Hiatus 2 (Day 207)

When I started this blog, there weren’t many competing priorities in my life. I have since found some really interesting things to dive deep into and with strong reasons why. I’ll share them with you right now.

Communication – As I have worked at my company (and through the lessons I have learned writing this blog), I have developed a philosophy about the best way to run a company. Your vision and plan should first be meticulously thought-out and grounded in reason. Then, they should be championed by management and shared on a regular basis. That way, everyone can repeatedly buy-in and work with focus.

I haven’t seen that done excellently yet. I would often find myself wondering why we are doing something or what the plan is next. And it is up to the decision maker to make that clear. You can’t blame the child if they didn’t understand how the storyteller narrated the book. I want to be a part of that shift. I want to explore my theories in aligning a company. That sounds like a grand and worthwhile goal.

Creation – I want to try my hand in entrepreneurship. I want to explore my ability to find pain points in the market and build solutions that fill them and every aspect of that process in between. My friend and I have a project that has been lagging for a while. I want to get back to it.

These goals truly make me come alive and I can’t wait to explore where they will take me. These goals and strong reasons why make it easy for me to decide to drop this blog. Unfortunately, my blog doesn’t have as strong of a reason to exist and I found myself split with too many commitments.

Perhaps someday I will return, but it will be after I have truly given these goals the ol’ college try. This is goodbye. I am so happy for all the lessons I have learned.

(Note: I don’t want to become a boring fart that is all work and no play. I am not foregoing all fun activities for these two goals. I’ve been doing a lot of other fun things like Toastmasters, boxing, dance, and writing. So to complete this post, that’s why I’m dropping this because that’s a lot of balls in the air ­čÖé )

Hiatus 2 (Day 207)

Day 182 (Great Art)


Great art with a powerful message isn’t created with the message in mind. That is backwards.

The most powerful lessons we learn are not learned through words, but through experiences. My parents told me many wise things as a child, but it was only after I experienced these lessons in the real world that I came to understand just how right they were.

It is the same with great art. The focus is not on telling the message as clearly as possible, rather it is on creating the clearest experience that brings you to the message. If the situation is captured as vividly as possible, the viewer can’t help but learn the same lesson that the person in the movie or book learned.

That is a beautiful thing. I just watched Dunkirk a few weeks ago, and it perfectly captured an atmosphere of despair and hopelessness. Day after day, waiting for someone to come rescue you trapped on a beach while you are being picked off by bombers overhead. These soldiers endured weeks of that tense, meaningless torture until one day salvation arrived.

The sight of civilians risking their lives to rescue those trapped soldiers brought tears to my eyes. At once I understood the beauty of courage and self-sacrifice.

To risk your life willingly (and often for no purpose) to save another is a beautiful thing. After watching Dunkirk, I will have a completely different perspective on Medal of Honor recipients and stories of bravery in war. Heroes are real.

This is just one example of hundreds of movies and books that have changed my perspective on the world. The best ones don’t attempt to preach a message. They put you through an experience and let you grow with the characters in the story.┬áThis is what happens when you experience loss of a loved one, this is how it feels to be at the edge of science, this is how it feels when you risk everything you know to save the world.

That is true influence and communication. Create the experience, not the message.

Time: 26:38


I mostly felt compelled to write that piece about art today. That will likely be refined at published to Medium at some point.

I also fixed my mis-colored sprites and it’s on to the book’s speech options tomorrow.

Day 182 (Great Art)

Day 171 (Start Again)

A few days ago on Reddit, I wrote about two mind-shifts I made while making this blog that allowed me conquer my mental blocks and continue posting here regularly.

There is a third mental shift I had that I wanted to flesh out in greater detail today.

You Can Start Again

When I started this blog, I was on a roll. I posted every day religiously for about 40 days.

Then life went crazy.

Over the next two months, I went to a music festival, I traveled to Japan, I went partying, I tried tons of stuff. And by the end of this fun, but chaotic time, I had lost the habit of posting to my blog. I probably posted 3 times over that time period.

After that span of time, I would wake up every day and make the decision that I would post when I got back from work. And most days would pass without a post to show for it.

This kept on happening until one day, I decided to sit down and reason through what was causing this mental block. I wrote my way through my feelings until I finally found the conclusion: I was trying to continue where I left off.

Here is that post.

I was on such a huge righteous push in the first 30 days that I had started stretching my posts to very high average timers. 20 Minutes A Day had become 1 Hour A Day.

