Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far

One of 15 covers for Stefan Sagmeister’s new book, published in March. Concept: Stefan Sagmeister. Design: Stefan Sagmeister, Matthias Ernstberger. Publisher: Abrams
Currently on show at Deitch Projects’ Grand Street gallery in New York is a new exhibition of work by Stefan Sagmeister. Entitled Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far, the show is a continuation of Sagmeister’s book of the same name, published by Abrams Books this spring.
The book is based on a list of maxims made by the graphic designer on his “experimental year” in 2000, where he took time out from working on commercial projects. While the maxims read as a mixture of wise pragmatism with philosophical reflection, they quickly became incorporated into projects for clients when Sagmeister’s office reopened, and it is 20 of these projects that form the book.

One of 15 covers for Stefan Sagmeister’s new book, published in March. Concept: Stefan Sagmeister. Design: Stefan Sagmeister, Matthias Ernstberger. Publisher: Abrams

Currently on show at Deitch Projects‘ Grand Street gallery in New York is a new exhibition of work by Stefan Sagmeister. Entitled Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far, the show is a continuation of Sagmeister’s book of the same name, published by Abrams Books this spring.

The book is based on a list of maxims made by the graphic designer on his “experimental year” in 2000, where he took time out from working on commercial projects. While the maxims read as a mixture of wise pragmatism with philosophical reflection, they quickly became incorporated into projects for clients when Sagmeister’s office reopened, and it is 20 of these projects that form the book.

Installation view of Sagmeister’s exhibition at Deitch Projects

As we have come to expect from Sagmeister, the work produced from the maxims appears in wildly varying forms, and has been published all over the world in spaces normally reserved for advertising or promotions; on billboards, magazine spreads and even on the cover of an annual report. “They are all made for different clients and different countries, yet they form a coherent series and it made sense to make a book about them,” Sagmeister tells CR.

The idea for an exhibition came after Sagmeister was approached by various Chelsea galleries in New York keen to show his work. “I didn’t know which one to go with so I asked Jeffrey Deitch and he said, ‘why not do it with me?’,” he continues. “He was very happy to show the work as graphic design, and it fitted well, so the whole thing made sense.” It is a logical link-up, particularly as Deitch Projects has built a reputation for showing ambitious projects from artists working across a variety of disciplines. Alongside major exhibitions by contemporary artists, it has previously featured shows by director Michel Gondry (whose second show with Deitch follows Sagmeister’s exhibition) as well as events from musicians including the Scissor Sisters and Fischerspooner.

Self-confidence Produces Fine Results, 10,000 bananas and glue, installation view at Deitch Projects

“The book has 20 pieces in it and maybe half are shown in one way or another in the gallery, and we’ve made a number especially for the gallery,” continues Sagmeister. “Some pieces work especially well, better than they do in the book.” The exhibition also includes an interactive piece, for the maxim Being Not Truthful Always Works Against Me, which reacts to viewers as they approach.

Spread from book, from piece entitled Trying To Look Good Limits My Life

Sagmeister’s work has often appeared to land on the blurred line between graphic design and art, yet he is firm in his understanding of these projects. “I see it all as graphic design,” he says. “It’s made by a graphic design office in mediums normally employed by design and all has a client behind it. But from a viewer’s point of view it doesn’t matter. The whole question of art versus design has limited interest – it comes in waves, in the 20th century there were times when art and design were embedded in each other, the Bauhaus for instance, and then they separated, and then they came back together, and then they separated… from the viewer’s point of view, it’s always just a question of ‘is it good or not?’.”

Cover from Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far by Stefan Sagmeister

Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far is on show at Deitch Projects until Feburary 23. Sagmeister’s full list of 20 maxims are as follows:

1. Helping other people helps me.

2. Having guts always works out for me.

3. Thinking that life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.

4. Organising a charity group is surprisingly easy.

5. Being not truthful always works against me.

6. Everything I do always comes back to me.

7. Assuming is stifling.

8. Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.

9. Over time I get used to everything and start taking for granted.

10. Money does not make me happy.

11. My dreams have no meaning.

12. Keeping a diary supports personal development.

13. Trying to look good limits my life.

14. Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.

15. Worrying solves nothing.

16. Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.

17. Everybody thinks they are right.

18. If I want to explore a new direction professionally, it is helpful to try it out for myself first.

19. Low expectations are a good strategy.

20. Everybody who is honest is interesting.

  • 374

    yawn…wake me up when a graphic designer does something interesting…

  • MLA

    What is that motivates graphic designers to endlessly create banal categorical sets from their boring liberal experiences? Who really cares the what Stefan Sagmeister has ‘learnt’ from his life, especially when his values are predicated on accruing something akin to ‘nectar points’? “Helping other people helps me” is akin to saying ”I’m a selfish individual out for myself, the only reason I am helping you is it adds to my own account, and not because I am interested in questioning the values of the public, social, or political”.
    This combination, of dull ‘obsession’ (collating, collecting, ordering, clarifying), wet humanist posturing, and gallery spaces keen to place design on and equal footing with art (for fiscal purposes), only reveals a real lack of creative thinking, particularly within graphic design discourse. As we see in the examples shown, to cover the critical/intellectual/affective void in the work it becomes necessary to prop it up by recourse to its material process (such as “10,000 bananas and glue”). That we are happy to accept such nonsense without any reflection explains why the public dismiss any claims that this is a profession of any worth. Milton (Al Pacino’s satanic character from The Devil’s Advocate), captures this entire process – of ensnaring/limiting creativity – very well. Having failed to manipulate Lomax (played by Keanu Reeves) into fulfilling his requirements through all manner of devices he finally succeeds by employing a simple request to Lomax’s ego. Bingo. Lomax is caught. As Milton puts it in the final scene, “Vanity – definitely my favorite sin”.

  • Miiike

    Wow – even though I may not agree with everything above at least it’s positive. It’s clear from the comments there are some horrible, negative people out there.

  • Miiike

    And by above I mean the article – didn’t realise the comments appeared in this order.

  • nlx

    Well MLA’s comments is interesting, i don’t know why we shound just stay here and applause all the monography that appears daily in this field.

    In another hand, Sagmeister at least have the ball to be honest and write interesting things about graphic designers daily life. Definitly not the worth specimen of the designer’s star systeme.

