Letting go to start anew

On perfectionism and intergenerational trauma, movie highlights, history of money, and forgiving our days

Hi friend,

In the past few months, I've been juggling a tremendous amount of projects. Each day, I've been faced with the inevitable 24-hour countdown until the next day starts to squeeze in as much as I can before my attention dissolves into fatigue. (Learning to manage this ADHD brain better - bit by bit)

To top it all off, perfectionism has added a huge thorn to my days. Even as I write this newsletter, I find myself iterating and not being able to close it out in a timely manner. What I thought would take 30 minutes ends up taking hours to complete. When compounded over multiple creative projects throughout the day, it's no wonder my sleep and work schedules are so imbalanced at times.

For as long as I remember, I've always had this incessant need to give more than 100% effort to my work. From grade school to professional life, I've always been stuck in the weed with the details.

Although logically, I can sit back and write this newsletter on the detriment that perfection has on my work, while I'm in the thick of creative labor, I fall into a "tinkering trance" nip-tucking my work until the entire day has passed.

Trauma plays a huge role in driving this behavior. Where we were once judged, perfectionism aims to protect us from the pain of future judgments. “The more I tinker, the more control I have over this situation”

Except, these situations were never ours to control. How others judge our work is simply how others judge our work. Our perspective on what is "perfect" is never absolute for everyone else. We all have our own personal biases that affect the way we take in and accept work. And how we were once judged was most likely the trauma that was once inflicted upon others, passed down upon generations of other misguided judgments.

What would happen if we gave ourselves permission to let go of this vision of perfectionism and to create less-than-perfect outcomes? To put something down and to simply continue forth onto other things?

In embracing the beauty of imperfection, we begin to undo this intergenerational knot to make room for more within our lives.


What I’m up to

For queer Asians: Sunday, June 20 - Yellow Glitter Sparkes, Gaysian support group

For queer POC designers: Friday, June 25 - QTBIPOC Design Game Night!

For Asians: Sunday, June 27 - Asian American Healing Space

Talks

Wednesday, June 30 - Techlahoma

Latest work

Yellow Glitter Podcast - On Activism & Asian Culture

We are Overworked - Pride Beyond Parades - How to be an Ally

INTO - How I found love & acceptance for my traditional Asian mother


Movie highlights

Discovered this new tool called Flim where you can search through various movie clips based on whatever keyword you’re thinking of. Dog, cat, snowman - the results are quite powerful.

Principles and history of money

Recently finished and loved the nuggets of timeless insights in the book, The Psychology of money by Morgan Housel. The book is split into 20 psychological principles of money, which is easy to read and puts “saving” in a whole new context. At the end of the book, there is a wonderful chronological history of money, starting with the end of WWII in 1945 to today, and how money as a concept has evolved over time. Extremely fascinating and made me better understand the current state of the world we’re in.

It’s not all lost…

“Instead of feeling that you've blown the day and thinking, “I’ll get back on track tomorrow,” try thinking of each day as a set of four quarters: morning, midday, afternoon, evening. If you blow one quarter, you get back on track for the next quarter. Fail small, not big.” - Gretchen Rubin

As always, thanks for reading!

P.S. If you enjoyed this, share or sign up here: mindfulmoments.substack.com

Anything else? You can always hit "reply" to email me directly. 💌

Have a beautiful day!

Metta (loving-kindness),
Steven

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