Jocelyn K. Glei
They don't even really like the phrase south help. But I do think that people need help. This is designed matters, but Debbie Noma from design observer dot com. Fourteen years. Now give you talking with his owners and other creative people about what they do. They got to be who they are. And what they're thinking about and working on this episode. Jocelyn cake lied talks about how the internet can lead to burnout. That's what's so problematic about the digital spaces it assumes like an infinite capacity. Here's deborah. I'd like to thank two of the patrons that helped make design matters possible is your team designing an app from scratch rethinking the look and feel of your brand may be taking on something massive like transforming your brand's entire customer journey. Well, don't do it. The old way passing. Numberless one off comes through endless emails. Instead, do it all in one place. Do it in a Doobie XT now for free with the new starter plan? 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It's far too easy to get lost in code and lose the forest for the trees, wicks dot com. Allows you to find your own personal sweet spot and take control of your site would their drag and drop. Editor hundreds of advanced design features such as retina, ready image galleries. Custom font sets HD video and parallel scrolling effects and even service hassle-free coating for robust websites and with wicks dot com. You have total control of your web design like never before. So join wicks his brilliant community of designers artists and creatives at large around the world for free and ask yourself. What will you create today? According to Jocelyn K glide, we are living in an age of distraction, Email social media and the ever quickening news cycle are taking a huge toll on our productivity. Our creativity even on our happiness, but we are not hopeless here. Joscelyn's books and articles her podcast and a new online class aimed to show us the light at the end of our digital tunnels and lead us back out into the open air Jocelyn cake lie. Welcome to design matters. Thanks for having me W Joscelyn's several years ago. You did a Reddit ask me anything. And in it you offer to share what you would do if you found yourself confronted by one hundred duck sized horses. I was shocked no-one took you up on it. So let's. Find out here. Now, what would you do if you found yourself confronted by one hundred duck sized horses? Oh, that's not the opening question. I was expecting. We always like to keep our guests on their toes design matters. I think I would just lay down on the ground and really embrace that wave of duck sized horses nor duck sized horses. Ponies? I mean, I don't know. I mean, a normal ponies are different size. But it actually reminds me I was on the beach one time at the Cape. You know, it was in the summer and all of the sudden this like little army of Jack Russell terriers appeared without an owner. They were shepherded by a large greyhound like no human insight, and there were like four of them, and they were like eight weeks old, and they just ran up to me on my beach towel. And I was like am I in heaven like what is this? Did you go with them all home? You take them with you and your bag. We just kind of you know, we were together for a little while then their owner was, you know, distant half mile down the beach emerged. But that immediately I had a vision of that of that moment of kind of pure joy. So I think I'd be into it as a fellow podcast there. What were you anticipating my first question was going to be? Well, knowing your podcast. I was definitely anticipating having something that I said quoted back at me, which I'm sure is yet to hap-. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. Buckle up. Well, give him motivated and seemingly on top of the game. You are today. I think some people would be surprised tiller. Learn the growing up you had of Peter Pan syndrome. You never thought about what you wanted to be. When you grew up because she would too busy climbing trees, you really never wanted to grow up. Why is that? I think I remember my childhood and particularly my early childhood. I think you know, from when I was a little kid until I was maybe five I lived in Virginia. And we were pretty rural Virginia so outside of our house. There was like this huge hill down into all of these beautiful woods was kind of a different time. Then in terms of the freedom that you could have as a child, you know, there wasn't all of this technology and cell phones, of course, tiny children don't have cell phones anyways. But also some do. But also, you didn't get the sort of news of what had you know, the has sort of all the horrible things that were happening to people all over the world. And so you should have much more sheltered. Right. I was just kind of running around in very carefree. I think and you know, I think as we get older a lot of that carefree nece tends to fall away and to to go back to that technology thing. I was touching on earlier. I was having a long. Conversation with a friend the other day kind of about that like can you as a parent or even as a child have that kind of care freeness anymore since we're discussing your early sense of play in the outdoors and random animals sort of crossing your path? I'm wondering if you could tell us about a defining moment in your early life a time when a stag you came across one day as a child and what happened when that when you encountered that stack will. So that was in Virginia when I was running around in the woods as enough and does and was was by myself. I think that's the other thing is that you know, just being able to I was thinking recently someone prompted me to do this meditation that was about childhood memories. And so many of my memories, I was alone. But not in a bad way, you know, but kind of loan walking around the woods, or you know, playing on the front porch something like that. But I'm one of them. I was. Back. I think I was headed back from hanging out with my neighbor friend, Brad Adams. I think it was five. So, you know, I'm not very big now little little person. And yeah, just knows strolling along. And there was just this huge. You know, stag that was normally, you know, Antlers and everything and it was just like this amazing. Majestic moment. But I was also really scared. You know, and as a just the sheer size of something like that, you know. But yeah, it's just one of those kind of little like special moments, you know, from your childhood that really stays with you just kind of the majesty of nature and also when you experience the majesty of nature, I think quite often. I mean, I literally was very small at that time. But it makes you feel small in like a good way. You know? Yes. Yes. Your mom was a teacher. But you've said that if she had grown up in your generation, she would have been an artist given her drying and painting skills, can you tell us a bit about her. Catch books and the impact they had on you. Yeah. We'll so she had these sketchbooks that she used to keep under her bed, and you know, near a kid you'd love to like go get into someone stuff. If you can you know, and so things under the bed. Right. Your mom had sketchbooks out to tell you what my very racy. So. Yeah, I don't know if she showed them to me or I just found them later, but she was really good at at drawing people drawing their faces which is actually quite difficult like sort of one of the I've always felt like one of the more difficult aspects of drawings capturing someone's face, and I don't know why. But I used to just like go in there, and you know, pull them out from under the bed and just kind of look at them. And I think also it was maybe it was interesting to me because it allowed me to see sort of a different side of her because she's from a different generation. And at that time, you know, there just wasn't. The all of the resources that we have now to build, you know, a career or a business around our creativity in some way, I think she had wanted to go to art school. But her my father got married fairly young not for that. But you know, I think she was like twenty one an end up pursuing a