    (but in that field, i prefer Starck as -at least- he talks about design, and he’s not tryin to turn himself into an artist).

  • blindlight

    money does not make sagmeister happy but it does allow him to have an ‘experimental year’…

  • nlx

    well thats great isn’t it ?

  • dukeofrochdale

    Blimey MLA, i must be a bit thick, i thought Sagemeisters work was a bit of fun.

  • My mum has most of those statements as fridge magnets.

  • 374

    An Ideological analysis of S/S Maxims

    1. Helping other people helps me.

    2. Having guts always works out for me.

    3. Thinking that life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.

    4. Organising a charity group is surprisingly easy.

    5. Being not truthful always works against me.

    6. Everything I do always comes back to me.

    7. Assuming is stifling.

    8. Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.

    9. Over time I get used to everything and start taking for granted.

    10. Money does not make me happy.

    11. My dreams have no meaning.

    12. Keeping a diary supports personal development.

    13. Trying to look good limits my life.

    14. Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.

    15. Worrying solves nothing.

    16. Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.

    17. Everybody thinks they are right.

    18. If I want to explore a new direction professionally, it is helpful to try it out for myself first.

    19. Low expectations are a good strategy.

    20. Everybody who is honest is interesting.

  • More self-indulgent, overly pretentious arse water from Sagmeister then… fun fun fun!

  • I don’t think this would be looked at twice in his much more discerning, native Austria.

  • MLA

    @ dukeofrochdale
    Fun is not a neutral value, neither should it be used as a caveat to avoid critical inquiry. Just because you view this work as ‘fun’ does not negate my initial comments. Indeed (following the vacuous acceptance of market norms and the proliferation of ‘cute/cool’ graphics and work valued for it’s appearance over and above thinking) we could ask – why do designers think that creating work for fun negates the need for critical inquiry?

    @ Miiike
    Negativity can have a positive aspect.
    Your label ‘horrible’ is a rhetorically reductive act.

  • zoiks

    I think it’s great and you are all just jealous heeheehee

    on a lighter note – are people annoyed by this work because they see it as a direct, clear statement of ideological propaganda that they disagree with, or because they don’t like it aesthetically as a piece of design?

    If anyone says both, or that these are indistinguisable from each other, they lose 5 points.

  • al

    21. You don’t have to be mad to work here but it helps.

    22. You don’t have to be mad to over react about a bit of 6th form philosophy but it helps.

  • MLA

    I was only joking – it’s great!!

  • MLA,

    Yes Sagmeister’s philosophies aren’t going to cause us to rethink the world, but I think I prefer his bumper-sticker philosophising to your blurry, generalising, honours-student, wanabe curatorial rant.

    For instance, whatever you may think of the banana piece, dismissing it based solely on the fact that the caption describes the materials in which it is constructed is at best lazy (pretty much anything in any gallery could be dismissed this way – or maybe you are suggesting ‘death to the didactic panel’ – and materiality surely is a legitimate theme to be artistically explored anyway) and at worst a case of ‘playing the man not the ball’.

    I think that the critical discussion of any text is important. Sagmeister put it out there and must expect analysis, however I find the tone of the posts here bitter, petty and personal.

    I think a discussion of ‘designer as author’ and of the rise of the celeb designer/’artist’ is an important and interesting one to have but surely the quality of the debate could be higher than that demonstrated in these posts. Why do Mau, Sagmeister et al feel it is necessary to lecture on how the practice of graphic design can lead to enlightenment? What is driving it? Why is it happening? These could potentially be interesting discussions to have.

  • Poor quality & predictable.

    When you show this kind of work it lessens the innovation of others by implication.

    Also, this blog really ought to stop writing about Deitch stuff.

  • The comments about selfishness refering to his first maxin are ill-sighted. It’s a sound and proven psychological fact that EVERYONE who helps others do so for both parties benefit. Charity would NOT exist, if the process involved or the ultimate end result were not satisfactory to the person being charitable. Therefore making YOU feel better for helping someone. Be it seeing a smile on their face, or knowing that you have affected their day/life for the better.

    Stop being so damn cynical. As he says…
    16. Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.

    At least he’s prolific in his thoughts. Not just blogging them like we are.

  • What is 6th form philosophy?

  • You’re such morons!
    He’s one of the greatest designer that we have. Stop talking shit and go back to your miserable lives.

  • @Giovanni

    Correct, he’s a brilliant designer, one of the most inspirational. Which is why it’s disappointing to see him present pseudo-profound maxims as art. I think (at the risk of starting a whole new debate) that art is about personal expression and producing something to make us think or feel.

    Spelling out bloody obvious phrases isn’t good art OR design, no matter how many bananas you use.

  • Everything = Fart

  • I love how angry this blog makes people. They get themselves in such knots.
    This is a question with the answer in it, which I liked.

    why do designers think that creating work for fun negates the need for critical inquiry?

    Clue: the 9th word gives it away.

  • Saggymeister

    He cant claim that ‘Money does not make me happy’ when he is living in a triplex Manhattan penthouse, this is just wrong…

  • Derek

    ‘My mum has most of those statements as fridge magnets’, very, very cruel, but very funny – says it all, really. Poor old Herr Sagmeister, the acclaimed designer who seeks to touch our the hearts, sticks his neck out again and gets lambasted. You have to give him credit for trying but I find this latest ‘project’ rather lame, though somebody loves it. I’m with Mr: Wright on this one. Sagmeister says, “Trying to look good limits my life” – well then, he’d better watch out.

  • for those who read in portuguese, something about art and design at

  • john smith

    It’s not like all of you MUST buy Sagmeister’s book.

    He ‘s a designer who earned some social status that allows him to do this kind of stuff. So, what’s the problem with that? Nobody will put a gun on you to make you buy it. Remember, it’s 100% personal from his viewpoint which doesn’t mean we all have to agree on anything.

    I find it interesting because designers are different compared to ordinary people, we see everything in other way and that produces a completely different philosophy of life. Our jobs is dealing with people and their taste, a very personal thing. Our life is about constant exploration of new things.

