BOOK REVIEW / THINGS ARE WHAT YOU MAKE OF THEM
Things Are What You Make of Them: Life Advice for Creatives by Adam J. Kurtz is a book that I've seen many times and always wanted to read. The title drew me in right away as I always love hearing advice from other creatives. It's always so encouraging to feel like someone just gets you and knows exactly what you need to hear. Reading this book feels like taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. It's a short read, it took me probably about 30 minutes in total, but it is powerful.
Adam is so straightforward and direct while using humor to soften the blow. It is clear that he has been there and experienced the struggles of a creative firsthand. Each page is like a handwritten note from a friend, and the pages are even perforated so that you can tear them out and put them where you need a reminder.
Since this book is so short, I don't want to share too much from it because I want to encourage you to buy it for yourself, but here are a few lessons that resonated with me the most.
1. How to Get Over Yourself When Comparing Yourself to Other Creatives
Everyone compares themselves to others, and this is especially common in creative fields and even more prevalent now with social media. Admitting this, counting your blessings, celebrating the success of others and learning to take pride in your own work are some ways to work through this. And if those things don't help, you can always just rip out your eyeballs and stop looking at what others are doing.
2. How to Get Over Common Creative Fears (Maybe):
Everyone has fears about things in their life, our bodies are designed to protect us and fear is one of the ways that we avoid dangerous situations. Adam says that we have to start by acknowledging this fear if we are ever going to conquer it. We have to stare it straight in the face and then break it down into manageable chunks. We also have to let go of perfection in order to truly overcome creative fear.
3. What to Do When You Fail
Failure is inevitable in life, but Adam says that failure does not need to be worn like a badge of honor, nor should it cause us to quit. Instead, we can pause, allow ourselves to feel the pain of failure and then reassess the situation in order to learn from it. We should also seek advice from others around us and then pick ourselves up and start again once we have formed a new plan of attack.
I definitely recommend this little book and think that everyone, not just those in creative fields, could benefit from the wisdom it has to offer. It would also make an awesome gift.
Is it the weekend yet?