career in teaching instead. But it always kind of felt like there was a sort of artistic soul about her. And that was always something that she wanted to pursue. And you know, she's still does in her in her free time. And I think she she really past that kind of visual art, gene onto my brother. I got more of the more of the writing gene than the the hand eye coordination good hand eye coordination for sports, but not for number art. Meanwhile, you said that your dad nuclear engineer was extremely Taipei an overachiever intensely driven and motivated and giving these attributes of your parents, it seems like you're. A really good example of the perfect ven diagram of of Mr. and MRs Glaive and how Jocelyn popped out. Would you agree? Maybe. So I mean, yeah, I've never I've never thought about about why? But I think that's absolutely true. I think so much of the work that I do now is really sometimes I recall myself, like a recovering Taipei, you know, is about kind of recognizing that I have been in this very like over achieving ambitious perfectionist mindset and trying to figure out how to turn down the volume on that and be able to be a little bit more grounded and a little bit more present because all of that stuff, right? Kinda takes you out of the present moment and into the future right super future focused, and that's always a part of me. Like, you can't get you can't just get rid of it. But you know, trying to find the balance I want to stay in the past for a few more minutes in one interview. I read you describe to. Two key moments in your life that seemingly couldn't be more opposite seeing the stag in the rural woods of Lynchburg Virginia. And then the day your family got their first computer bring us back to that moment. I mean, it was I think I was about fifteen maybe one teenager for sure got our first computer. I don't remember exactly what happened on that day. But what I ended up doing was making Zine with it. And that was back when it was like really crappy clip, our, you know, type thing. Yeah. But I got really into it. And so I used to I design the Zine and on and on what it was like, what was the name of it. It was called crisp. And I had a matching tee shirt with like the masthead on it with like a drawing of women smoking a cigarette that I still have my brother while I was digging around in his stuff secretly. So I used to wear my t shirt, I would make the Zine. And I mean, I had like a little crew of like writers up my school, and you know, like essays poetry like music or is all the classic like teen Zine stuff, and then I would go. So this is really a precursor to the ninety nine you magazine that you made sure Lee is you had staff students working for you. This is incredible. No, it's pretty funny because so I I would print it out. And then I would my dad would take me to work, and I would make copies of that. And then we went my parents helped me we've like staple them together when I would wear my little shirt, and I would like pass them out at school. And then I had a good friend. Actually, we had a falling out. And then he started a warring Zine. The name of that. I think it was current. I think it's called spitting image actually these naming. And then he tried to steal some of my writers very nine. Oh, two hundred. Virginia. No, no, no. This was by this time. I was living outside of Houston, Texas. And clearly we're now now what were you hoping to do at that point in your life? What were you envisioning your future might be? What did you want to be as you got older? I don't know. I mean, I think always, you know, been a voracious reader since I don't, you know, since I learned how to read basically, I read every night before bed, generally speaking, and I've done that since I was probably nine or ten so reading writing, and then obviously kind of visine publishing as always sort of been in the mix, and I think as I've gotten older, it's really not even so much about writing per se as just like disseminating ideas, you know, thinking about things and digesting them, and then trying to sort of disseminate ideas, and I think really just give people some war context that provides some sort of comfort to them after high school you into Boston University where you studied French and American literature and screenwriting you graduated in nineteen ninety nine we planning on becoming a filmmaker. I definitely did. And. Still do have screenwriting editions. I have ever since then been writing screenplays on the side is done everything else that program, I actually like snuck into so I was undergrad, but I somehow finagled my way into the MFA screenwriting program. So I was able to just one. Finagle their way into different program. I don't will. It wasn't different. It was just like so I just got to take the main writing class like the actual MFA students had to do all this other stuff. But I just took the two it was like two years of one year long writing classes, you write a feature film. And then you write a feature adaptation, and I was in this weird honors program. That's a bit like the gallatin program at NYU, you got to kind of design your own major. So I think I don't know I talked to, you know, the head of the program, and I was like I really wanna take the screenwriting class. Like, what do you think? And then I talked to the professor, and I don't know, maybe I smooth talk to or something like that. But anyway, yeah, that's been an ongoing theme for me. So I learned have like notebooks notebooks of screenplays. And I am working right now actually short film with a friend of mine who is also the person who shot the videos for this course, that I just opened registration for and we have been good friends and sort of talking about working on. In various film projects for years and years and years. So yeah, you intern at MIT press, and from what I understand that impacted your view of the then current state of publishing is that. Correct. Well, so I worked at two different places at MIT. I worked at the MIT press, and like very junior role and at that time they actually had some of the best design book design that was happening. I don't know if you remember kind of that period during the time mural Cooper was there. Probably I wasn't old enough to like know anyone's name of who is doing the cool stuff. But I would imagine Sal, unlike zone books and some stuff like that. But so I was there, and then I actually worked at this separate office called the publishing services bureau, which was you'll actually find really interesting. It was an office that was specifically set up to help all of the different departments of MIT like unify their branding because people were doing completely. Terrible and ugly and mismatching stuff. And so it was this sort of like special design ops type of unit, but that led to my first job at an interactive web design firm would kind of lead me into the online space, and that that place that I worked at this small that was when it was called interactive design back in the day that was actually in this place in Maynard Massachusetts told mill outside of Boston where a lot of the pre dot bomb companies like monster dot com had set up shop. And so we were working in the space, and I got laid off actually when the dot bomb happened, and in this space like all these companies were going under and you just started see like discarded office, furniture and stuff, and it got kinda grim. But so that really got me into the the sort of online space, which was pretty I think formative after you were laid off you moved to New York City. Where you began volunteering for the cultural website flavor pill in its early days. Now from what I understand volunteering means. You a working for free. How did you find them in? What did you think about working there for free? We'll so that I found them through. It was my previous boss at this interactive design firm, you know, she was like we're still really close friends just sort of like want to lay me off. They like cried when they laid me off. And anyway, so we stayed in touch. And she was like, oh, I know this I got this Email newsletter flavor pellets. Awesome. Like, you should check it out. And I was trying