    It’s not like working in a bank or taking phone calls, a 8am-5pm job… where at 5:01 you’re done until next day. It’s a way of life, you never stop thinking, observing, trying, etc…

    As designer I cannot ignore writings about what the life taught someone who ‘s doing the same thing I do… I might not agree on anything but there must be at least something useful, something that can make me better…

  • hey MLA [deleted by moderator] really, the things youre saying are the things the people without success and without talent (they don’t because says negative things like you) say to the ones who really work hard for something they believe, and then, when they have possibilities and quorum still can say to other people how to enjoy his professional life, do interesting projects, share your aim to do things, to create, and most of it to have fun doin what you love.

    When do you really do that, when you create and share your creation and energy with people, you don’t really waste your time envying other people and say stupid things about art and society.

    Anyway, what you know about society, politics and art. You really wanna change things, stop talking shit and do something (like this fella), even it is for your own vanity, PLEASE DO IT, and send it to me, share it, reach the people like sagmeister did during almost 20 years of hard work. [deleted by moderator]
    1. Helping other people helps me.” [deleted by moderator] * (for you to know, the knowledge in this phrase is highly positive, extremely away from selfishness, and is being told in zen writings, contemporary philosophy, hyppie manifest, the koran and the bible. I applaude sagmeister not because he is an inventor of this phrase, just because he reach the people like young designers, (who know are just collecting toys and buying sneakers and they don;t read shit about life, art, physics, history, real religion and ecology) with the things that he learn and possitive message, so others [deleted by moderator] can improve, do the same, and enter in a cycle of progress and self-understanding.

    Everybody talks about shit, criticized and give opinions about the system and stuff. How can you even think of change things if you did not realized yourself to your maximum capabilities. If everybody would have reached the level of sagmeister in their careers, life, and action*(not only sagmeister, but whatever other guy that really make it) then the world could be another for sure… the problem is about possibilities and numbers and politics, education, and media have a lot to do. Not sagmeister [deleted by moderator]!

    Hope you tiny brain can understand this and start reading, understanding, and spreading possitive message instead of attack people that really live life to the maximum…

  • Ev

    Has anyone taken the time to consider that perhaps these are not Sagmeisters words to live by in the true sense, but rather banal and boring slogans with which he uses as a starting-point for his work, a familiar construction of bumper-sticker-esque phrases that simply serve as a base to build greater things?

    Can you really say the words alone ARE the art Sagmeister is trying to put out there? Honestly? I understand it’s all a bit bullshit, but then so is anything Designers and Artists do when operating in the corporate world.

    If this was his ‘year off’ from the corporate world, doesn’t it make sense that he rebels against that same world? Is “Worrying solves nothing” really that different from “I’m Lovin’ it” in terms of how worthless and trite it is? Of course it isn’t, but Artists and Designers still find themselves in the position to take those pieces of language and turn them into something more, something that communicates on a higher level than typed words alone.

    Which is why it’s silly to judge the typed words as indicative of the final message.

  • Many of the people lynching Sagmeister for this work seem to be producing a lot of ‘multi-compatibility creative brand strategies’, bubbly letterheads and grid-set business cards.

    To criticise him for his vanity is sloppy and weak and simply exposes your own inadequacies.

    The purpose and worth of this work, and the interest of designer-as-author, is an important subject and is having a huge impact on young designers and students in formative education (as well as their reasons for studying in the first place).

    Individual designers are an easy target – Barnbrook received a similar reception on here last year – but to ignore the popularity of this work makes you an idiot, whether it fits into your multi-compatibility creative brand strategies or not, and rather than discuss the place this type of design has in the world and the eye of the general public, you choose to pass it off as vane, pretentious arse-water.

    It’s a shame that many blog debates on this subject get halted by bedroom anarchists all too willing to throw their oil in the drinking water.

  • bullit

    hi angry people… these kind of debates, rants and angry responses are exactly the type of reactions designers like sagmeister probably LOVE to get from their work. a lot of you have opinions i agree with, but the dude is doing something he loves and reaching a large audience while doing it. thats a lot more than i can say for me career at this point. lighten up folks.

  • Frankenmeister

    Oh Please! I am as entitled to dislike Sagmeister’s work as much as any designer or non-designer, young or old, corporate or non-corporate [what the hell does that have to do with anything anyway?] maybe it does go too ‘deep’ for me to understand, but then if that’s true too, then that makes it even more shit and pretentious than I first thought. I dont like it, I dont like what he is saying, I dont like the fonts he uses, I dont like the colors he uses, I dont like the book cover, I dont think he is a good designer. I think he is overrated. ALRIGHT?

  • Ev

    Frankenmeister, if you can’t see the parallels between trite corporate slogans, and these trite mantras, perhaps you should stop yourself from commenting.

    Words alone are nothing without context. Without context we cannot communicate. I question whether some of you are even designers.

  • Sagmeister is a very interesting individual he albeit has done a lot of things in this field. I have had the opportunity to hear him speak in a seminar when I was in college and I got to shake his hand ask him back then if I could intern with him at his company, there was a weight list apparently. Timing, and demand were in the way and it didn’t work out. But I was inspired by his vision. Although it was almost a conceit in his voice there was passion in what he did and how he created work.

    Does he have alot of money as one person speculated.. probably. Is he part of an establishment that makes design feel like a monopolized field? Their is no such monopoly or oligarchy.. just power given from whom knows whom in this field. And Sure he has money, and respect and that puts him up there with the rest of those we read about in our field. Do we have to care? No we don’t. Just like we don’t have to care about any of the people in our field. It’s our work that makes us, and our work that inspires others. He enables a vision of work that is not stifled by hard work and realities just getting it done mentality. Truth is he took some risks and profited. Much the same way brokers do with stocks, he took risks with creative assets and it paid out.

    To those who wrote negatively about the guy, prepare for analyzing your own lives/careers. He took chances and did well, and does he love to write and be in the creative scene for all to see and all to hear about and is that vanity? I’ll leave that for you to decide. My opinion is that he an industry name. A legend for good and for worse, and I really don’t care.

    Frankly I think every field needs rockstars and egos, they are bulwarks that either break upon the ocean waves of time. But they do give us all something to think about don’t they?

  • Brandon A.

    He cant claim that ‘Money does not make me happy’ when he is living in a triplex Manhattan penthouse, this is just wrong… Posted by Saggymeister on 07/02/08, 7:43 pm
    Saggymeister, since when is happiness defined as the house you live in? If I had more money, I would probably live in a nicer place than I do now, but in no way would it be my basis for happiness. Just because you base your happiness on the size of your living quarters doesn’t mean that Sagmeister does. He never said that he doesn’t enjoy money or that he hates having money, all he said was that is is NOT the thing on which his happiness is based. He should not be forbidden to enjoy its benefits.

