Welcome to Tuesday Tips, a weekly collection of ideas that help me design and live the life of my dreams. This past weekend Kelly and I attended the Brand New Conference (aka BNConf) in New York City (photoset here!). The BNConf is a one-day event about branding and identity, put on by our design heroes and employers Armin and Bryony of UnderConsideration. Many of this week’s tips are inspired by the talks at the conference, which helped me remember why I freaking LOVE being a designer.
1. Make yourself laugh while creating.
Have you seen Tha Carter documentary about Lil Wayne? It’s incredibly inspiring. Every time Wayne gets on the microphone to record new material, he just makes himself laugh and laugh. That’s what I want for my work too! If what I’m creating makes me laugh, I know it’s good.
2. Keep making your weird shit you love to make.
Designer Aaron Draplin said something along these lines at the BNConf. While speaking on how he became the success story he is today, he emphasized how important it is to do exactly what you love, and never for the money. And even if you think your work is weird, keep doing it, because somebody’s going to love it. Keep going! Your work matters, because you are the only person in the world who can make it.
3. Be on the lookout for indicators!
Everything around you is an indicator of your vibration. Look for the reflections you want more of and you’ll receive more. For example, look for your favorite cars, or messages of love, or cowboy hats, or whatever little details you appreciate in life. The more you look for things you like, the more you’ll find. Turn it into a game—every time you see something you like, exclaim, “Indicator!” Life really is conspiring to bring you miracles in every moment if you make the time to look for them.
4. Try this mantra: “I’m so excited to be me!”
This one helps me to like who I am more and more, because it trains my mind to look for reasons to be excited to be me.
5. Try this mantra: “I’m ok with what is.”
Last week, Neale Donald Walsch tweeted, “Happiness is allowing yourself to be okay with what is, rather than wishing for, and bemoaning, what is not.” It changed my life! Every time I experience contrast, I repeat this mantra until I start seeing reasons why I actually am ok with what is. It’s a like an express train to the silver lining of a situation. (We recorded a podcast about this one too!)
6. Try this mantra again: “I’m creating the version I want.”
This one works particularly well when I’m tired. I say, “I’m creating the version I want. I’m energized.” After a few repetitions, I feel a burst of energy. It’s better than coffee!
7. A brand is an attitude.
This one comes from another BNConf speaker, Mike Rigby of Interbrand Australia. Brands are not something just for corporations and businesses. YOU have a brand, too. Your brand is the way you choose to live and share your life. When I think about my brand as an attitude, the abstract concept of branding is a lot easier to understand. An attitude is just a specific way of thinking and feeling. You can think of it as the language you choose to use. If I had to put my brand-as-attitude into words, it would be this: Jessica Mullen leads by example, works and plays hard, and projects a vibration of love. What’s your attitude?
8. Practice your feelings.
I forget about this one a lot, and every time I remember to do it, I’m shocked at how simple it is to feel the way I want to feel. All you have to do is identify what you want, how you think you’ll feel when you get it, and then practice feeling that way. For example, I love feeling so excited that I can’t eat or sleep. If I can pull up a memory of the last time I felt that way and truly feel the feeling for a few seconds, within the day I find myself in an experience that feels even better.
9. “The person who lives in the moment cannot have style.”
Miles Newlyn said this during his BNConf talk, and it’ll stick with me forever. Whenever I start judging my appearance, or comparing myself to others, I remember this quote. If you’re in the moment, you have no style, because to have style you must be thinking about the past, future, or what other people think. In the Now, there is only what is, with no value judgement. Style is a way of doing things based on past experience. If you’re in the moment, there is no thought about past experience, only engagement with what is. It feels like so much relief to not care about the way I’m doing things, and instead to be fully immersed in the experience of doing. Here’s the full version of Miles’ take:
Do I have any favorite techniques [for designing]? Techniques are habits, and habits are a refusal of the moment and a reliving of the past. A habitual person is not interested in the present, but a person with habits can have style. The person who lives in the moment cannot have style.
10. Design is integrity.
Another quote from the BNConf, this one by Massimo Vignelli. Integrity is the state of being whole and undivided, and as life designers and conscious creators, our mission is to become One. One with love, one with each other, one with the flow of life, one with god. As you design your life and iterate every day, remember why you are here and what the bigger picture is. No matter how lost in the illusion we get, we are still one consciousness made out of one love. Design your thoughts, words and actions out of love, and you are designing for the highest good.
11. Look around you. There’s a miracle waiting for you, right now. Can you see it?
“Don’t dismiss the synchronicity of what is happening right now finding its way to your life at just this moment.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch
Homework due Friday!
Last week we had our first Tuesday Tips homework assignment. You can see the results here. This week’s assignment is the same—pick one tip to apply to your life this week and report back in the School of Life Design group any time Friday through Monday.
I found it quite useful to choose just one idea to work with, because it helped me stay focused on my practice through the week. Doing the homework is easy, too! Just set an intention like, “This week I intend to use one of these ideas to help me enjoy life more.” Then forget about it. The more you pay attention to each moment you experience, the more you’ll see your intention manifest. Thanks for playing, friends! Have a blissful week!