I was doing like freelance copy writing, and, you know, stuff of that nature and just kind of trying to figure out what I was doing in New York. So I think I just got in touch with them. And they were like, yeah, we could use some help. And I mean, it was just these two guys. And it was just like very improvisational. I think kind of at that point. Yes. Voluntarily a couple of hours for free. It wasn't like, you know, slave labor or something like that. But then eventually evolved into. To me being their first fulltime employees and for people who don't have context flavor pill still exists at that time. It was kind of part of this sort of like new rise of Email, newsletters, that was also at the time that like daily candy was really popular. And so this kind of dating and exactly that kind of wave of disseminating information, and they were kind of like a super curated sort of like, you know, time out type of cultural listings after that experience. I understand you went west to work for a music website. But things didn't go exactly as planned. And you said this about the experience after five years, I got offered a job in LA to make a not so cool music website. Really cool. I was offered more salary than I'd ever made it sounded like a great plan. But it turned out not to be what I hit anticipated. What what? Wrong. Well, so I had been working at flavor pilfer think about five years on and so two gone from one employee me to about thirty. I think I was managing a team of twenty five people with a global editor by the time you left. I was the global editor who quite a title. You know, it was one of the things we were kind of like, I think I've done everything I can do here. And it's time to move on. And the CEO of this company artists direct at the time, which was a sprawling music website. But like very like not good looking, you know, kind of like I love what you've done with flavor pill. You know, I want to overhaul this website. And I was like great. And I think because the foam can action I was like moving to LA like kind of into it like, let's check it out. But what happened was that, you know, the rest of the crew was like not on board with the CEO's plan to overhaul the site. You know, it was just one of those situations, and it was like a very corporate. It wasn't big. But it was a very corporate feeling company. And then the guy the the one guy I was working for who wasn't directly. This wasn't the CEO. I think quit two months after I got there something the guy who I did like. And so it was just one of those things where you know, you kind of get one presentation of what's going to happen. And then you get in there. And you're like, oh, this is completely different. But it was great because I was only there for ten months, and then I ended up quitting. And I ended up moving back to New York because I was very lonely in L A and was also in a relationship with someone in New York. But I'm really glad that I did it because I learned a couple of things which were one that I didn't like working in a corporate environment that I really liked working and either on my own or in a startup environment like environments where you have a lot of autonomy and a lot of freedom to just you know, mixed off and put it out there. And no one's trying to kind of like, you don't have to checkered sessions through you know, big chain of people and also that doing work that was meaningful to me with so much more important than making money. And it wasn't even like that much money that I was making. There was just like more money than I'd ever made before. So, you know, those two pieces of information of about thirty at the time that was incredibly valuable to have just learned that and, you know, ten months is in a very long time to like learn this very important lesson about you know, that kind of guides the rest of your career. So I think the definitely a failure on one level. But I mean, that's what's great about failing is it's very informational, especially when you're young I left my very first job which actually liked to great deal. But was intimidated by the people that were better than me. I was making very little money. It was really hard to live. I got a job, and this is back in the early eighties for ten thousand dollars more than I was making which essentially doubling my salary, and it wasn't a good job. It was good money for me. But I knew even before I got there that I'd. Made a mistake. And I remember the last day at my that that first job, and I remember going home back to my apartment my fourth floor tenement walkup going into my bedroom. Getting into my bed fully clothed, pulling the blankets over my head and crying because I knew I had made a bad decision. And I had and it was a year of being miserable in this job that I hated there is something to be said for a balance between making enough money to survive and having some semblance of happiness with whatever it is you're doing, but you don't learn that to later you came back to New York and met Scott Belsky, tell us you hit it off right off the bed. Scott was putting together this site called behinds and to take us back to that experience. Take us back to the beginnings of this sort of John Lennon, Paul McCartney esque type relationship. Well, when I met Scott, it would have been two thousand eight Behan was well underway. That point I think it was founded in two thousand six and I met Scott because I've actually helping I was back in New York, and I was like doing some aditorial consulting again kind of like okay figuring out. My next move type of thing in front of mine and asked me to interview Scott. And so I took him up on and we really hit it off and some stuff happened in between, but cut to a couple months later, and it turned out that Scott had gotten the book deal for his first book making ideas happen. And I was at the time gas what working on a screenplay, and I was like I'm having trouble finishing the screenplay. Like, maybe if a work on the spoke with this guy about like making ideas happen like learn some stuff that's going to help me finish this. I had at that point, you know, a sort of extensive background in editing and publishing as well. And so Scott. Is like here like CEO of a startup that's eating up all of his time. But he also has to get together this book manuscript in and do it for the first time in part of it was a lot of interviews. So he asked me to kind of come on sort of a kind of like a show runner, you know, helping him like coordinate. The interviews, and you know, just sounding board like kind of first line of defense editor to like keep them on track. The book came out at degrade. And we were kind of like, okay. What are we gonna like we really like working together? Like what's going to happen now? And before we got to that point. I think the book released in April of two thousand nine beheads how the I ninety nine you conference which was and it was actually called ninety nine percent right until tell us why it was based on the Thomas Edison, quote genius is one percent inspiration and ninety nine percent, perspiration. And it was really about kind of pushing back on this idea. You know, there's tons of kind of information and conferences and talks around creative. Vity, but they were all really focused on inspiration. Right. And the idea was you know, what like having ideas is not the hard part. You know, follow bizzare, easy exactly following through on. Those ideas is like the thing that we all struggle with right? And so the conference was really about that idea. Like, let's get people to talk about the hard stuff. Let's get them to talk about the like nitty gritty stuff that they don't usually talk about not the sort of Pat story of overnight success. And so I tended the first conference, and I did some sessions with Scott which were around like the book and stuff like that. It was originally put together by Jerry Chow. Who later started the peace conference and Michael Carr. Jennifer corn. Who later founded skill share Michael was at Behan Jerry was like doing her own thing. But came on just for the conference anyway, long story short Michael ended up moving on from began soon after that