  • martien

    most graphic designers tend to make things look better than they really are. thats al least one reason why honest designers like SS deserve the applause they get.

  • xavier

    good for you man! :]

  • MLA

    @ Emperor Rudie
    I did not dismiss the work for its descriptive material relation – I attacked the lack of any value within it and graphic design at large. There is no bitterness – this was an attack not revenge. As you say, “Sagmeister’s philosophies aren’t going to cause us to rethink the world” and so we need to consider how we validate value.

    With regard to your question, “Why do Mau, Sagmeister et al feel it is necessary to lecture on how the practice of graphic design can lead to enlightenment? What is driving it? Why is it happening?”, the possibility of economically viable ethics, whereby a genuine concern is manipulated, distorted, co-opted and reduced into pleasant visual trinkets would be a point worth investigating.

    @ Graham Watson
    There can be no “sound and proven psychological fact[s]”. When dealing with the ‘human sciences’ we should bare in mind that there is no definitive form which governs all others. Only the ‘hard’ sciences – physics and mathematics – can make factual claims, as they are defined by axiomatic foundations. 1+1=2 is true only because it is the result of a procedure that predetermines all the possible conclusions, and not because there is any correlation to an material entity.
    Thus any psychological inquiry will not only have to account for its inability to define the subject of its inquiry, it will have to account for its own subjective position.

    Charity functions as a patch to cover the overt failings of the governing political system. That does not negate the powerful and positive effects of charitable work, or the political/social/‘caring’ dimension of charitable work.

    The cynic can function as a guide to the hegemonic manifesto.

    You are failing to see the potential of your own thoughts and those who have also commented here. Being prolific has no value in and of itself.

    @ James Greenfield
    There needs to be a criteria in order to evaluate and consider propositions. To exclude the category of fun would allow personal choice to determine social value. Indeed, we could argue that fun is the dictate of our present system – intent on creating benign, accepting subjects happy to wallow in shit thinking it is like lifes elixir.

    @ john smith
    Designers are very ordinary. You see everything in the way you’re told to see it (economy, hegemony, education, history, etc.). Your life is about the constant commodification of old things. It is exactly like working in a bank or taking phone calls, a 8am-5pm job. Albeit there has been a subtle shift. You are now expected to work all the time which directly erodes the boundaries between public (e.g. work) and private (e.g. home). A principle of inquiry has been manipulated into a demand for conformity.

    @ MLA bizarre
    You would need to define your rationale for assessing talent and success – something I am interested in discussing further. However, it is irrelevant as to whether I have talent or success – neither are requirements for posting a comment.
    It is not incumbent on a critic to provide a positive program, but rather to reveal where problems lie. E.g. Brutal dictators work hard for something they believed in – would you propose we left them to “enjoy [their] professional life, do interesting projects, share [their] aim to do things, to create, and most of it to have fun doin what [they] love”?

    I do not envy Sagmeister, I consider Stefan and his studio to be highly intelligent, talented thoughtful, and imaginative. That is why I demand so much more from him.

    There are many ways of reading/analysing/interpreting. One way is to refer only to the surface, another would look for ‘depth’ (of hidden alternative meaning (as 374 did above)) and yet another would be to look at its inter-relational quality. So your reading of ‘zen writings’ (to choose just one of your examples) will be very different to that of others, even that of a buddhist monk. The truth is not in the text, but in the interpretation of it – one that takes place in a specified space and time. Graphic design in that sense could be read as a text. We should then look at the forces that produce the text and understand the contextual setting from which it emerged; why it has not been lost to time (what conserves it?); and also place ourselves as readers under similar scrutiny – recognising there will always remain a blind spot which remains outside our vision. Thus, the finite readings available in each time and space reveals the limits and the limitors – creatives are those who question the imposition of those borders (hackers/pirates), not reside safely within them.

    Finally your response reveals two things. Firstly, a rather fearful and aggressive reaction towards other (something I suspect Sagmeister would encourage you to reconsider). Secondly, the arbitrary nature of the editorial control of CR, who ask for “Comments [to] show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion” – but have allowed your post to remain. Indeed it is this latter that is most revealing.

    @ Gavin
    It’s a shame that many debates get halted by bedroom conservatives all too willing to throw our drinking water in the oil.

    @ bullit
    Why should the folks lighten up – why shouldn’t we take this extremely seriously? Does that not reveal the very problem of design discourse – nothing matters, it’s just design. This self enclosed attitude provides the bedrock for blandness to multiply. Enlighten up folks!

    @ Joseph Maguire
    “Truth is he took some risks and profited. Much the same way brokers do with stocks, he took risks with creative assets and it paid out . What a depressing economically motivated, hierarchically accepting understanding of creativity you advocate.

    “But they do give us all something to think about don’t they?” – Yes, but what, and does it have any value – and if so what. Is that good enough?

    @ Brandon A
    We are unlikely to hear the parent of a starving child say “money can’t buy me happiness”? The statement can only be said by those who are comfortable enough to say it – that is the horror of such thinking – its isolated universalism – it speaks for all without knowing many.

  • me

    Wow, I’m very surprised by the COMPLETE JEALOUSY being shown here. I suspect almost every commenter here is a wanna-be designer who hasn;t done anything since college and yearns for a time when their ideas mattered. Seriously people, grow up. SS has done a lot of amazing work, and self-referential and perhaps egotistical as it is, it’s GOOD. Get over the fact that you haven’t done anything of value outside of the insert in last week’s comic section for half off at Wal Mart.

  • I think ego and ambition are good ways to achieve personal goals and that are excellent tools in the process of innovating in creative fields.

    In the end people that reach some level of power and are able to show different work (whether you like it or not, or if its overrated or not) are worth knowing.

    Everyone has its own principles in life, and if he loves to share some of those lessons, its ok.

    374, what is interesting for you?

  • “Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches”

    If Andy were alive today, he might replace inches with pixels.

  • Ha, this is fun..

    17. Everybody thinks they are right

    Vote for me!

