Sarah Lewis Good Life Project Sketchnotes Web (1) - Jonathan Fields, Doug Neill, curator, painting, writing, harvard, art, the ability to see, safe haven for failed work

Sketchnotes of Sarah Lewis Good Life Project Interview: The Ability to See, Take Risks, and Fail

Sarah Lewis is the author of a new book – The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery. Lewis served on President Barack Obama’s Arts Policy Committee, and currently is a faculty member at Yale. Recently she sat down for an interview with Jonathan Fields on Good Life Project. Here are some sketchnotes I took during that interview:

Sarah Lewis Good Life Project Sketchnotes Web (1) - Jonathan Fields, Doug Neill, curator, painting, writing, harvard, art, the ability to see, safe haven for failed work

Sarah Lewis Good Life Project Sketchnotes Web (2) - Jonathan Fields, Doug Neill, public eye, ability to take risks, the rise, mastery, intrinsic reward, master vs success, finite time better results, surrender

Sarah Lewis Good Life Project Sketchnotes Web (3) - Jonathan Fields, Doug Neill, mindfulness, aesthetic force, the power of the arts, beauty all around us, be still, open your eyes, what did you fail at today, new definition of success

So many interesting ideas cropped up during this interview. Here are a few in particular that caught my attention.

The Ability to See: Observation as a skill worth developing

Ever since listening to and sketching out the interview between Krista Tippett and Seth Godin, I have been doing my best to simply notice more – notice what’s going in my own body and my own head, but also notice what is going on around me, both in my immediate environment and the world at large. The habit of being still and opening my eyes to the world around me is one that I’m trying to develop, and this interview reinforces the benefits of that practice.

The Ability to Take Risks: Can you do this with the public eye on you?

I’m a big fan of general life experimentation. This site has been a place for me to experiment with visual note taking and share what I’m learning. I also try to be very public with this work – sharing the good and the bad of those experiments. Lewis touches on the fact that the public eye has an effect on our ability to take risks. What I like about blogging is that I can take the risks in private, then share what I learn in public. That separation between the risk-taking and the public eye keeps me free to go places I probably wouldn’t otherwise go, but still have the opportunity to be open about the experience after the fact.

The Willingness to Fail: A prerequisite for long-term success

If you take risks, sometimes you will fail. That’s a good thing so long as you learn from those failures. I absolutely love the idea of starting a dinner conversation with “So, what did you fail at today?” It’s exciting to think about how the world would be different if more parents and more teachers asked that question on a regular basis.

I’m now pretty stoked to read The Rise. It’s the latest addition to my Amazon wish list.

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