the conference in really resonated with people in me got we're kind of wrapping up our book projects. And so I was consulting with editorial league because we decided basically that we wanted to spin ninety nine you off into like a larger brand the percentage went to you for university. Will there that's later? I'll tell you, okay. Jumping ahead. But yeah, so we decided, you know, to kind of spin it out into a larger brand that was actually this thing called the BI Han's magazine, which was inside Behan, which was sort of this nascent almost ninety nine you. But so anyway, Michael ended up leaving. And then we were developing this bigger project, and Scott was like, do you want to come on and lead it, and so, you know, basically came on to lead the website is we built the website into this resource interviews articles tips later, the videos from the conference, and then the conference and then later, you know, book series that I did and the switch to ninety nine you actually happened. It would have been. I'm not sure what year it was two thousand ten or twenty eleven was when Occupy Wall street happened. And so basically our brand got occupied. We're literally we have these giant ninety nine nine and a percent that we used to put on stage at the conference. We're literally like packing them up to carry them to go to the conference, which we would have been like April or mayor of each year. We had an office on Broadway. And so hold that time. And there was actually an Occupy Wall street March that happens, so we're like carrying are ninety nine percents. There's literally people on the street below chanting. We are the ninety nine percent. And it was like, okay. We have a branding problem. Like, we're gonna do something about this. And so then later became ninety nine you because it was kind of like, well, this is you know, it's sort of been taken away from us. This is this is the people's brand. Now now is it true that when you realize you working for a how to website you became horrified? Well, not how to is certain point. I was like oh my God. I I run a self help website. But then the the next thought was, but it helps people so there's no way for me to say that I'm not in the sort of self helps base so to speak, but I really strongly sort of don't identify with the mood of a lot of everything in the realm of south help. I don't even really like the phrase south help. But I do think that people need help. It's interesting because it's self help. But it's not help that. You're you're providing yourself you're getting it from someone else. It doesn't really work as a precise precisely. But I think my problem with the space is that the thing that's so messed up about so much of the self help advice that we read that we just sort of soak up all around us is that it makes you feel bad about yourself. It doesn't make you feel good about yourself. It makes you feel like you're not doing enough. It makes you feel like you have to work harder. You have to you could be optimizing your productivity. He says, you know, or you should be hustling or side hustling, you have to hustle during the day. Now, you have to side, exactly. And you know, all this stuff. It's very like is very this like aggressive this Taipei this over achieving type of mentality, and it just creates a lot of anxiety. Right. It doesn't help. It doesn't help you feel better about. Anything it just makes you feel worse about yourself. And I really don't want to create anything that does that, you know. So it's it's really about kind of trying to provide stuff that's useful to people, but that has a very different. I think mood and flavor to so there, you are you are running the conference and the magazine and the website, and you're writing bestselling books and spearheading all sorts of brilliance, and this is what you have written. I was intoxicated with my own productivity. I got wildly ambitious and decided to three times my workload. Adding multiple massive new projects of my own devising to an already intensive work schedule by the end of that year. I had produced a shit ton of incredible things. But I was burnt out husks of a person you'd get home from work have a beer order food than watch. Netflix repeat, you're neglecting, your girlfriend and your friends Dawson. My question is this. How did? Did you make this realization that you were burnt out and needed to do something about it? When you're in that mode of overproduction, it's incredibly hard to see anything objectively. We'll so to give a little back story on that. So that was twenty thirteen and I was at ninety nine you. And we were at the point where there are a couple of things happening. We had decided to expand the conference. So we took it from about four hundred people to the time Senator by thousands people at Lincoln center, so, you know, more than double the size, huge, venue, etc. Etc. And then also that year I decided to add on another event, which was the single the pop up school, which was really fun three day event. But that we produced on twice as fast as the conference on half the budget. And then that was also the year that I began publishing this book series that I made and we actually published two of the books in the first six months one book to coincide with the first conference and the second book to coincide with the pop up school and you've published books before. So you know, that you know. Publishing. A book alone is like a huge push. So anyway, all these things are happening. And I think as the it was about two weeks out from the second book publishing and doing this other event. And I remember calling my brother on the phone, and I think I just started. I just started weeping. And if you're in this overworked state, sometimes you cry I think just like for release. It's not because like anything's particularly upsetting or maybe you're anxious. But it's literally just a form of release in the same way. That laughter is. And he was like what how can I help you and it was like semi packet. I just went get like something good in the mail. And so he sent me this package. It was one of those beautiful things I've ever received at had this image that he had made my brother's an artist. And it was this little postcard. Well, he hadn't made the image. It was a print out of this image from zipper skied point, the Antognoni movie, the one in the desert where the pickup truck is on fire, and there's this huge plume of smoke. And then there's sort of like, you know, hot woman with like long hair just like standing like looking at the blaze then on the back. It said it was a little note from him. And it said I've created this machine. It's like a new art project. And what happens is you like feed in some information about you. And then it feeds out an image that like is your feature, and like this is the image. I got well. And then he gave me a deck of tarot cards. And I was like looking at that. And I was like I really think I do want to set everything on fire. Like that sounds like a really good idea. And so I think you know, kind of having that like moment where you're like. Wow. I could just look like I could just light all this on fire. It would feel really good. It's kind of like what does that? What does that mean? Well, what did it mean? Because you did try to cut back. I did try to cut back. But I want to finish one part of the story, which is funny, which is that I was also like an what's who's this woman with long hair? And at this time, I very short hair. Now, we are five years later, I have long hair. And I think I lit it on fire. So it was you. But if a good brother, I have a brother, so what changed was the? Yeah. Well, will you cut back a bid you didn't you didn't cut back everything right away? He didn't just burn it down. I didn't just burn it down. No. I mean, a couple of things happens that was also the year. So the end of that year be hands was acquired by Dobie. Just of course, you know, significantly larger company that works at a very different pace and begins really like maintained its kind of autonomy in the start up culture. But you know, it was sort of an also an opportunity to slow down a little bit. I just said like, I'm not