Daily Danai

Art & Design Education

How to: overcome yourself

Words I often hear from students during reflection-moment are distractions, procrastination, anxieties, and imposter syndrome. Studying on itself probably would not be half as difficult if it was not for ourselves. There is a title of a book that I often think about: ‘You Are What You Do’. Sometimes we perceive studying as a ritual to become something new. Perhaps that’s a wrong approach. We don’t become something by reading, planning, preparing, and organizing. We simply are what we do.

Preparation is important, but it can easily become a distraction too. It’s relatively easy to teach someone to think, plan, and execute. That only requires logical reasoning. It’s not the logical reasoning that students (or anyone) find difficult. It’s our nature that is likely to refuse the clear path of logic and seek loopholes and distractions. That’s the reason why we wait till the last moment before a deadline, why we didn’t read the recommended literature, or why we decided not to follow up on our ambitions. To follow the path efficiently we have to be able to control and guide ourselves in the right direction. We have to keep ourselves on the path.

There is a lot written about self-management. About the different identities we possess and the internal struggles we have to overcome. I have a list of sources related to this topic. Perhaps in the next moment, I can dive deeper and provide my reflection on each of the sources. Feel free to comment.

  • Grow and Think Rich, Napoleon Hill (1937)
  • Managing Oneself, Peter Drucker (1999)
  • Eat that Frog, Brian Tracy (2001)
  • Getting Things Done, David Allen (2001)
  • Today Matters, John C. Maxwell (2004)
  • The Procrastination Equation, Piere Steel (2009)
  • The Talent Code, Daniel Coyle (2009)
  • Taming Your Outer Child (2011)
  • The War of Art (2012)
  • Managing the Mist, Andrew Stiltoe (2013)
  • The Obstacle is the Way (2014)
  • Extreme Ownership, Jocko Willink (2015)
  • Grit, Angela Duckworth (2016)
  • Ons Creatieve Brein, Dick Swaab (2016)
  • Nooit Meer Te Druk, Tony Crabbe (2016)
  • Don’t Feed the Monkey Mind (2017)
  • Leaders Eat Last, Simon Sinek (2017)
  • Can’t Hurt Me, David Goggins (2018)
  • 12 Rules for Live, Jordan B. Peterson (2018)




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *