Do the things you’re vain* about, that if they weren’t very good, you’d feel ashamed. You’d even feel ashamed for other people’s work in your field of expertise — if it’s really not good.
Don’t do things of which you think that the idea of you being that person would be nice. It’s not about being it, but doing and enjoying it.
For my person I would say that the thing I’m vain about is writing**. I couldn’t stand if people told me it’s a piece of garbage – and they have good arguments to prove that. Don’t get me wrong. I’m able to receive negative feedback but my vanity with this creative pursuit makes me want to become exceptionally well. I’m envisioning myself dominating my field of writing. That’s how much I’m convinced.
And yes I do design as well and I enjoy it. I do it because I’m hungry for variety in my creative output and I’m applying my writing principles to design. In short: I design how I write. I write how I talk. Short. Focused. Straightforward***. And from the hips.
The take-away from today: Observe yourself continuously, constantly and find out what vanity is driving you. If you just like seeing yourself being someone/something, that’s not your vanity. Don’t pursue it. If you can’t stand bad output of something, there’s a good chance that you found your vanity.
*I prefer to use the German “eitel”
**After high school I desperately wanted to become a media designer. I applied for many companies. I never made it. Instead I chose to do an apprenticeship as a salesman for two years followed by 7 years of studying Int’l Media & Computer because it was the most adequate replacement for a direct media design apprenticeship – and actually pretty close and I got a degree which can help me in some cases although I’m not super enthusiastic about it.
With that big amount of time studying (yes 7 years is a lot, I know) I almost had a career only by studying. What’s your career? I’m a student – long term *hahaha* And in that time it became clear that I didn’t enjoy designing anymore.
So, after my studies and the short film I made for my Master’s thesis I found that something’s wrong with me and designing. I didn’t feel fulfilled anymore with it. It took another year and a half until I saw what I am and want be: a writer and creator of authored experiences with pieces that start with writing and sometimes end with it 🙂
***I prefer to use the German “Schnörkellos”