gonna you know, not gonna take on this level of things anymore. And also, you know, this this book series and stuff like I'd already gotten through this kind of a wave, or at least most of a wave of like things that I had that I had committed to you know, it's not about getting rid of things. It's about examining. How many things you're saying? Yes to and how many things you're taking on. On. And I ended up staying up behinds for probably there for maybe a year and a half after that or so, but then I ended up leaving and just kind of you know, finally sort of going out on my own not going to another job. And I think that period was really when I served began like kind of reflecting and thinking about okay, like, how am I gonna rebuild myself and my life and my career in a way that is going to be essentially more sustainable and not going to get to the state in the future room. Like, I late everything on fire. You wrote this about the six months after I began trying to slow down for six months after I slow down. I woke up with a strange buzzing sensation my body throwing with energy stuck in a rhythm after years of overwork. My body was continuing to release the excess amount of adrenaline that. They had previously needed to get through the day. It became clear that I needed to do more than just work less head. To rehabilitate, my mind and body and shed years of bullshit and bad habits. So take you thirty months to get over this at which point you went to an acupuncturist, you saw therapist a trainer a life. Coach osaman Iraqi Hiller. From all the things that you did to try to get back to yourself, can you identify one that you feel was the most crucial. Yeah. Well, so I I went to see the shaman. It was two thousand fourteen and I went on. And I want us good journey, but just in like a one on one setting and this was a little bit before it's become increasingly popular, Michael Polin room. You know bestselling book about that'll do it. Right. But so it was a little bit more. Like, what am I getting into you know, at that? At that point. Because I didn't know I there was one person who I had met who had recommended this person to me and said, okay. This is a good person. Like, I had great experienced. You know, go do this. I went to see her. And the interesting thing was, you know, many people go journeys many people have different experiences. People envisions, you know, some people go flying through space my experience was that afterwards. I didn't have any anxiety for about three weeks. It was just like what is that? Like, it's mazing. I can't imagine. It's absolutely incredible. And. What? And so it came back. I'd like to have an anxiety free. Our right. It's it's amazing. And so it came back eventually three weeks later. But what was so transformative about that experience was it? It just allowed me to recognize that the exile was something separate for me that wasn't part of my identity. Like, I thought that I was an anxious person. Like, I thought that was part of my dentistry. And so I realized that it wasn't part of my done at it was a layer that I myself was adding, you know, like an ingredient that I was adding into the recipe or maybe a byproduct of the ingredients that I was like stirring into my life. Then, you know, the kind of subsequent time after that just became a, you know, in it's something I'm still doing kind of thinking about okay? How can I get back to that place and a new, but knowing that it is possible to get back to that place? You know, and. Yeah. I mean, I think just having really incredible to have those moments where you know, you just it's not that you like don't have worries, but it's just that they sort of pop up and you're like, well, you know, I can't do anything about that. Or you know, we'll do this about that. And then you just kind of move on, you know, and you're not cycling. Well, worry is such an interesting thing because it really doesn't do anything other than distract you from what you can't control. We're when you quit this big job where you doing so much the books the conference, the website, the magazine, we you scare did you think who am I without this work? I wasn't scared. I'm always like excited to do the next thing. Like, I'm always very like no regrets. Let's move forward. But what was really challenging? And I think this is challenging anytime. You move on from any, you know, it was very deeply identified with that job. You know, I got to do a lot of incredible things got to create a lot of incredible things. I worked with an amazing group of people. Right. And so all of that was all that structure was gone. All this relationships were gone early. You know, still know some of those people that you know, what I'm saying. But I think what is so hard is figuring out. It takes a while to separate what you want from what that old you wanted. You know? So I would say it took me at least a year or two to kind of pull apart those threads into say, oh, this is part of me that still has this. It's like almost like this some momentum from the old job. Right. Like, these were the ideas, and the, you know, ambitions, and the focus that I happen this job, and it, and it has some mental that has to run out. You can't stop it. Right. And so you kind of have to let that momentum spool out, and then you can kind of get in there and be like, okay. Like, this is something like that used to be part of that job. But maybe it wasn't something that I personally aspire to or interested in kind of pull those threads apart and start to really figure that out. But I think that's a long that's a long process when you left did you have a sense of what was you've wanted to do next. Or was it going to be something where you will go into allow sort of the universe or your own intentions to manifest slowly? I think the time I wanted to write a book about. Careers. I have this whole like massive thing mapped out and kept trying to do it. And then I was like I don't like I just couldn't get into it. Even though like intellectually, I was like I'm going to do this. And so the book that I wrote about E mail, which is still funny to me that I wrote a book about Email, actually, I wrote it as just sort of like an exercise like I was like, well, you know, have some stuff to say about this like let me just I'm just gonna like like doing scales or something. I was like let me just get into. This is a very good book for our listeners. It's called unsubscribe actually have some questions about the book that this might be a good time. Yeah. No. It is a good book. But it's very specific. Right. And I tend to like to have a much broader lens than that book sort of represents. But it's interesting like, I, you know, I still say like, oh, it's kind of funny that I wrote that book, but what that book did for me was that many many things one of them was it got me to do more public speaking and to become comfortable with public speaking. Which was. You know to become comfortable with public speaking as a really magical and wonderful thing, very useful in life. Also removes a lot of anxiety from things in it also helped me connect with a lot of a lot of people who would become helpful kind of later on or play a role later on in my life. So I think it's kind of never know what's gonna come out of these things unsubscribe takes on the age of distraction by focusing on Email, and as you told one interviewer, what do we do as creative? People living in a world that seems increasingly designed to sabotage the focus necessary to produce great work. How did we get here as creative people? So completely over dependent on technology. Well, I think specifically when you're talking about creative people one of the things that makes us creative is something that I read this really funny study that had a good term for it. It was called leaky attention. And basically what that means is often not being fully focused, but being a little bit permeable right to what's going on around you. Right. And that's how you know, you notice that little thing maybe that someone else would notice or you get that little hit of inspiration. Right. But it's it's as idea of are also, even if you talk about it in terms of