  • Kadir Ozdemir

    After reading the comments i thought that i should act and post a comment. (as it says in 16. maxim)
    First of all graphic design is a way of visually communicating, (it’s another issue if it’s art or not.) and to communicate, you’ve got to understand the whole situation. For example if you’re working for an advertising agency (like me) first thing to do is to understand what the problem or need is and then act in a way that should connect your client with the potential market but with your own voice, the limit is your imagination (and your clients guts’). But you have to really understand the situation to be creative about the idea and then you can shout in your own voice and let the people judge your work. This is exactly the same, are you just going to read 20 punchlines and judge the book without reading what’s inside? Do you just buy a newspaper and only read the capitals? You have to understand something and then decide if you gonna be against it or not. You may not like Sagmeister’s work and say “hey, i’m better than this guy why the hell he’s making all that money and i’m not! ” but you can’t judge a book which is full experiences without even reading it.

  • i saw stephen talk in chicago. my moment of enlightenment was when a stefan showed a poster of a naked male. the only thing this person had left on was his watch, just a watch. the same watch stefan sagmeister was wearing.

    2 + 2 =

    sagmeister’ is in the poster.
    you are looking at seigmesters butt.
    you are now scarred for life.

    design is good.
    design is temporary.
    design is meaningless.
    design = fart

    enjoy the rest of your miserables lives.

  • creativereview

    “the arbitrary nature of the editorial control of CR, who ask for “Comments [to] show a courteous regard for the presence of other voices in the discussion” – but have allowed your post to remain. Indeed it is this latter that is most revealing.”

    The terms used in the comment referred to above, while mild in the context of blog posts in general, were certainly discourteous and have been deleted.

  • dukeofrochdale

    What great fun this Blog is (sorry MLA).

    Its certainly made me wonder if i really know what im on about, i really liked his ‘Made you look’ book, i thought it was full of honest, humorous and clever design, a bit egocentric maybe. I dont have the academic background to be as critically sharp as MLA and some of the others here but I’ll certainly try and check myself a bit more when i read his new one.

    Sag does tell a good story around his work, maybe this is part of what attracts us to it.

  • MLA,

    Thanks for taking the time for such a detailed response.

    Couple of questions:

    How do we (or you) ‘validate value’? Do only those things that ‘make us reconsider the world’ have any value at all? And ‘value’ to whom?

    What is the ‘genuine concern’ of which you speak?

    Can you not attack bitterly?

    “Designers are very ordinary. You see everything in the way you’re told to see it” – is this not an incredible generalisation? I agree designers are ordinary, and occasionally extraordinary, and often complete crap but I’m not sure that their vocation has much to do with this.

    Sagmeister’s sloganeering has made me (and indeed you) think but perhaps not in the way it was intended. I don’t find myself really considering whether charity makes me feel good, for instance – I know it makes me feel good and it does good, I don’t see a need for them to be mutually exclusive – instead I find myself considering my place in the scheme of things and the real potential and limitations that my profession places on my ability for critical thought. And that has real ‘value’ to me.

    It is also interesting to me how difficult real critical assessment of a text has become in this age of celeb everything. We all feel that we know something of the author’s personality and motives because we have read their blog or seen their podcasts or been to a lecture on their world tour and this can’t help but colour our reading. In the internet age, the author is never dead.

  • cassian opara

    I think alot the points made so far are valid. The question of celebrity designer versus the conventional idea of the designer can be argued til the cows come home. But I do not seem to understand 2 things

    1: why the celeb/designer cannot exist along with the traditional designer. I suppose it depends on your viewpoint but they both fill a very valid role. And besides, there are celebrity-everything-elses out there so it would be naive to think that the design industry would not create its own, whether that was the intention of the individual or as a result of his peers.

    2: The inference that one could only comment on this subject if they were a designer. Surely, designers are just people who have chosen to do what they do over another job. Granted, I couldnt possibly comment on a neuro-surgical procedure as I have not had the proper training but I don’t think alot the comments on here aren’t fueled by objective reasoning.

    What I do applaud is the obvious passion that this has sparked, and ulitmately, I think thats a positive result.

  • Dear MLA,

    In regards to my understanding of creativity and its financial means. Yes it is depressing that money is a factor regarding creativity. But truthfully one doesn’t get rich in this industry without knowing those angles.
    Also one doesn’t get rich off creative without having a clear vision.

    In regards to my personal opinion on what leaders in an industry at least as far as names go.. Who cares what they have done or what their doing. Life’s too short to analyze or care about what everyone else thinks. He writes more books than most designers do. And this individual has alot to say about everything. Do I care about any of his top 10’s maybe if they provide usefull insight? Most of it was just editorial garbage though.

    My opinion Just kickass take names and along the way be respectful, everyone else is trying to do the same thing. Cheers from across the pond have a beer MLA haha.


  • SRS

    21. It’s not important to be the center of attention.

    Dude, seriously, GET OUT OF THE CITY once in a while.

  • “That is why I demand so much more from him.” says MLA – who really has a bug up his butt, doesn’t he?

    demand? YOU demand? that’s like saying i demand brian eno to make a hit record because i dig his work. get over yourself and your demands. [deleted by moderator] (sorry…don’t mean to generalize…. but it seems most posts here are brit, and you’ve a tendency to build up and tear down, and not just in NME).

    forget the ego bit, forget the money bit. there are people who believe stefan to the be second coming and those who think he never arrived. doesn’t matter. he’s doing work HE enjoys, and along those lines getting paid for it, getting kudos and knocks. i’m pretty sure he doesn’t care and is just doing what makes him happy.

    for the [deleted by moderator] who thinks that designers are common, yes in the sense they do laundry and shop for groceries like anyone else. but if 20% of people like their jobs 80% of the time and 80% of the people like their jobs 20% of the time, i would wager that most designers fall into the former category. and that is NOT common.

    art, meaning, enlightenment? does the emperor have new clothes? does it matter? reminds me of when mick jones of the clash was being interviewed in 1981 and being accused of being a sellout. he suggested that if people were waiting in line to get into a clash show and there were no more tickets because people wanted in, then that was a sellout. we should all be so lucky that our refrigerator magnet mantras allow a forum for discourse.

