Hello valued reader of this e-mail,
I hope you’ve had a wonderful week and I’m honored that you are still opening these newsletters.
One of the absolute highlights of writing this newsletter has been the responses and feedback that I get from people. If anything I say tickles your fancy, or if you just want to tell me a joke, shoot me a response 🙀.
Here’s my favorite Twitter thread I made this week.
The Ups and Downs of the Great Iceberg Illusion
One of life's most wholesome treasures are the serendipitous, side quest-like obsessions that throw a pleasant and effective wrench in our day to day routines.
My 8 year old nephew is a master of these.
My weekly Friday night visits with him are almost ceremoniously initiated with me asking him what his "fads" of the week were.
"Rock climbing," "RC cars," "Legos," "Stop-motion video production," "Watching these crazy guys on YouTube who make houses out of mud." The kid is constantly finding new things to pursue and he's consistently taking action. It's impressive.
For one, maybe two weeks at a time, he eats, sleeps, and breathes whatever the latest fad is. Then, like a passing season, he moves on and takes that same conquering mentality into his next subject.
Watching my nephew explore the world and what it has to offer has been entertaining, but it's also made me question my own approach to living.
When was the last time I had one of these obsessive, side quest-like fads?
When was the last time I dug deep on a subject unrelated to work or school? Or decided I wanted something and actually went out and pursued it? Sure, I found this whole writing habit a few months ago, but that's quickly becoming the norm for me. I've incorporated it into my long-term, day-to-day scheme and it’s routine now.
Thinking about this made me feel stagnant.
As a response, In the past few months I've pushed myself to pursue the more seemingly inefficient and impractical crusades that I find myself interested in: digital illustration and design, writing and sharing my thoughts publicly (even when I think that they're trash), reading harder and less applicable books. I even went out and bought watercolors the other night because...why not?
These new pursuits can be exciting, invigorating, and refreshing but all they do is merely scratch the surface. They give you a taste of the subject without any of the pain, hardship, discipline, or sacrifice that any good activity will require down the road.
I liken these pursuits to the classic analogy of the iceberg.
The first couple weeks into the journey of a new subject are like the tip. It's visible, it's fulfilling, it's successful, and it's growth.
But shortly after that, it gets progressively harder. The rest of the iceberg is represented by discipline, sacrifice, failure, and hard work.
You may continue to grow, but it won't always be visible. You may continue to find success, but it may not be fulfilling. These are the "hard pills to swallow" of every subject and pursuit that nobody wants to acknowledge but must face at one time or another.
With all his fads, my nephew switches his pursuit right around this time and that's okay. He's 8 years old and the subjects that truly resonate with him cycle back into his repertoire every couple weeks or so. The important part is that he's going out and experiencing the world. He's figuring out what those subjects are - the ones he likes and the ones he doesn't.
In my experience, the depth of an iceberg typically has a negative connotation to it. The lessons learned from the Titanic tell us to be cautious of the Iceberg illusion. To not take what the eye can see as objective truth and reality, and to "beware" of the depth that subjects can produce.
I think this is a totally fair assumption and valuable lesson to learn. We shouldn't just mosey into commitments that we'll inevitably get bored of in 2 weeks. We need to be cautious of our interests and the time we devote to them.
But there's also another side to this story that this take misses.
While I was making the graphic for this essay, I was looking at several reference images of half submerged icebergs and I had a moment of appreciation. The submerged portion of the iceberg holds so much intricate detail and visual beauty that would have gone completely unnoticed if not explored past the initial glance of an eye.
In the exploration of a subject or a creative pursuit, the submerged half of the iceberg brings pain and discipline and what seems to be not a lot of good feelings. But those bad feelings are what produce authenticity, originality, creativity, and ambition in your work.
The tip of the iceberg is what’s seen by everyone. It's easy to replicate and understand. But the true exploration of a subject is done under water - in the intricate details and unexplored crevasses.
This week I did something cool and published my first design piece that I made for a product.
Flow State Coffee is a coffee that’s roasted and mixed with natural agents ( L-Thymine and raw Cacao) to produce all the caffeinated benefits of coffee without the anxiety jitters.
I whipped through my first bag of this and also gave my entire family their own bags for Christmas (positive responses all around). If your interested in checking it out, here’s a link with a discount code for 10% off (use code “GreenmanDesigns” if you run into any trouble).
Not trying to sell you all on some BS. I genuinely like the product and the owner.
But I mainly just wanted to show you guys the design 😋.
I hope you all have a wonderful week