If you’re considering expanding your career beyond one track, but have no idea where to start, feel free to borrow from mine

Image: Leonardo da Vinci by Raffaello Morghen/The Cleveland Museum of Art

When I did the Career Cruising tests in tenth grade, I always got the impression I had to pick one career and stick with it. Of course, I don’t remember much about the results I got — those tests sucked anyway! — and I definitely don’t remember them telling me that I could add a hyphen, or a slash, and Frankenstein the careers up.

As it turns out, I could! My parents always told me I was a generalist, explaining I’d have to work hard to specialize, which was exceptionally true for their generation. But these days, being a generalist…


There Is No Right Way to Do This

Creativity isn’t just the new productivity. It’s also about wellness

Image: The Dropping Well at Knar Knarcsborough by Francis Nicholson/Art Institute of Chicago

In 74 years, Betty Harper has drawn 20,000 images of Elvis Presley. That didn’t stop in the pandemic. “Since the pandemic, I’ve probably done almost a hundred pictures of Elvis,” she says. “It’s kind of relaxing. It’s like comfort food. You know the face so well.” Harper might have stumbled into creative wellness, but she certainly isn’t the only person who finds these repetitive rituals soothing.

Christine Watson has written a haiku each day of the pandemic — so far, she’s approaching 300 days. When Justin Yong’s photography work dried up, he took up quilting. …


The full version of this article is available at my website. I’d prefer you read it there!

On May 27, 2013, I wrote and published my first blog post at Medium. Designed in Toronto by Teehan+Lax, Medium made writing look and feel like it was worth your attention. Especially if a person didn’t blog regularly, Medium gave them a place to tell their stories. A lot of things have changed over the years, but one thing hasn’t: over eight years and 168 posts later, and I’m still writing at Medium.

There are many reasons for me to keep publishing at Medium: over 10,000 people have chosen to follow my work there. Also, thanks in no small part…


Best of Books

Steve Jobs had no shortage of techniques that made him the leader that started Apple, and reversed its misfortunes in its later years.

Still, one has always stood out to me: through a combination of willpower, hope, charm, perseverance, and pressure — and probably some phrases that could fit into a poem about hope (“Real artists ship” being the most famous) — Jobs got people to do what they thought would be impossible.

This might be as simple as creating software in really tight timelines, or flawlessly presenting an unready prototype. His teammates called this his reality distortion field. It…


Best of Books

Books won’t make you a billionaire, mentor you, or extend your life. And that’s the way it’s supposed to be.

Image: Jilbert Ebrahimi/Unsplash

The concept and performance of reading is starting to overshadow the actual activity these days. For example, billionaires read books — therefore, reading makes you rich. Authors are likened to mentors. Reading makes you live a thousand lives.

At the end of the day, there are a ton of perks to reading. And I’m all for promoting reading as an activity. There is a social justification for this — studies suggest that reading can make people smarter, more empathetic, and so on.

But if we keep going down this route, people will inevitably get tired of this type of messaging


There Is No Right Way to Do This

Don’t look for the right way to be creative. Sometimes, the mistakes are the best parts.

Image: Fighting Orchids, Janus de Winter, 1917/Rijksstudio

Perfectionism is deceptive; it does its work in many disguises. One of these is in seeking permission to do what you want to do, through excessive research and looking for some version of “the right way.”

It’s natural to crave certainty. We want structure to take less risk. We want a “tried and true” method that generally works. And we, as the people in this case, tend to confuse this feeling of certainty with objective likelihood.

Savvy marketers, authors, teachers, and information entrepreneurs notice this craving. …


There Is No Right Way to Do This

Your passion may be staring you in the face — just look around.

Image: Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

Sometimes, people ask me how I found my passion, or when I realized I liked to write. And writing is, very much, a labor of love. For example, I’ve been writing at Medium since 2013. Claps were hearts, nobody knew what it was, there was no Partner Program. And even before that, I was blogging since I was 15.

I never bought any books on passion or took any tests. If you think that’ll help, I say go for it — but I have a hunch that you already know what your passion is. Maybe you just can’t access or…


There Is No Right Way to Do This

My guest post for #The100DayProject

Image: Day 90: There is no right way to do this/#The100DayProject

A couple of days ago, Lindsay Jean Thomson published a guest post I wrote for #The100DayProject. Here it is in full:

Congratulations on making it to day 90! Whether you’ve missed zero days or two dozen, I hope you feel very proud of yourself for sticking with it, and for improving along the way. I’m sure if you look back at what you made on day 1, you’ll notice the difference.

For me, a little over a year ago, I started writing one note on a 4x6 index card per day. I’m now writing this over a year later, and…


Best of Books

How Reading Introduces New Material for You to Think With

Image: Reading by Berthe Morisot/Cleveland Museum of Art

When you choose to read a book, you also choose to change after you’re done. You may think you have an idea of how you’re going to change — “This book tells me I’ll be learning this,” etc. — but really, all bets are off. That’s the reason why books are amazing. And, I like to think, that’s the reason we may feel more disappointed by a bad book than a mediocre film. We hold books as a medium to a higher standard.

In Sherry Turkle’s memoir, The Empathy Diaries, she recalled a conversation with psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, “Once, I…


There Is No Right Way to Do This

In an age of time starvation and scarcity, I choose to believe there is always a way to make something difficult happen.

Image: Window Writing, Chicago by John Simmons/Harvard Art Museums

“I don’t have enough time!”

The words I spoke revealed the truth. Once again, my mind sprung the trap. I’m not sure who set it, but it’s been there for years. It draws to mind the second chapter of Portia Nelson’s poem, “Autobiography in 5 Chapters,” in her book, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery. I fell into the time scarcity trap, but my eyes are open. It takes me a few hours — sometimes a couple of days — but I get out.

There’s always enough time

In an age of time starvation and scarcity, that’s what I choose…

Herbert Lui

I write about personal and collective growth. Author ‘There Is No Right Way to Do This’ herbertlui.net/reps/

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