    “The cynic can function as a guide to the hegemonic manifesto”? give it a rest, take a pill. with cynical guides like you, i may just have to go buy a copy to give (without reading) to the next self-loathing [deleted by moderator] i come across. imagine seeing a smile where there was none before. will now take off my rose-colored glasses and get back to work. nice to see people (practicing designers, wannabes, academics, artists, and cynics) getting so worked up about design.

  • MLA

    @ me (commentator)
    A “wanna-be designer who hasn’t done anything since college and yearns for a time when their ideas mattered” sounds much more open to new thinking than someone ensnared in corporate capture. I suspect they would rather strive for something new than sit on a pile of smug contentment. “Get over” the fact that people are interested in ideas beyond your limiting subjective criteria of ‘GOOD’.

    @ Ivan
    I think ego and ambition can be manipulated to achieve the goals of others. Principles are governed by the world we are thrown into .

    @ Kadir Ozdemir
    “graphic design is connect[ing] your client with the potential market” is the voice of the market dictating what graphic design is in order to obfuscate what graphic design could be. The field is closed, we remain in it – happily captured.

    I have only a limited knowledge of the book itself (although I did see six of the posters as billboards in a park outside Paris a few years back). However, that’s beside the point, my analysis is directed towards the re-presention of the works and the list of maxims. Indeed, it would not be necessary to see any of the work, and we could still make critical comments, all we need is the relational aspect to start – e.g. a designer releasing a book about what they have learnt to date can only emerge in a certain space and time. We could seek to apply our understanding of that space and time to begin to form a commentary. Thus my analysis is directed much more towards those forces that determine than the work. What I find particularly interesting is those aspects that remain ‘off stage’, to which we don’t have access (e.g. the PR email (the selection of images and a nicely written letter promoting the positive aspects of the book), and CR’s editorial decision to publish it).

    I am not better than Sagmeister, and neither is Sagmeister better than me (I suspect this competitive notion – of pitting ego against ego – would be as uninteresting for him as it is for me). We are equals placed in a system of inequality which we are – albeit in very different ways – seeking to change.

    @ dukeofrochdale
    I have nothing against ‘fun’, but I think we should be aware that it is part of a larger social trend – just look at the way corporate companies have co-opted fun into their very business model (from Googleplex, to coversourcing ) – and as a consequence our private/social sphere is being eroded.

    @ Emperor Rudie
    We ‘validate value’ through a perpetual process of critical inquiry – this commentary is but a small example. We do not reach an end, but neither do we allow value to fall into the hands of those who work against us.

    You asked “Do only those things that ‘make us reconsider the world’ have any value at all? And ‘value’ to whom?” – No, as this would place ‘reconsider’ as a central predicate for any future analysis – I would argue it is much better to have an informed understanding of ‘value’ (historical/social/subjective/objective etc) with which to use as our point of attack.

    “What is the ‘genuine concern’ of which you speak?”
    First Things First et al – the concern is genuine, the critical thinking is lacking (and often dismissed as negative or hostile).

    “Can you not attack bitterly?”
    Yes – attacking can be an act of love.

    The notion that designers are somehow ‘extraordinary’ people negates the value of all other creative acts – we are no different than any other discursive order (look at the futures market for a perfect example of economic inventivness!) as we follow an obedience to the regime. Design is obedient. Creativity is creating resistance to the present

    Celebrity culture does not obscure the text – it is the text. The very acceptance, adherence, and defence of a system intent on creating docile pets is our point of entry (witness comments defending Sagmeister, not the work). Our ability to care (in both an ‘ethical’ but also a ‘strong revolutionary’ sense) is being corrupted by programs of efficiency and calculation at the behest of economic determinants. More frighteningly, our desires are created and folded into the very system that curtails us.

    The author is dead, but remains accountable for their actions

  • MLA

    @ marc english
    Are you demanding that we do not to make demands?…

    …Nonetheless, we continue to make demands on the social sphere, as it is the place where values are determined and changed. Our lives (both private and public) are intricately interwoven into that mesh at macro and micro levels. Work that enters this space is not alien – it is forged from very situation, and is thus open to interpretation by us all*. We argue that it is better to have our true friends as ‘enemies’ (critiquing as strengthening), than have our true enemies as our ‘friends’ (weakening through control). Thus we align ourselves to a genuine and determined attack on assumptive propositions – endemic to much design discussion. We will continue to counter the murmuring voice of the ‘last man’, conformity, buried in the sand of acceptance, dutifully fulfilling the tasks that will ensure its own (and others) enslavement.

    You suggest that designers “like their jobs 80% of the time” – even if it were possible to qualify the bizarre statement it would be of no use. Happiness is not lifes the raison d’etre.

    I pointed towards a positive aspect of cynicism – which counters any accusation of cynicism pretty well.

    * assuming there is access.

  • hung le

    MLA: If you were an art/design teacher, I would have loved to have you while I were in school. There would be so much to learn, both what to do and what not to do as a self-proclaimed creative professional/critic/person.

    You have some great points regarding ‘creativity,’ but I’d like to point out that graphic design is not always about art, sometimes it’s just about communication (hence the term: graphic communications.) Sometimes, it’s both and whatever else thrown into the mix.

    example: this very webpage that we are utilizing is an example of graphic design; nobody calls it art, and it’s not ‘creative’ but it serves its purpose beautifully.

    btw: I’m not an artist and I’m not very good as a graphic designer either, but I love what I do more than 84.67% :) for exactly the same reason explained above.

  • KBF

    Man, it amazes me how clueless people can be. I def appreciate #20 and it’s only fitting that our boy ends his maxim with “Everybody who is honest is interesting”. Obviously you didn’t read the full article from LEMON MAG because if you did you would have turned it into a personal piece … Like I did. The quote from the late Mr. Crisp, which Sag is referring to left such an impression on him, as well as his students. And you call yourself a “true artist”! Shame on you because you should know better. It’s all about your influences and personal experiences – acknowledging positive impressions will only develop your process, making you a better artist. It’s this type of honest inspiration that sparks creativity and Sag was kind enough to share his personal moment/experience. Trust me, our boy runs laps around us. Think about it – Hasn’t he always put himself out there, showcasing his emotions for all of us to see?

  • I have a copy of the book in front of me here and I think it’s superb.

    There’s alot of keyboard heroes on here with plenty to say it seems – I’d like to see them have it out with Sagmeister in the flesh…

    S/S will be leading a talk / debate at the Design Museum, London on Thursday 22nd May 08.