Once again, I was setting the bar too high for myself. I was like the guy who returned to the gym after years away expecting to lift 2 plates just like the old days.

I had grown accustomed to doing nothing for the blog for a month, how could I expect myself to suddenly output so much again right away?

So I reset my goal to only 20 minutes a day and was able to post once again.


I think this happens all the time in life. People don’t realize that if they’re starting over, they have to reset their expectations too.

Athletes come back from injury expecting to do what they used to do right away and either re-injure themselves or quit because they get impatient.

People fall off their diets and gain back 15 pounds. Now in their minds they have to lose 15 pounds AND the 15 extra pounds they just gained. The bar is even higher than it was before they did anything at all.

That thinking is false. You aren’t more behind because you used to do something and then stopped. You are simply where you are now.

In fact, you are still ahead because now you know exactly what it takes to get back to where you were when you stopped. So go ahead and take those first steps again. Start again.

Time: 23:05

More work in dialogue. Used this tutorial.

Screen Shot 2017-08-03 at 10.16.34 PM


Day 171 (Start Again)

Day 163 (Growth)

Growing Pains

As I have tackled more things in my life, I’ve had a lot of moments where I would feel lost and think to myself, “Are my beliefs right? Am I doing the right thing?”

I’m starting to realize that every time you attempt something new, you will run up against these thoughts. It is a good sign, for two reasons.

It is a sign that you truly are doing something new. If you feel that momentum is on your side when you begin, then you aren’t leading. You are following.

You decided to take this unbeaten path for good reason. Have faith that the treasure is somewhere in the unknown you are wandering into.

It is a sign that you are growing. Personal growth can be a painful process. To grow, you must change yourself. Aspects of your identity that you relied on for years will be challenged, leaving you wondering if you know who you are anymore.

But if I hold a belief that I don’t want to have, I believe I should take the steps to remove it.

Why should I believe that I am shy? Why should I believe that I have gotten as far into my career as I should? Why should I believe that good things happen to other people, not me?

Others can tell me these things, but I should never believe that about myself. So I want to take the steps to unlearn those beliefs.

When you start on that journey, it will set your mind on fire with lots of unanswered questions. You are conducting surgery on your identity. But like in surgery, you will heal. With time and some focused reflection, your questions will be answered and you will have new beliefs about yourself that serve you much better.

So I welcome the uncertainty and continue to remind myself about the end goal. The discomfort and fear will pass and I will emerge loving my beliefs and empowered to do more for myself and for others.

Time: 25:01

Focused again on shapes. Feeling more comfortable with them.

Took stabs at freehand drawing the sprite highlights. Guessed wrong most of the time, but getting a general idea of where they should be.

Frame 7 (1).png
Frame 7
Day 163 (Growth)

Day 156


Today at Toastmasters, I gave a speech themed around leaving your comfort zone. In the spirit of the theme, I sought out as many performance firsts as I felt physically capable of doing in one go.

So at one point, I laid down on the ground. At another, I shared some of my most intimate fears and secrets. And I wrapped it all up with a rap performance. (It was all much more organized than it sounds)

The level of vulnerability I reached in this speech dwarfed all others. I was shaking the whole time. But I survived. And with this experience under my belt, I will have so much more creative space in my next speech. I don’t have to rap? Psh, piece of cake.

Time: 35:01

Frame 2
Frame 2


Day 156

Day 147


Progress is like playing Jenga.

In the beginning, every action you take feels insignificant. You move one block. Nothing happens.

Another block. Nothing happens.

And so on until one day, you look for something insignificant to push and you realize this is it. The moment you’ve been building for this whole time. It’s time to take the action that changes everything.

Your new job, your college degree, your IPO. In order to get there, you had to make years of moves that seemed so insignificant at the time. But in the end, it all came together.

Move that first block today.

Time: 29:45

A bit of a detour just exploring how Mega Man is drawn. I want to draw so much, I can feel how the pixels create shapes.

New Piskel


New Piskel (1)


Day 147

Day 139

3-day streak.


I love writing and software because neither are limited by physical resources. All I need is time and ideas to make anything I want.

With time and an idea, I can influence minds with the words I write…or bring delight to people’s lives with the games I create.

It is good to remind myself that in a world where you can often get bogged down by who is getting a bigger piece of the pie, the bigger picture is I don’t have to fight over that pie. I can make another one.

