The Pixel Dreams Team is made up of young talent, hungry to learn and excel in their craft. As teammates push through their lifelong journey of growth, we often look to one another for resources, best practices and recommendations.
What began as a simple Slack message seeking recommendations, ended in an important global lesson for all to read—Search not for someone to guide your learning, search within to inspire your path of growth.
To all learners, young or old, apprentice or master, dig in:
I’m currently studying Viet, Farsi, guitar, woodworking, and a bunch of other small and big things, including storytelling in a variety of mediums.
Here’s what I do. and what I’ve done throughout my life:
I fall in love. I fall in love with great work.
I aspire to create work that’s similar. As a kid, I’d trace my favourite comic books. I’d recreate 3D models of objects based on photos. I’d review music videos, and backwards engineer things. This was at a time when tutorials didn’t exist. Video tutorials? Forgetaboutit.
Emulate to Educate
Today, learning new skills is easier than ever. It doesn’t require a guru to give you the source material; Lannie to provide you resources.
It’s important to find great work, and try to emulate. In fact, straight-the-fuck-copy. The more you copy great work, the more you’ll understand yourself and where your strengths, weaknesses, and shortcomings. This is the clue to your research. What can you NOT do well? Look for answers, guides, video tutorials.
There’s nobody in my life teaching me to do woodworking. I go online throughout the week and study shit. Nobody taught me to project manage, code, design, or run a business. I simply look to emulate the best, find my limits, and study to improve and grow past my limits, creating new and exciting limits to overcome.
With all due respect, when young people ask for guidance and in your case, resources; it’s actually a lazy way of learning. You’re offsetting – delegating – your curriculum to someone else. How would Lannie know what you should study? What your limits are? Only you can do this best. Use your mentor to check in, not to assign homework.
Another important point here is that if you rely on Lannie – or anyone in fact – to provide your curriculum, you always will in the future.
Both you and everyone else needs to strive for self-guided self-improvement. Be the teacher you always wanted. It will pay dividends beyond imagination.
A quick story
Over many years, I searched for a teacher to help me learn Farsi. I was willing to pay. I tried out different teachers. It all ended in failure. At the end, I ordered a bunch of books and now am teaching myself. And the results are great.
Mentors are valuable. But you need to do your homework before you go to your mentor. You need to prove you’re working hard and studying, so that when you meet with your mentor, this person’s time is providing high-level value. Not assigning mini-tasks and assignments like a teacher or instructor would. With a great mentor, you only need a few minutes to set you on a path that could take days, weeks, and months for you to journey through before your next check in.
Consider this message, a message from a wannabe mentor, in hopes that you will carve out a life-long journey of learning and self discovery.