Lighting. Clothing. The speed of your voice. Are you looking at the camera, or looking down at the ground? Sit up straight, but don’t stiffen up like a skeleton. Is there anything distracting in the background?
These details matter. You might have groundbreaking ideas, but it doesn’t matter if you can’t convince anyone to put their phone in their pocket while you speak.
Performative Speaking is only just beginning. I’ve already learned much from Robbie Crabtree about why good presentation matters as much as having good stories.
Everyone knows how to run (it’s like walking, but faster). Everyone can look at a book. Everyone can pick up some weights. If you can talk, you can host a podcast. And if you know how to type, you know how to start a blog.
These things are hard:
Choosing what to work on
Homework is easy. You sit down with a book and a piece of paper, and you do the homework.
Discipline is hard. By ‘doing’ discipline, you fight back against your primal desires to watch television instead of practicing long division. And fair enough; there’s no such thing as a long division problem more exciting than an episode of Breaking Bad.
We can choose to embody these qualities. We can be the kind of person who says no to a night out at the bar when they’ve got a newsletter to ship the next morning. We can be the kind of person who has the discipline to do their homework. But instead, we choose not to. We choose to say yes to stuff we don’t want to do, to please people we don’t like. And we do that because it’s easier than running laps around the park.
Someone with all the above qualities is a rare sight to behold. But when we see someone embodying these qualities, we take their hard work for granted. We become like the guy at the museum, staring at a Mondrian, saying, “I could have painted this.”
Well, you didn’t paint this. Pier Mondrian painted this. And if it looks so easy, so simple, so rudimentary that you could have done it in your sleep, then why didn’t you paint this?
They had the discipline to get better everyday. They had the resilience to deal with rejection. They had the patience to deal with setbacks. ‘No’ became their favorite word. They had the humility to improve. And they had the perseverance to show up everyday despite how nice it would feel to stay in bed.
In some cultures, Sunday is the beginning of the week. The foundation of the day, grounded in rest and recovery.
No matter what culture you’re a part of, you’re guaranteed one Sunday a week. Of course, not everyone gets to dedicate a whole day to resting. You might be the busy mom who uses Sunday to prep for your kid’s meal plan for the week. Or you might be the busy teacher grading all your student’s midterms.
If you can’t find your rest on Sunday, I hope you can find some pockets of rest throughout the week. You deserve it.
Deepu Asok is the author and illustrator of the wonderful and enlightening Visual Wisdom newsletter. He’s also the host of a podcast called The Happiness Hypothesis. He’s got a serious eye for designs that pop.
Deepu and I were dming over meditation and spirituality. But he had to get going, and asked to continue our talk over zoom some time. I said sure. And of course, I asked if he wanted to record our talk for the podcast. He said yes. And so, here we are.
Please enjoy my conversation with the wonderful and wise Deepu Asok!
On different schools of meditation and yoga (3:00)
The benefits of doing yoga before meditation (11:00)
Why meditate? (14:00)
“Philosophy doesn’t transform you. Practice transform you” (21:00)
“The lion is trying to help you, but it doesn’t know how.” (28:00)
On Happiness and work (37:00)
Three types of work (43:00)
Selling on Gumroad (50:00)
The differences between drawing and writing (55:00)
“You’re paying for the organization of the ideas” / Constraints (1:00:00)