Time: 22:35

Screen Shot 2017-06-06 at 11.47.04 PM

Finished the┬áArkanoid clone tutorial. Added some detail to the bar. I’m feeling pretty comfortable with a mouse and Photoshop.

Short-term plan:
-finish the rest of Davit Masia’s tutorials (1 day)
-make a Unity pixel art game for some fun and inspiration (5 days)

Day 139

Day 136


Life has a way of teaching you the same lessons over and over again. Each time, a little more in-depth.

This blog has been a constant lesson in how to make progress. And the latest obstacle was energy.

The past few weeks I have felt like I was being put into a blender. Things had gotten so crazy that I found myself once again feeling underwater. I had to catch my breath. Luckily, Memorial Day weekend came around and I was able to escape into my room to hibernate. I emerged from my bedroom today a new man.

After that experience, I realized (once again) that I have to pace myself. Set a pace that I can maintain for decades. That means I need to stop with something left in the tank every day. Progress comes from consistency, not impatient sprinting.

When I was stretching myself to the brink, I found myself unable to feel curious about what I was exploring here. There was no fire in my belly. There was no hope for what I will uncover next. It was just another checkbox to tick before I went to sleep.

This is my hobby. I refuse to treat it like a chore. I choose to ration out the energy I spend here to keep it fun. Otherwise, what is the point? So in that spirit, I will make sure I am not killing myself pushing for higher times. Twenty minutes is plenty. One day at a time.

Time: 37:13

Screen Shot 2017-05-31 at 1.39.03 AM.png
Bottom-left ­čÖé

Explored color schemes and etching details into those pipes on the background. It is truly amazing what a line of pixels can do to an image.

Day 136

Day 125 (Reflection)


I have once again found myself without an understanding of what I want out of this blog. I’ve been doing so many disparate things recently (all very exciting, by the way) that I have felt a little spread thin and haven’t had the time to reconnect my desires and goals to what I do here.

What I do know is writing here thus far has taught me so many priceless lessons about life.

The importance of objectively accepting your current status. There is no point in being sad about “what could have been”. That is a fantasy, it doesn’t exist.

And the understanding that the way forward is simple. Take a step. The smallest next step, not the 5th one in the distance that “you should take because everyone else is taking it already”.

I believe these lessons bring the distilled happiest approach to life. Accept where you are and understand that it takes time to get to your goals; work towards them thoughtfully, patiently and consistently. If I can fully internalize that, I can pursue anything with complete focus and peace.

These lessons have extended past what I do here to every part of my life.

Every person is a potential friend, I just need to take the steps to demonstrate that I like them. “Bad” people are potentially good, they just need to be guided step-by-step to see their potential. Problems just haven’t found the series of solutions that will make them disappear.

This is the reality that I see. It is the true application of the “growth mindset” that everyone talks about. The realization that in reality, nothing is ever permanent. With time and patience, everything will become what they move towards.

I still don’t know what I want out of this blog besides a feeling of accomplishment. The finished game at the end of the road is enticing. But what I do know is I will gain so much out of this “accidentally” and I’d like to keep exploring.

Plan: Pixel art tutorials.

Time: 54:21

Re-took this tutorial and really got my Photoshop basics down.

First Photoshop creation. (so cute)
Got distracted quite often today. I’ve found better focus using the Pomodoro technique, I’ll explore that tomorrow ­čÖé

Day 125 (Reflection)

Day 118

Don’t rush yourself. I used to push myself to be something or understand something quickly because I thought others around me already understood it. I faked it with the hopes of making it. Eventually, my lack of methodical practice would catch up to me and progress would grind to a halt. I’d make the same mistakes I always made, but cover┬áthem up.

That’s not how you develop mastery.

Those people you see moving effortlessly through a field? They have a strong grasp of every concept that supports the thing they are learning next. They are a native. You will get there, but you aren’t there yet.

Our impatience with ourselves tends to cause unnecessary spinning in place┬áwhere we push ourselves to learn things when we aren’t ready and no progress is made.

Gain a strong foothold. When that foothold is sure and an extension of your body, only then reach for that handhold.

(To be clear, you can do this for long hours a day. That’s how you learn faster, not by skipping steps.)

Time: 25:33

Watched a tutorial on tilesets and a process video on a character. Photoshop is looking like a great tool to sketch and then realize a character. I’ll start sketching next time.

Day 118