with thought and intention and direction. We are creating our lives or were just unconsciously reacting out of habits, you know, and then our days and our lives become very routine. So be conscious and being aware. It goes back to what we talked about with Carl Young where we make our subconscious conscious, right? We take those, those, those voices in our heads and we we we make them conscious and say, oh, I see you, I know what you want. Here's a short list of a few bad habits that we should be conscious of. The first one that says, um, you got a big but excuses and I've got a million excuses. I would have been this, but my parents wouldn't, but my boss won't let me, but I grew up in this part of town, right, excuses. We need to be conscious of our excuses, conscious of these words. They're all valid excuses, I'm sure. Um, but they're also perfectly good reasons to not take risks. Perfectly good reasons to remain unhappy. We have to be conscious of that. Um, it's like Aesop's fables, right? The Fox from Aesop's fables. Well, I didn't want those grapes anyway, right? You know, so put the blame on your, but everybody's got a but you know, I would have done this, but I would have that kind of money, but right, be conscious of that, of the many excuses. The many butts that we can come up with. Some are actually Boyd or held up by, uh, words in our colloquialism words in our culture. And the one that I want to point out is starving artists. This whole idea that we can't make money doing the thing that we love. The following through with our passion. There's no there's no future in it. You know, the story is, uh, I have a young protege who wanted to be a poet and he never followed through with that. And the reason he never followed through with that is because he had an uncle tell him there was no money in it. And I was kind of taken aback and I had to say, is your uncle still alive? And he said, yes. I said, well, can you go back and have a conversation with him and ask him how often he tried? How many poems did he write? How often did he get rejected? Right, Yeah. He gave you that line. It's just a word out of popular culture. Right? Told you you couldn't make any money out of it. But he just pulled that out of his own. But right, There's no truth in it. If you if you follow through, if you expect perfection, you can lead a dangerous life. You can make money in poetry or in writing. I know people who have, I know many poets who have a great career. So watch your excuses. There's nothing standing in your way except you and your big but also you don't quit the band because you because you have kids, right? Um, you don't become a midlevel salesman with a shitty business card just because you have Children, right? Children are another excuse that we use to, to, to drop our dreams, right? We were supposed to sacrifice for our Children, but we don't sacrifice ourselves. Big idea there, write that down. Here's another idea, complaining, complaining is not conversation. I had this idea when I was teaching at university and I would, I'd show up in the class early and as students were coming in, um, I'd hear their conversations, hey, how are you? Oh, I'm so hungover or I'm so tired. Those two things I'm so hungover. I'm so tired. So they're basically telling me and telling everybody else that they are still Children and not in charge of their lives, right? I know captains of industry people at the top of their game. They do not complain. They will talk and they don't talk about other people. He said, she said, he said, she said, right, their thoughts are elsewhere. Their focus is elsewhere, complaining is not conversation and unfortunately has become in our culture a way to kind of get along, go along social lubricant, but complaining is not conversation. Our words are important. Words are important. Here's another big idea. Stop deprecating all over yourself, right? Words are life and death. Words matter. The most important words are the ones we use about ourselves, right? We pre shit on ourselves. So others won't. We call ourselves fat when we're trying on clothes. We call ourselves fat when we're, when we're ordering food, right? Um, we joke about how bad we are at different things. But through the use of these words, this habitual use of these words, we actually become those ideas, right? You've got to watch your habits. Self deprecation is healthy when it comes off as humble or witty. Um, but continually calling yourself a loser ruins the experience of you for other people. It's the same for compliments. We don't believe them so we don't take them well. We have to learn to become good receivers. It's like, it's like uh, the cook who apologizes when she is serving you her soup, she might as well spit in it on the way. Right? We appreciate on ourselves. Oh, lovely shoes. Well, no, no, no, no, no, no. Oh, this is nice. You did a good job here. Well it's not my best work, right? We learned to just say thank you. Learn to just say thank you. Learn to take compliments. Well, words have power and the problem with repeating and reinforcing negative mantras about yourself is that not only do you start believing believing in them. Other people start to believe in them too. We need to learn to kill the critic right? Where your attention goes, You go, right? And if you start focusing on all the bad stuff in your life that will grow, the bank account will be empty. Your life will be less shiny and in comparison to others, right? Um You'll always be too fat dumb, lazy, poor and ugly, right? So I'm gonna learn to kill the critic. Kill that that little voice because the critic is not right, right? Um You are not wrong, you are not weak. Um You are strong and you have power to choose your thoughts and power to choose the words. You use the power to choose the words you use to yourself. Um and you also have the power to choose another thought. Remember it always begins with a thought is another idea. Some people are poisoned, some people are medicine. You know the poison people you've met them, they may be in your family, right? And these are these are well meaning people who want to protect you. But what they're doing is they're shielding you from success right? With things like uh things like you're gonna, you're gonna start a start a business in this economy or or maybe you should get a real degree first, right? This is basically misery looking for company people who want to um um um comfort you. But what they're doing is they're actually holding you back. Everyone in your life influences you. So you need to in order to make bold moves you to surround yourself with people who have positive energy, People with high vibration, right? People who will champion your cause um seek those who are medicine people who have aligned with your vision and who are ready to champion your struggle, right? Some people are poisoned and summer medicine seek the medicine and if the poison is in your family, you can gracefully acknowledge them and not listen to him. So how do we change our habits? Right? Um We changed them through consciousness and we change them through awareness and we change them through focus right? By by being aware when when these unconscious um reactions occur, catching them and replacing the old tired thoughts with new thoughts with that beautiful vision. I can't do this because I'm not good at parties or or I'm not smart enough and I don't know the tools, right? These are lies that we've telling ourselves, remember that. Um and we replace those with beautiful thoughts of your beautiful future and you follow through with action and make them happen, right? It all comes back to you. It all comes back to James catching himself and saying, what do I need to do right now? Stop these thoughts. I've got all these negative thoughts flying around in my head. What do I need to do right now to move forward? That's just it. That's just it. And that's how we that's how we change our habits is by consciously catching ourselves in the act of lying to ourselves and moving forward and what we focus on grows that's why we do this, what we focus on grows. Um and remember every time that you catch yourself and refocus your thoughts, it's an act of self love. It's an act of self love. And that is a beautiful habit to get into. Thank you How to affect perfection. Chapter five habits. Let's do a little show and tell one of the first things I want to talk about because I've never actually had this opportunity is I wanted to talk about the cover. I want to talk about the cover and how and how and why it came about. And basically I wanted to make the craziest cover. I could, I've never designed a book cover for myself, right? Um, so I wanted, I wanted flaps because I wanted on a poster designer uh, by nature. So I wanted a as big a cover as I could get and then I wanted to make it imperfect. I wanted to make it really dangerous. The subtitle is dangerous ideas on the business of life. So I wanted to make it really dangerous. So I had covers where the type was just so big, it just wrapped around and the spine was actually on the back of the cover and everything fell off. Um um, but I knew that was gonna be a little bit tricky for the publisher and for basically everybody else. Um, one other idea that I really loved and it was really beautiful was I basically designed a harlequin romance book right with Two Lovers on a rocky crag and you know, have a really beautiful and some beautiful old found art and then put my cover, my typography on top of it. The problem was it was going a little bit too far, and I at the end of the day, I kind of had to be honest to myself, and I had to say, you know what, I want to sell books, I don't want to be great to do that kind of thing. So I brought it back, it's brought it back and if that that fine line was really difficult, you know what's going to get cut off? And on the back cover, the typography on the back cover does get cut off, right? Um publisher was really great about that chronicle books was great, and then how I how I cut my own photograph off and just basically showed the essential, you know, my moustache is kind of a logo, right? So, um and the idea too, for this schmear on the front one, it's this this this um this level of simplicity that I'm always trying to find um where I could just kind of like with a brush, just make one mark with a