the big five personality traits society of openness right being open to things coming in. But we're really in this in this moment where this idea of openness is deeply problematic for getting any work done. Right. And you know, obviously, you know, track it back specifically to things like. The open plan office. But I think we live in this moment where we have so many different technologies that are pulling us in different directions. And also the just allow so many people access to us. Right. And so if you're in this open state is deeply problematic. I think about it the sort of metaphor that I like to use is thinking about having a physical self and a digital self right? And so you have this physical self, which is you know, you and your body and you have twenty four hours in a day. And you know, you have hard kind of limits your time and your physical energy. But now, we have this digital self right in this digital self is basically like, let's look at it like a collection of inboxes, right? Your Email inbox in your Lincoln, boxer Twitter, dams and your Instagram messages and all of these things, right? And those in boxes have an infinite capacity. I never like Email units like. Debbie's busy like daddy. Can't take on any more like an bounces back to me. Right. That doesn't happen. It's just infinite it goes on forever. Right. And so that's what's so problematic about the digital spaces it assumes like an infinite capacity. And so that really has shifted the onus of the responsibility of setting boundaries on to us, and I think setting boundaries and saying no is difficult for anyone. But I think it's in direct conflict with some of the things that make you a really good creative person, which is this openness, right? And so I think a lot of people who are in that space find it incredibly difficult to make a practice of setting boundaries and to make a practice of setting. No. But which is something that really is just a requirement of existing in the world today, if you actually want to stay focused on the things that matter you combating these issues seem to dovetail perfectly into. The need for the new class that you've just launched its called reset a lot of successful writers often say that they wrote the book that they wanted to read for this project. Did you invent the course that you wish had been around to help you when you needed it? You know, I wouldn't. I mean, maybe. I wouldn't put it that way. But yes, I mean, so I think going back to what I was saying earlier right about this idea of kind of self help industry, and even a lot of the advice that we receive being very kind of toxic. I think that the the kind of whole idea around reset was I was super conscious in everything I did an in particularly in the language to make it feel like there's nothing wrong with you. Right. It's not there's anything wrong with you. It's just that you maybe need to actually it's all about kind of getting back into yourself and getting back in touch with your body. I think technology really pulls us out of our bodies. And so really like kind of getting back into your body. Understanding what the natural rhythms of your energy are. So that you can learn how to align your work with that. And also, it's a lot about like context. So some of the stuff that I'm. Talking about now. Like, I feel like it's such a comfort to people in such a help to understand like, oh, this is what the context is. Right. Like, the rise of remote working like the sort of collapse of any type of hierarchy, right? This idea that I can completely work for myself. Okay. Great. That's amazing. That's empowering. But would it also means is like the onus of responsibility of managing everything is like on you now. Right. Like, you don't have a manager to help you. You don't have a very structured work environment. You know, you don't have these boundaries that used to be created for you. Right. Which is liberating. But it also means that then you have to learn how to set those boundaries. And if you're a person who has a problem with boundaries or saying, no, right? You're doomed when I think an and I think that like people just feel like it's a personal shortcoming. But when you can kind of provide some context and say, no, no, no, this is happening to all of us, and like here, this is why it's happening to us. All of us. And okay, like, here's how we can think about it. And then here's some strategies we use because a lot of what happens with so much of the advice that we get is. It's out of context is just like an it's sort of like, okay. If you like process your Email this way, like that's going to solve all your problems and sorta like well for like, how does this fit into the big picture? You know? Yeah. Also, the Email is a microcosm of all the problems. We have with any addictive technologic precisely precisely. Yeah. That was actually what I said about unsubscribe is like, that's why Email is interesting to me because if you can master your relationship with Email, you know, those skills extend to to everything else. But so I totally didn't answer your question about reset, really. Well, why did you decide to to make this class in the first place? What what gave you the motivation to do this? We'll so I think you know, when I was talking about right when I left ninety nine you and pulling out those threads like what matters to me. And what matters, you know, what was just part of that job. But when I was, you know, in that job, all I was doing was interview. Doing people and writing about and studying like what makes creative people productive, and what helps them build incredible careers inside this incredible. Like font of you know, just sort of knowledge and research from doing all of that work. And so that was kind of a ninety nine UP's. But then I also had this journey that I had gone on right to like recover from burn out and integrate these other layers, I think of like sort of consciousness and thinking about being present and thinking about being more on your body. And also just thinking about like this idea of. Taking a much more gentle sort of forgiving attitude towards ourselves. And how we think about our productivity, and how that actually freeze things up and helps you kind of let go of anxiety and helps you actually kind of move through your day and much more calm and confident and also productive manner. And so it was really like figuring out. Okay. How do we use these things? How do I take all the stuff? That's literally like core research about what makes people productive. And then how do I take the stuff about like, okay? How do we like figure out how to not be anxious? And how do we figure out how to be more present? And how do we figure out how to be back in our bodies? And then take those two things and fuse them together into something. That was like, okay. How do we how do we really do this? Like we live in a world where? Yeah, we want to be creative. And we want to be productive. But also, we don't wanna go insane. You know, and we don't want to burn out. And so that was really like, okay. Let's pull these. Strands together and create something that's going to help people be able to make that transformation than I made. Do you feel that creative? People are more apt to burn out than other types of disciplines. I don't know that I would say they're more apt to burn out. But I think they're more apt to have problems setting boundaries. So maybe by the you know, as an extension of that that might sort of be sort of a natural byproduct. You've said that slowing down makes you more productive. It's not what people want to hear. But it's true. Can you elaborate on how that works? Well, it's what my entire podcast is about. So we might need like six hundred hours you something to do it. I think what it is is that when you are constantly speeding along, right? When you're constantly in this rush. A couple of different things happen you become incredibly reactive. Right. And so when you become incredibly reactive what happens is you begin to be controlled by other people's priorities. Right. All of these emails and tax and things that we were talking about. They're just they're going to keep coming into your life. Right. What happens when you slow down is that you're able to pull back, right? And you're able to see the big picture, and you're able to think about your priorities, and then you're able to act and make decisions based on those priorities when you are going fast, and you're constantly kind of over busy you end up having a kind of tunnel vision. And this is really great book called scarcity that they talk about the Sen. it's. These two researchers, and they looked at two things actually they looked at money scarcity, and they looked at times scarcity, and when you're living in a state of constant time, scarcity or money scarcity, but time scarcity is probably more relevant to most people listening you get into this state of tunnel vision. And what happens is it makes you less forward thinking it makes you less controlled and makes you less insightful. Because you're just all you can do is react, right? All you can do is think about the next thing. But if you think about the skills that you need to be a good creative. Right. You need to be forward thinking you need to be able to be controlled. So that you can kind of manage what you need to do. Right. And obviously you need to be insightful. Right. And so all those are all the things they get peeled away. When you're kind of zooming forward and just taking things on taking things off, and you know, reacting and reacting and reacting there's so many things. One can talk about in this context. But I think that's the biggest one is that you just really get into this tunnel vision reactive mode. And you know, guess what? Here you are technology is happy to tell you what to do with your time. But like, do you want someone else to tell you what to do with your time or do you wanna tell yourself? What to do? You know? Do you want to set the priorities from cultural anthropological point of view? When did you see busy as a badge come to? Figure into the way we see the notion of how we spend our time. I mean, I think I feel like there was probably a moment about like some are between ten and five and ten years ago that I think we were really, and I think it was that first rush right of the smartphone of technology. Right. The smartphone is the thing that changed everything. Right. This idea that then your work could follow you around. Right. That's absolutely changed. Everything about the way that we work in the way that we feel you know, because we have this thing that can kind of always bring everyone else into our lives. So I feel like it was really like a couple of years after we got smartphones. You know, you're kinda intoxicated. Like, this is amazing. You know, like, I literally remember when I was at flavor Paul watching the video introduction for the first iphone, you know, and they're like going in tapping things and zooming and we were like well. This is amazing. You know? So I think we got to this point where we were like. Yeah. This busy as good like. Yeah. And then I think we're really arriving at that point. Now where we're like is busy good. Like, I think maybe I'm a little too busy. You know? I frequently ask people when I give talks who feels like they work, really hard. You know, raise your hand. Almost everyone never really raises her hand say, okay. How many of you could keep working at this pace for the next five ten years all the hands? Go down almost no maybe one or two, you know, like really over Jeevan types when keep their hand up. And I think we're all feeling that, you know, we're starting to get to that, you know, moment, you know, in like the movie sequence where it's kind of like. Wait. Okay. Wait is this working like what's going on? You know, you start to kind of like rewind and start to think about like reframing things a little bit. And I think we're at that moment where we're like. Okay. I know I can't sustain this. But like people don't know what to do, you know, because it's also like this is how we live. This is how we live in. And this is who we've become and we're so immersed in that speed that t- to change that or shift added in any way, seems terrifying in October two thousand seventeen you launched your podcast. Hurry, slowly, you've done thirty seven episodes to date in one episode. You posed a question that I've been obsessed with ever since you ask who were you without the doing, and I've been thinking about that ever since hell long. Did it take you to find out? And how would you answer that question? So this question came from the shaman who I referred to earlier. Right. That was actually on that. I subsequently for years later went back to see her this summer. So on the on the occasional my forty first birthday. But the first time that I seen her when I had that feeling of no anxiety. She had asked me who are you without the doing? And I was like what are you talking about like? What and probably similar to your reaction about it. And then I I why we did not get to an answer. Like, I was just like, I don't know. But it stuck with me. But by the time that I went back to see her for years later. I had forgotten about this question. And I was like oh here. She is with it again. But this time we were actually able to get to the answer. And it's interesting because a lot of people have listened to that episode, and they're kind of have the same reaction. They're kind of like a God. I don't know and says there are two things that she told me to kind of that we're able to help me think about it the I was thinking about like, okay. If you weren't, you know, Debbie Melman with all of your career trappings, like if you you know, were a bus driver. You were a lawyer you were a waitress in a diner. Like, what's the thing? That would be you know, kind of the essence that you would bring like it didn't doesn't matter. What you do like wherever you were. Right. Any type of job? So that's one way to think about it. And the other thing is just thinking about like. He know yourself as as a small child right as this kind of untouched being right and someone who doesn't have him, visions, right? Like someone who's not trying to achieve anything yet. Like if you can picture yourself. Hopefully, there was a moment in life. You know, where you were in that state where you weren't like just thinking about what you wanted to achieve you know? And what was super productivity is worse for value. Yeah. What was your essence than you know, who were you? And as we were doing this exercise. I'd like very clear picture like I had a specific image of the specific photo that I have of myself, and I was like looking at that person and like thinking about that little person. So my answer ended up being lighthearted like that. That was kind of my thing that I bring and you, and I know each other, and you know, you know, that sort of like being I think playful and kind of poking, but like trying to like also like I think bring. Something to light. You know is kind of a core sort of quality of mine in any kind of situation. And yeah, so that was that was where I ended up with which like felt like the right thing for me. But it's something different for everyone in what's interesting is when people. Have followed up with me, I've gotten a number of emails and conversation with people about it. They all seem scared about what they'll find. Well, then it forces you to potentially consider alternative ways of being right? But my thought is that what you'll find is actually something quite beautiful that it's peeling away those layers of kind of anxiety and Bishen, and man and just finding that like little core. You know, that was like what you were like when you were like four five, and you were like that open care free trusting little person. So reset is four weeks you breakdown how to reclaim your intention in week. One had a reclaim your energy and week to had to reclaim your boundaries in week three and how to reclaim your ideas in week four. Does it help a person understand who they are without all the doing? Well, part of the program of reset the the core part is these video lessons, right, especially twelve video lessons, but they're also accompanied by these meditations for anyone who the course opened yesterday in for