Tips For The Unrelenting Creative: How To Run Your Own Race

man running on black asphalt road

Hi everyone,

Happy Tuesday. My book is making progress! In fact, I’m on the final edit before I send it along to a copy editor. I just reworked much of the introduction section and I’d love to know if you think it hits the mark. Specifically, do you think the writing has an appropriate call to action for the reader to feel energized about reading the rest of the book? Here is a link to the intro, I’d love your thoughts.

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy this week’s newsletter!


  • How To Think Positively: I have long considered myself an optimist. Even in the face of rejection, I am somehow able to identify a sign of positivity in order to help me get through an otherwise negative experience. While I do believe that a positive mindset is in my DNA, I also think that the optimism is something that can be learned over time. 

    Tip: A positive mindset begets an optimistic approach to life. Take a few minutes each day to focus on something about your work or life that makes you happy and write about it (not just the what but the why). Check out this amazing article by Dr. Hannah England over at Nesslabs. She developed a beautiful methodology that lays out a process for learning optimism. 

    Related: Using the 80-20 rule to help artists find balance. 
  • How To Run Your Own Race: Running has become a metaphor for so much in my life. My career pursuits, writing a book, and even this newsletter, all require daily practice to achieve long-term results without external forces running interference on the process. The habit building that comes from any long-term pursuit can be a real challenge when I start to look at the accomplishments of others instead of focusing on my own. 

    Tip: Stop looking at the success of others to determine if you are successful and run your own race. Whether it’s training for a marathon or pursuing something to advance your career, only you can determine whether or not you are achieving your goals. The rest is just noise.

    Related: Why the three year plan of action is the new ten. 
  • How To Listen To Your Gut: Making a decision can take an incredible amount of time, especially when both options offer potentially positive outcomes. I often agonize over difficult decisions and I find that the entire process to be exhausting. The worst part is when making the decision causes me to be paralyzed from my ability to tackle other work.

    Tip: Develop your own process to help you make tough decisions. I generally write a bit about the decision at hand, speak to trusted colleagues, weigh my options, and then make the decision when I have as much information as possible. I also try not to sit on decisions as waiting too long stifles progress and potentially holds others up from doing their job. Here is a great article that breaks down how to listen to your gut when making a tough decision.

    Related: Here is how I avoid decision fatigue.

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Nate Zeisler is the Dean for Community Initiatives at the Colburn School in Los Angeles. He envisions a world where students majoring in the arts have a clear path to a sustainable career, where creative minds are empowered and inspired to rule the workforce, and where access to the arts is not just for the privileged few, but for all.

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