brush and have it have it deep with meaning. And for this time I just wanted to make it feel like somebody had walked into a bookstore just gone and made a mark on my book. Um and it's just this sh much of orange and red paint. Um and actually I found in the archives, this tiny little um tiny little sketch of of of what I wanted for the book at some point, which is actually very much like the, like the final. Um but let me show you this as well, because on the on the flaps, I wanted these little posters and this little poster on this in the inside, it says you are beauty, love Faith and talent now acts like it, and then on the backside it says now go and give them hell, like after you've read the book, it says go and give them hell, Right. Um the way these pieces were designed is I have right here, so here is the typography or hear me getting to that point where I'm where I'm kind of sketching out what I want. Um and hopefully, hopefully it feels like a little bit of a little bit of a poster, right? So here's kind of the rough of that drawing, and this is just two or three different pens. I'm just using my favorite pens, and this is um this is the fine stuff and the bigger stuff are these paint pens that I enjoy using. Yeah, and you also see on this. Mhm. What I do is this was the final lettering, where the word you is actually drawn in a different pen and just taped on. I don't have a problem with that. Uh Mhm It would be impossible just to kind of push freehand do the whole thing with all these different sizes of pen. So so this one was just kind of taped on and then we throw it on the scanner and this is the final, this is the final for that and then using using another pen, this is these are the final pieces for uh for the now and then for the go give them hell on the back again. Just different pens, this is a bigger pen for this and a smaller pen for that just mixing up the pen weights and then I guess this is the the original for the Son of the background of the Sun. Mhm And then I just filled it in with some colored colored crayon, a rainbow underneath underneath this guy and and designed the whole thing in design. So that's the story of the the cover of fact perfection and how I put that together and why let me show you something else. Yeah. From inside the book. Inside the chapter on habits we talked about stop deprecating all over yourself. So I have a page literally a page from a book and I had done this before effect per function I have done this for my own purpose earlier and this is a joseph to camp a page torn from a book that I collected, I collected a lot of art books that the the only um the only requirement for any art book that I collect is that the pictures be really big so I can draw on them. So I had cut this out and on this little beautiful little girls head in her hair, I wrote fat, dumb, poor and ugly, right. Um to it completely made sense to have two talking about this, the idea of self deprecating ideas, you know how we talk to ourselves. Um but this kind of thing, I mean there's some truth in here and that we do carry inside of us. These these um um these words that were given to us by other people that we don't deserve. You know that we would have a lack of self worth or lack of self esteem or think that were ugly or think that we're dumb and incapable of learning because we were told that, right? And the tool that I use here on top of this is actually just a white out pen, right? It's just a just a simple white out pen. And I love the kind of clumsy quality of the letters and the one last piece I want to share with you is from the book also. Um and it is this quote from Hafeez that we talked about earlier. So here is this quote from Hafeez and it's literally just drawn in a rainbow pencil, like the kind that kids use a pencil that's got five or six different colors in it. Um, and to do that, I basically drew it twice and tried to figure out which one I liked better. This one or this one I liked, but it was actually technically too tall proportionately for the book and it didn't fit in the page. So I had to re break how I wrote it and it ended up looking like this. Um, it's a lovely piece and I like how all the, all the drawings around the outside work on it too. It will make it, it makes a lovely, lovely poster as well. I'll have to make a poster out of that someday. So those are some of the tools and some of the art inside the book that I've used and I just want to show that everything, everything for me, other people's work, Every kind of tool is completely applicable. I don't need fancy tools. I'm happy creating with sticks and stones. Okay, so that's um, that's the work from the habits chapter. Thank you. Mm hmm.
James Victore is an artist, author, and activist who teaches people how to illuminate their individual gifts in order to achieve personal greatness. James is widely known for his timely wisdom and impassioned views about design and its place in the world.
I really enjoyed this course. It's full of great information and presented in a great style. At the end of the lessons he presents a behind the scenes look at some of his artwork, which I really found fascinating. Highly recommend!