The Kaizen Newsletter #17 (09/17/2019)

Stop finding your passion & take action

Two years ago, I was stuck. I just discovered this cool thing called "self-improvement" and I badly wanted to improve myself. But improve myself on what?

The people I was surrounded with all had their own thing. Photography. Fashion. Music. Sales. Business. Coding. Public Speaking. They all had one thing that they really liked, so it was easy for them to concentrate on just one thing and improve. Not for me. I had no idea what my passion was.

I have lots of interests, but I didn't have MY thing. There wasn't a particular skill or activity that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. And I HATED it. I REALLY wanted to find my passion.

Fast-forward to today and guess what? I finally found my pas - NOP. Not at all. Still the same person as two years ago. Still "passionless", but I honestly don't care (as much) anymore.

Why?

Chasing to find your passion is like chasing to find your soulmate. If that's the only thing you think about and force yourself to find your one true love, well guess what? You're never going to find it.

Instead, you should just doing you and focusing on improving yourself.

But always keep your options open. If you want to find your passion eventually, well we already established that it won't just come to you one breezy summer day. So make sure to also try as many things as possible that potentially will be "the one". You like hockey? Then go play hockey, maybe try coaching, or making you like analyzing hockey stats? How about painting? Go try and make a painting and posting your progress on instagram. You like marketing? Go out and find a local store that you love and offer your help to market their store.

As long as you keep on making incremental gains and always improving yourself, who honestly cares about finding your passion or what you truly love? I feel that a lot of people assume that once you find your passion, magically you'll be happy and fulfilled. And this is the exact same mistake that people do for love. They think that finding love will "repair" them, but what they have to realize is that unless you're happy with yourself and your life, then you'll never be truly happy.

So go ahead. Do your thing, gain some skills that will help you later on, try new things and one day you'll meet this beautiful girl at a pic-nic (aka your passion).

Now, on to the newsletter.


Weekly Articles

📱 Product

  • Coffee Chat Series #1: Getting Ahead as an Early-Career Designer - This article is tailored for designers, but it can easily be applied to anyone just starting their career (or switching careers). This articles shows you very general guidelines as what you can bring to a team as an early-career "x" and what you should focus on to gain success. What I took from this article was at the end when the author mentions that designing well is about solving problems for your intended audience, not about coming up with things you personally like. It's a good reminder for me to really think of your audience and what YOU think is best might not be the best based on who you're creating your product for.

👨‍💻 Workplace

  • 40 Interview Questions from Some of the Sharpest Folks We Know - I'm not currently searching for any new jobs, but I still find it interesting to go through some of these questions and trying to answer them. It's obviously good practice for yourself if ever you encounter these questions in the future, but I also use it as a form of self-improvement and auto-analysis and see which areas I can improve in.

💪 Self-Improvement

  • Living with Fear & Overcoming Perfectionism: Lessons from Elizabeth Gilbert's Big Magic - Fear was my main reason why I never did my newsletter. I had a fear that my writing would be SO BAD that nobody would read it. But as it's explained in this article, the way I counter fear is to just publish it and if nobody actually reads my newsletter, who really cares? My main goal was for me to improve my writing and the best way to do... is to write.

👑 Wait But Why

  • The Mute Button - I could definitely read WaitButWhy any day of the week. The way they take concepts and are able to simplify them in a very understandable manner is just amazing. This chapter discusses the inner self and outer self. It delves into the idea spectrum (of what people can think of a certain subject) and what we think on a certain subject vs how we express these thoughts IRL.

  • The Enlightment Kids - Surprisingly, my favourite chapters of this series so far. As a Canadian, I'm not that familiar with American history, so it was really interesting to see how the founders built America and all of the trade-offs they had to think of when building it.

♟ Chess

  • The grandmaster diet: How to lose weight while sitting - Who would’ve thought that playing chess exerts as much energy as playing tennis? I used to play at card tournaments and after a full day of playing, I was usually super drained and I guess this is why. Basically any activity (be it mental or physical) will spend lots of your energy. Which is also why it’s super important for e-sport players to maintain good health.


Weekly Favourites

📺 Video

  • RSA Animate: The surprising truth about what motivates us - I'm honestly not THAT surprised about the content of the video, since it's how I currently feel about the workplace. Basically, money only motivates your employees to a certain point. Which means you have to offer MUCH more than just $$$ if you want your employees to be more engaged in the company and those three things are autonomy, mastery and purpose.

🐦 Tweet

🎧 Music

Was super busy this weekend, so didn't really have time to catch up on music. Plus no really good albums/songs were release this week.

Songs

🙏 Shoutouts

  • Shoutout to my friend Amir and his now wife, Jessica, who just got married this weekend!


👋 End Note

If you want to know what I'm up to now, you can check it on my website here.

If you enjoyed the Kaizen Newsletter, then it'd be cool if you can share it with your friends. They can sign up here.

Feedback is always appreciated, so let me know what you liked and what I can improve on by replying to this email.

If you see any cool articles, links, tweets, stories or podcasts that you think are interesting, feel free to share as well at alex@alexhughsam.com

See you next Tuesday!

PEACE ✌🏻

Alexander