Sons & Orphans

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Category: Work (page 1 of 3)

Makoto Fujimura on How to See Art with More Than Just Your Eyes

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Several years ago, a Dallas high school teacher with a group of students asked renowned artist Makato Fujimura to help his students “see” the artist’s works. Fujimura, a pioneer in the Japanese technique of Nihonga, responded with the following letter.  Continue reading

Mira Nakashima on the Lost Art of Apprenticeship

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Note: Large portions of this article are excerpts from an interview originally published at 99u. You can read the full article here.


When Mira Nakashima was just a child, her father, George Nakashima, began to teach her the craft of woodworking. A legend in the industry, George was the epitome of a perfectionist teacher. But he was a master craftsman. So after Mira graduated from Harvard with a degree in architectural science, she moved back home to work for the family business. Continue reading

The Paradox of Discipline and Freedom

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In a 2014 interview with Charlie Rose, actor Jake Gyllenhal shared the biggest secret to his stellar performance in the film Nightcrawler:

I’ve learned that freedom is on the other side of discipline.

Continue reading

Flannery O’Connor on Prayer, Faith, Writing, and Love

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In January, 1946, while studying at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Flannery O’Connor began keeping a prayer journal in a ruled Sterling notebook. O’Connor, who had left her home in Milledgeville, Georgia, for Iowa, turned twenty-one in March and had her first short story, “The Geranium,” accepted for publication that month. She was a devout Catholic, and over a year and a half she filled the notebook with a series of prayers addressed to God. The following excerpts from her journal chart her thoughts on the subject of faith and prayer, and her hopes for her fiction. O’Connor would later go on to become one of the most acclaimed Southern writers in American literature.  Continue reading

Seth Godin on Daring to Fail and Overcoming Fear

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Recently, I listened to a talk given by Seth Godin, renowned author, blogger, speaker, and marketing guru, on Creative Mornings podcast (I highly recommend) called Thinking Backwards. 

Among other things, Godin spoke on what we’re getting wrong at work—and how we can change it. The entire talk could be boiled down to this:

Do work on purpose. Make things that matter, even if they’re unpopular. Create work environments that help you succeed, even when that means failing first. And, in his words, go and make something happen.

But above all else, I was fascinated by what Godin had to say about failure. Take, for example, the approach he takes to failure in his classroom: Continue reading

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