anyone who signed up, actually, they just got the first meditation today, and the meditations are really the piece of it. That's actually about kind of like opening up space the first meditation, for instance, is actually a lot about self talk. So how do you talk to yourself in your head? And I give some people some sort of specific prompts and things to think about like are you talking to yourself in this way? Like, you know, could you maybe think about you know, just observe that? And maybe, you know, think about this because I think the so much of this doing in this idea of cheating and this pressure that we put on ourselves. It comes from that internal voice, right? There's like this. I think for some of us. There's almost like. Kind of hectoring. Not enough. I'm not good enough. Right. And so it's so those meditations are very much about, you know, they're not explicitly about self talk all of them the first one is. But it's it's about kind of starting to think about and observe how you are internally driving yourself, and how you're framing things the distinction that I make and go back to what I was talking about earlier with a lot of the sort of productivity advice that we receive. It's all like action oriented, right? So it's like things you can do or how to do something to get more done. Right. And I cover that. In recently. We talk about actions when you talk about like, how to align your energy with the natural rhythms of your body, for instance, or how to align your attention with you actually say that productivity is really about what you don't do it. That's like a complete revelation. Innings still thinking that. But what I was going to say is you have this one piece which is actions, and that's what almost everything that we intake focused on. But then there's also mindset, right and mindset is to actions or how you do your work. In mindset is how you frame your work, and how you frame your work impacts your mood, it impacts, your motivation in an impacts how you feel, but we never talk about that part the mindset part. And so a lot of reset in particular, some of the meditations or about like how to really shift that mindset because right? It's really a matter of perspective. Can you examples of of how you can reframe that? Well, so one thing that I've been doing recently is thinking about how much in my head. I say you need to do this right in your head constantly. Okay. Got I need to do this by Friday. I need to do this. And this this I need to need to I need to I need to write. And every time I do that. That I try to think about okay like how could I rephrase like in? It's like, right. It's it's not like, I'm in control. It's like there's a second hardy here. He's like you need to do this. Right. Which is like, then I'm like, okay. Like, I guess I'll do it. Right. And it's very like anxiety producing type of relationship at type of self talk. So I think about how can I reframe this? So that I'm owning this thing is there way that I could reframe this. So that actually want to do the thing or if I really can't reframe it like, can I let it go. Or should. I be saying no to the thing or how you know. And so that's just like a tiny shift like every time us curious self saying, I need to do this think about okay, we're like how can I rephrase that? So that I'm actually owning that thought, and as something that I want to do, and that starts to make you really conscious of the things you really don't want to do. And it also starts making conscious of like a more gentle way of framing things. So that you can actually get into it. You know, and it might be that. Like, you know, to give a very practical example, like let's say, I was editing something, and when I'm editing when I'm like, I need to edit this. I'm like going to do it onscreen on my computer, and I'm going to be hunched over it and feel kind of physically gross and wake up and like a zombie state. You know, a couple of hours later like pick my head up. But if I like print it out, and, you know, grab a pan, and I go like sit on my sofa, and I put like some music on and I'm still doing the editing. But like I'm in this like totally different modality where I'm like. Yeah. Like, I'm kind of into doing this. Now, you know, it has just framing right? It's just like, oh, I decided to do it this way not that way. And this is the thing that makes me really enjoy the process. Whereas if I'd done this other way, it wouldn't have enjoy the process at all. Because I think we're so focused on these outcomes in these achievements that we forget about the process, but the processes ninety nine percent of it. Right. And if you don't enjoy the process, and you're just kind of you're not really, you know, there's so much more that you could be doing to really be enjoying the work that you're making. Eve said that when you're working on something you ponder hell, you want your audience to feel is there. A single universal feeling that you want people to take away from reset comfort. I think comfort in their own skin comfort in their own world view. You know, it's funny because I think when people sign up for it. They're probably not like that's what I'm gonna take it from this is sort of a funny thing, I think, yes. Comfort in their own skin. But I think also like comfort like, okay? Like, I understand why felt compelled to work this way. And I also like I can see like, I see you know, what happened with technology. I see what happened with society. Like, I see why I was working in that way. But because now I see why that happened. I can see this other avenue over here that I can also take and it's like, oh my God. Like, I could make a right turn. I could take this exit off the highway and like be driving, you know, on the scenic route on the superhighway than I'm on right now. You know? And so just to have that feeling that you have more options, and that you have more control, and that there's a different way of doing things, and I think all of that adds up to a feeling of really deep comfort. Hopefully, just me have one last question for you that I can't imagine that you're not expecting at the end of your podcast. Hurry, slowly US every guests to set of questions among them this one. How do you define creativity in ten words or less? So, you know, I have to ask you Jocelyn, heavy you define creativity in ten words or less. I'm actually and I'm just saying Mr. totally own up to where I got this answer. This is an answer that someone gave me which I think is amazing who gave it to you Kim chambers. Okay. The amazing marathon swimmer. It's just self expression. Joscelyn K glomming, thank you for helping us make better sense of our time in this crazy world and thank you for joining today onto towbar. You can find out more about Jocelyn cake lion. J K glide that spill G L E dot com. You can listen to her Pence had curry slowly dot co boron tunes, and you can register for reset at reset, hyphen course dot com. This is the fourteenth year. I've been doing design matters. And like did thank you for listening. And remember we can talk about making a difference. We can make a difference or we can do both. I'm Debbie millman. And I look forward to talking with you again soon. For more information about design matters or to subscribe your newsletter. Go to Debbie millman dot com. If you love this podcast, please consider contributing to our drip, Kickstarter community members. Get early access to the podcast transcripts of every interview. Invitations to live interviews QNA sessions with guests and a brand new annual magazine, you can learn more about this at D dot rip slash Debbie slash millman. That's d dot rip slash Debbie dash millman. And if you really like this podcast, please write a review in the I tunes store and linked to the podcast on social media. Design matters is produced by Curtis FOX productions the show is published exclusively by design observer dot com and recorded that the school of visual arts masters in branding program in New York City, the editor in chief of design matters media is accurate Pettit. And the art director is Emily. Wiley, generous support for design matters media is provided by adobe XT and. Knicks dot com.