  • Kadir Ozdemir


    By potential market i didn’t mean being “sellout” if you got it that way. It’s your choice to be sellout or not, if you’d like to work for a client that doesn’t fit for you or your manifest in mind, thats your choice. What i mean is, even if you design an album cover for your favourite artist you still need to consider the audience who will buy that album.

  • I agree with Simon.

    I also have a copy of the book and its great!

    He’s honest! Thats what’s interesting about the whole thing! The quality of the work lies in this, nothing more. I think some people are getting very angry over nothing…

  • MLA

    @ hung le
    I am not here to determine “what to do and [what] not to do” – but to problematise assumptions. For example, you say “graphic design is…” as if there is a hardened principle at the centre of this discipline that cannot be disputed. If we are the ‘creatives’ we purport to be we should ask ourselves – what are the rules, limits, boundaries that define this profession? How are they imposed, enforced, controlled? What happens if we (dare) to go beyond? To accept predetermined sites (e.g. graphic design as an “is”) without investigation, inquiry or query merely means we are curtailed and corralled by other forms and agendas – in short we are manipulated. My question would be – as a self confessed ‘lover’ of creativity do you find your acceptance of orders acceptable?.

    As an associated aside, you suggest “this very webpage that we are utilizing is an example of graphic design”. But we argue that the web is not ‘graphic’ (in its orignal sense) but dynamic (with all the meaning that term implies). Even before moveable type emerged in Europe the visual producers have been restricted to following procedures to create appearances. But we are witness (even if we are looking in the wrong direction) to a dramatic counterpoint – the return of the scribes. Writing (code) is transforming every discipline we know (not just design but; medicine, politics, economics etc.), and continues to do so. “When creating a ‘generative’ graphic you make the rules in which the code operates”.

    @ KBF
    The moment of ‘revelation’ and “showcasing…emotions for all of us to see” is all pervasive and has turned into a strange requirement rather than an authentic act. We argue it reveals a lack rather than a presence.

    @ simon
    Flesh loses to code, as we wish to disseminate our attack beyond the particularity of Sagmeister and his studios work. indeed, they are not our target – they merely register an effect – we pursue the cause.

    @ Kadir Ozdemir
    Choice, as you define it, means that we end up living in isolated communities with individual ideals whose mantra reverberates throughout our gated conmunities – “Leave me to make my own choice”. Not only does this avoid the problem of defining the subject (who is this I, from what is it made?), but this proposition of free choice ultimately fails.

    We do consider the audience – but ours is not a PR generated stereotype formed from foundationless categories.

    @ StudentDesigner
    I think some people are getting very angry over something. Honestly.

  • Monra

    “Money does not make me happy”

    Esto es mas falso q un duro sevillano. In other words, not even himself belives it.

    But his cool…

  • Anthony


  • Sy

    Values, opinions, goodwill, and even right or wrong (these days) are extremely opinionated. There isn’t a standard per se that we can account as ‘truly valuable’, or ‘uphold the values the society induces’ because after all, those values would be the collective average opinions of the world. And in this fact alone, we shouldn’t put into juxtaposition Stefan’s work and the collective ‘values’ that we hold in expectation.

    Like in SS’s words, 17. Everyone thinks they are right.

    His work should only be credited as an highly treasured and esteemed piece as to regards to himself. And I’m sure his publication was to allow the rest of the world to preview and see HIS opinions and HIS thoughts (though admittedly it is slightly egotistic) and it’s not a book seeking the world’s relation to it, and even far less of a book seeking the society to try delegating the author’s thoughts and works into a shelf of comparisons that we’ve deemed ‘highly valuable’/’extremely worthless in theory’.

    This is still, his personal solo work. And the idea of feeling disappointment is purely frivolous because it only shows over-expectation and narrow-mindedness towards another perfectly ordinary human being. Celebrity or not, it doesn’t matter, he’s not here to please commonality, but to find appreciation with the few out there who can relate to the beauty of visual expressions at play with something deeper and more human.

  • Rob

    At the end of the day Sagmeister has produced an inspirational book full of absolutely stunning, honest and original design.

    I can’t understand how people can be so quick to knock this, even worse is the fact that so many of you have jumped on the negative bandwagon before even taking time to read the book.

    Yes the book is self-indulgent and yes its got a picture of his face on the front, and yes the work is based on notes from his diary, but so what?!!

    The fact of the matter is, he’s worked his arse off for a long time and got himself into the position where he is lucky enough to be able to do this kind of work!!

    Forgive me if i’m wrong but I thought that was the reason why we were all doing graphics in the first place, to satisfy our own inner desire to explore and create, so why shouldn’t his work be all about him?!!

  • The book is fantastic in physical form.
    (the cover itself works much, much better as an object than it does as a screen-shot)

    The explicit point expressed in the writing (that has been missed in the discussion above as a result of not seeing the book first) is that these projects were created for an audience of non-designers, as was the book.

    Heller mulls over the art vs. design argument too much in his essay (to the point of him just running over old ground), but this use of public space is a far more relevant and interesting discussion than Sagmeister’s vanity.

    “Entry-level”, “fridge magnet” art is useful and has a place. Especially for a public who are intimidated by the art & design world’s many snobs who use these very phrases.

    This creation of public delight, whilst far from perfect here, should be vehemently supported in spirit. And having read the entire book, Sagmeister’s self-depreciating honesty seems a far more sustainable, interesting and stimulating worldview than the others raised here.

  • ALD

    @ MLA:

    I think it’s telling that you only seem to critique and debate the above comments in support of the work and views of Sagmeister rather than also aim your discussion towards more attacking, negative opinions…however…

    Once this argumentative tone and attempts of subverting everyone else’s comments are out of the way, you do actually make a decent point on the dangers and current understanding of the cult of personality within design.

    There are indeed many posts here that defend Sagmeister and not the work, this is dangerous.

    Many students and young designers have formed their viewpoints and attitudes heavily influenced by his studios work in the last 10 years, and the natural response to defend it in the face of opposition is understandable, but ultimately wrong.

    This point could well be worthy of a thesis of it’s own and serves as a worthwhile reminder in the face of many publications and design conferences that scramble over each other to stick certain names on their annual hitlist.

