Just Jump In

Over the past year I’ve started to document advice to my future self, as well as for my hypothetical future kin. Looking back, I have often needed to re-learn lessons over and over in order for them to truly sink in — I am writing this series in the hope that it may help others experiencing similar challenges in their lives. The following is the first and possibly one of the most important realizations I’ve come to recently.

It is easy to see that we are living in a world that is becoming more and more saturated each day. In the same way I am currently writing here, millions and millions of others are sharing parts of themselves in different ways across the web. We are surrounded by great writers, philosophers, photographers, designers, thinkers, and tinkers. For me that has felt inspiring (and has given me a great deal to consume), but has also felt very stifling. A flurry of questions come to my mind…

  • What unique perspective can I provide that hasn’t been provided before?
  • Are my thoughts my own? Or am I subconsciously creating new narratives based on what I’ve heard or read?
  • Do I have time to develop a “self” which is my own in a society that moves this quickly?
  • Is this self-doubt justified? What makes me different from those I am inspired by?
  • Is this idea worth pursuing? Isn’t it exactly like so-and-so’s?

I cannot imagine I’m alone in these feelings. It’s a completely natural reaction, and in my mind a necessity to warrant the level of effort to push through and create something meaningful. This leads me to state the issue I have repeatedly been faced with in the past:

Fear of failure or falling short often leads to false starts or incomplete attempts.

A perfect example of this: I’ve been telling myself that I should write an article for the last year and a half (I’m lying, it’s been longer). It seemed like a great way to highlight the way I approached critical thinking and problem solving — thus further displaying how I attack a given UX or UI challenge. I repeatedly said; “once I’ve found a good topic”, “once I’ve got some extra time”, “I’m sure the idea will come to me”, but that perfect time or idea never presented itself—and of course, it never will.

Instead, I decided this morning to sit in my living room and just start typing and see where I ended up. No initial idea or distinctive thesis, just some meandering sentences until I finally formed what you are reading now.

Keep it fun, or don’t do it.

Here’s to pushing through the difficult, meandering, obsessive thoughts while trying to jump in and get started. Here’s to saying “fuck it” and just getting it out the door. It may not be great, hell it may not even be original, but what you may find is that if you apply yourself in the right way you may just by surprised with the result. I know I usually am.

Keep creating, it’ll be great—and if it’s not, no sweat.


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