Notes on Feck Perfuction by James Victore

“We are all born wildly creative. Some of us just forget.”

One of my favorite books I’ve read this year — and I’ve probably been through 60 or so — is Feck Perfuction by James Victore.

These are my highlights from the Kindle version of the book. I’m going to just leave his words intact here and let them stand on their own; maybe you’ll buy the book and get inspired. If you want further comment, check out the Better Humanhood Podcast tomorrow — I’ll expound on my favorites.

At its core, the book is about listening to your heart, fighting Resistance (in the Steven Pressfield sense), getting shit done, and shipping product.

“Inspiration without action is bullshit.”

“Your parents were wrong. Your purpose on this planet isn’t to become a millionaire, build a 401K, or even get a good job — your purpose is to figure out who or what you are. If you can do that, everything else is frosting.”

“The things that made you weird as a kid make you great today.”

“Weird is about the courage to be who you were born to be. Nerdy, goofy, fidgety; these are strengths. These are gifts!”

“When you accept your weirdness and believe in your gifts is when things get really weird. That’s when your cause inspires others. When people see their own struggle reflected in yours, you create the potential for shared humanity.”

“In the particular lies the universal. what appeals to everyone is oatmeal. What works for a wide audience is prepackaged, easy to digest, and thoroughly bland.”

“In the particular lies the universal.”

“The only thing you learn by following the herd is that the view never changes. You never learn how to express your own truth or beauty and never find out the power therein. You never get to know who you are or what you are capable of. The hardest part is to trust that your story and opinions have value.”

“It’s literally impossible — barring a full frontal lobotomy — for me, or you, to behave like anyone else. There are times for a little ‘get-along-go-along’ social lubrication, but as I see it, ‘fitting in’ denotes a lack of character.”

“The world has enough safe, bland, dull crap.”

“Your attitude creates your reality.”

“In the pursuit of adulthood, we join the Working Dead, spending most of our lives at jobs that financially sustain us, but are less than satisfying.”

“To continue to develop as humans, we need play in our lives — and not just on the weekends.”

“Maybe a crazy idea is not so crazy.”

“Creativity is dangerous. Not creativity as decoration — the perfect mauve wallpaper to match the couch — but creativity as inventing and pioneering.”

“Creative thinking challenges the rules and norms — the way society works. It’s the New chafing against human nature’s habit of questioning and rejecting anything considered new.”

“Every creation signals the death of what came before. Creativity is change, and change is both inevitable and natural. You can fight change, but it won’t end well for you. Or you can choose to accept it and grow with change.”

“Your biggest fear is not spiders or sharks — it’s you. It’s the fear of expressing who you are — lest someone actually see you.”

“Dragons are real. Heroes are real, too. We all have dragons, but we’re not all heroes.”

“No one gives you freedom. It is not earned or doled out over time. You take it.”

“But what example am I to my children if I give up all hope and sell my dreams? I serve my family best when I am happy, excited about my work, and getting paid for my creativity. I want my children and even the public to see me fighting for my living and my freedom, not begging for it. This is certainly not an easier route, but undoubtedly it’s a better one. And one with a better epitaph.”

“The problem with the rules is that they’re generally unisex and one – rule – fits – all. They promote conventional, business – as – usual thinking and don’t allow for the concepts of individuality or play.”

“No one outside of our heads really cares about the nitpicky details we stress over.”

“You know what’s better than perfect? Done. Done is better than perfect.”

“Everything about your life is a test.”

“Life is a test of your conviction and vision.”

“Make the work you want to make, dance like a fool, and leave your ego at the door.”

“As a communication designer, my job is not to communicate. I want to make your head explode.”

“My primary objective is to make strong, surprising, and memorable statements that teach, inform, inspire, or even confuse. To do this, I have to ignore logic and stop making sense.”

“The American artist Edward Ruscha devised a simple rule for distinguishing between bad and good art. Bad art makes you say, ‘Wow! Huh?’ Good art makes you say, ‘Huh? Wow!'”

“As Newton’s first law tells us, an object at rest — like your ass — tends to stay at rest.”

“Experience is great, and practice has its place, but boldness makes way for action.”

“Our parents, teachers, and friends paint a picture for us of what success looks like. It is usually exactly as advertised on TV — the mad scramble for moneyhousejobmoney. Were this brainwashed version of reality true, the world would be populated solely by accountants and bankers. It would be a bleak and dull world with no room for the misfits, artists, and creators who form our culture.”

“Success isn’t a dot on your lifeline that you hit at age 40 or age 65, before immediately retiring or dying. It’s a process that has a very definite beginning — right now — and depends on how you carry yourself at every point along the way. It’s a conscious choice to feel successful that you breathe into your character. Do not wait for success to saunter into your life; there is no papal anointment or secret handshake. It’s a done deal. Congrats. Welcome to the club.”

“Don’t waste your efforts trying to please other people. Make work that is meaningful to yourself first.”

“If, in the effort of bringing people to your cause, you feel like you’re selling yourself, please stop. No one wants to read your sales bullet points or hear a canned elevator pitch you handily memorized.”

“You can’t trick someone into loving you.”

“The antidote to fear is action.”

“The world is brimming with would – be authors, dancers, and entrepreneurs full of bright and innovative ideas, holding the future of creativity inside them. Most of their ideas will never make it to market and their talents will remain silenced. The biggest reason for this is too much thinking and not enough doing, too much worry and not enough action.”

“You can’t be a mover and a shaker if you’re standing still.”

“Systematic and strong growth — for a garden, your business, your children, even your Instagram following — comes from love, attention, and consistency.”

“I have seen countless businesses succeed not because they were genius ideas, but because they continually followed through on their plans.”

“The reason so many wonderful ideas and beautiful sketches are born on bar napkins is that you are in a fucking bar, not at your job, not trying, not working, not forcing your brain through a grinder. Your sense of mirth and play are in an altered state.”

“Complacency is the enemy, and settling down is settling.”

“No one goes it alone. You have no archenemies planning your demise. The world wants you to be happy and to succeed. Ask for help. There are people who have made the journey before you. Reach out to them. Like angels with gifts, they want to share their knowledge and help.”

“Dream big — if you want a pony, ask for a unicorn.”

“We want creative freedom and agile lives, yet we attach ourselves to the very things that restrict our movement.”

“Once, while he was finishing up a large fuse box, his dad reached in and signed the inside of the box. ‘Why did you do that?’ David asked. ‘Artists sign their work,’ came the reply. The point here is about taking pride, ownership, and responsibility for your work. If it’s a good job, ‘I did this.’ If there’s something amiss, ‘I did this.’ Our reputation is all we have, and our signature should be a mark of that excellence.”

“I love being busy, but it’s easy to get caught up in the frenzy and confuse mere business with real growth.”

“The hustle and the daily grind can wear you down. Fuck the hustle.”

“Bravery puts you into the game; fear keeps you from doing something really stupid.”

“The secret of the universe is that no one knows shit. No one has the right answer, because no one has your answer.”

“Everyone is making it up as they go; some just fail more successfully.”

“Your flaws, quirks, and extra curves make you stand out. Lead with them.”

“Most of us are terrible judges of ourselves, let alone our work. We’re so familiar with the marks we make that we can’t recognize them as unique or special.”

“The best designers are interesting people first. Smart, funny, and curious people. Here’s my point: Learn everything. Then forget it. Let the original details and nuance blur, put your own imprint on the content and action, then create.”

“You may call it being the change or leading by example, or just doing your best. But if you want to change the world, you have to start with yourself. Real change starts with your education, your empathy, and your awareness of the world around you.”


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