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musings on design, coding, manufacturing, fashion, and then some

Musings on visual and UX design, digital manufacturing, eco fashion, coding, and everything else in between and sideways.


My motto

Leslie Yang

If you want to do something badly enough,
you'd already be doing it.

Years ago, I made up this saying to remind myself of two things: 

1) If you really want to learn or build something, you'd find any way you could to do it. For me, I knew I wanted to level up my web dev skills in a big way so a year ago today I paid for an 11-week class on front end web development at General Assembly. I knew I'd get a lot out of the live instruction and coding. I did every homework assignment and went to almost all of the office hours. Afterwards, I spent months after work coding my friends' marketing websites.

On the flip side... 

2) If you find you're more into talking about the idea than making it happen, then you don't love the idea enough to realize it.  We all have ideas we love to talk about (and think are brilliant), but you need to be a bit obsessed with creating a prototype (my favorite part) or holding/experiencing that final product. If you're not that into the idea, stop talking about it and let it sit on the back burner for a while. 

Years ago, I wanted to be a DJ. A generous friend lent me a pair of decks and a mixer and I even had a DJ name (Feisty L, like Tenacious D, get it?). I barely used them. I had two records, yes only two. You could say I was scared to learn or didn't know how to learn, both of which were true. But I had friends that were DJs who I could have bugged to teach me and I could have watched a bunch of Youtube videos and practiced by myself. Around the same time, I taught myself to felt wool roving and started selling felted wool hair clips and badges made out of Japanese textiles to friends and family. I registered as a business and set up an e-commerce site. As for a business name, I changed Feisty L to feistyelle (elle is for all ladies). Looking back, It's clear what idea or skill I was really into and what was fun to only think and talk about learning. 

Today, I repeat this saying to myself to check to see if I'm really into geeking out about something (and should buy books, read blogs, and get my peer mentoring on), or if I just love the idea of it, in which case, I should drop it and go do something I really want to do.

Do you have a motto or saying that helps you stay on track?