    – ALD

  • **

    This project works much better as a book than it does as a series of individual projects.

    The mini-folios come complete with stories and texts grounding each maxim into a practical reality – and this conjunction is it’s success.

    There is more to be learned from the interpretation of the stories and events than from the beauty of the typographic designs themselves or what they actually say.

    The individual sentences work more as flags or signifiers, that reference the experiences behind them, than they do as completed ideologies (which people seem to have been quick to attack).

    The combination of design and text and has prompted many to throw this in the art pile. Whilst this argument gets boring very quickly, in the eyes of the onlooking public (who these designs were intended for) it’s interesting to see if they actually are curious enough to research the foundations and reasoning behind each piece and discover these background texts or the book itself.


  • Green
  • i really love this!

  • kevinconrad

    #17 is perfect for these comments here. And has anyone noticed the title of the book? Key words “I” and “My Life”.

    And in my own opinion, Sagmeister is an artist, but more specifically is a designer. Brian Wilson is an artist, more specifically a musician/composer. Picasso is an artist, more specifically a painter. If we use our skills to create, we are artists too.

  • Resonating_Sanity

    “8. Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.

    Ha ha ha ha ha.

    I like it.

  • MLA

    @ ALD
    We argue that ‘1’ is a function not an entity. e.g. Can you be sure the series of commentaries were written by the same subject? Does ‘MLA’ exist except as the moniker for a series of post. I would suggest you have assumed a singularity where there is none. Following the dictate of order, you have generated a pattern (via “collating, collecting, ordering, clarifying”) of order that determines your response-one directed towards ‘a person’ rather than to the (various) texts. Thus you continue to empower the very point of attack-the creative liberal individual (as pursued and endorsed by Stefan)-rather than the forces that reside in the background. Any critique will have to determine where the function arises from that maintains the appearance of ‘1’s’ from which patterns are generated and creativity calcified.

  • Daisy

    I totally agree Sagmeister is an artist and finally it is expressed through graphic design which can be quiet a structured and boring channel to take. But that is up to the individual.

    I think Sagmeister believes, to find the solution is simple all we need is the confidence to believe, which in turn will give us the ability to look close enough to find the answer within ourselves.

    Sharing experiences is very important, knowledge should always be passed on and thats exactly what he is trying to do. If only some people would listen!

  • MLA

    “Organising a charity group is surprisingly easy. Running a charity is surprisingly hard. Once the initial euphoria and energy evaporates the project turned into a regular and repetitive endeavour. I tried to circumvent this by looking for and finding successors to organise subsequent months, which worked reasonably well for a number of years until the job of finding a successor itself became repetitive and, with me teaching a semester abroad the program came to a halt” – Sagmeister.

  • TeeVO

    I heard Sagmeister lecture at a semi-permanent conference in Auckland last year and while his ‘life philosophy’ seemed fluffy at best (the grammar ??!!!) i do think that his presentation of his maxims were fun, different and highly original. Sometimes things should just be done for the sake of them never being done before (like a banana wall) because then end product could be pretty amazing. Pushing the boundaries of a discipline is far more interesting than rigidly maintaining the status quo.

  • Thomas

    What you look for you will find in this world.

    If you want to be cynical, there is plenty to be cynical about.

    If you want to be optimistic, there is plenty to be optimistic about.

    But keep in mind a very well loved bear once said:

    “It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn’t use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like “What about lunch?””

    The clever man uses the shortest way of saying it. This is infact evidence of good design.

  • Needs attention.

  • MLA

    @ TeeVO
    Pushing the boundaries requires analysing where the boundaries lie and how they are maintained. You’ll know when you’ve gone beyond them because the present will seek to smash you, not support you.

    @ Thomas.
    That bear is probably the same one that shits in the wood, oblivious to how the world impacts upon it and how it in turn impacts on the world. In a word, it is ignorant. The wise people speak beyond the confines of doxa.

  • diana

    He is a genius. If you do not appreciate the content of this, then you are still far from understanding the workings of this world – which he did because it IS working out for him.

  • Here’s what I take away from these:
    1. Helping other people helps me.
    I don’t do it to help others (maybe deeeeep down i do?) but i think when you help others, you find that you are helped also.

    2. Having guts always works out for me.
    have the guts to try something even if it’s scary. if i’m faced with a dilemma and the only thing holding me back is not having the guys to just try it, i should choose to go for it. even if i fail, at least i tried & hopefully learned from it, which means it worked out for me (1 way or another)

    3. Thinking that life will be better in the future is stupid. I have to live now.
    Putting off doing something while you wait for things to improve or be the perfect setting for something can be silly. You could waste your whole life waiting, or you can live now, do it now, put yourself out there.

    4. Organising a charity group is surprisingly easy.
    Don’t be scared off thinking it’s too hard and fill yourself with negative thoughts. you’ll be surprised with how easy it can be to get the ball rolling.

    5. Being not truthful always works against me.
    Obviously, not being honest works against me… maybe at first it’s ok but it will eventually spiral out of control or in the future it may come back to bite you in the ass. Why lie?

    6. Everything I do always comes back to me.
    Before you put things out into the world, think about if you would want them to come back to you or not – Put out negativity or positivity, but be aware that whatever you give off will often be what you receive as well.

    7. Assuming is stifling.
    When you assume someone wants to be left in quiet, and you tip toe around, you are stifling yourself. Turns out they want to hang out and get to know you!

    8. Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
    need we say more?

    9. Over time I get used to everything and start taking for granted.
    It’s good to remind yourself of this, so you can be reminded to stop taking them for granted!

    10. Money does not make me happy.
    I don’t have a lot of money, and I can tell you it’s not what makes me happy. I was stuck in a job that sucked for 6 years and I was so unhappy. I am now working at a job I love and I couldn’t be more happy. The pay is slightly less these days. And I have plenty of debts, so God knows I could use the money… but I know it’s not something to depend on for my own happiness.

    11. My dreams have no meaning.

    12. Keeping a diary supports personal development.
    True true… I always feel like I’m disconnected from myself when i don’t keep a journal to sort out my thoughts or write down great memories. Or bad ones!

    13. Trying to look good limits my life.
    Sometimes I don’t do something I really want to because i’m worried i’ll look stupid. How silly!

    14. Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses.
    World class dark chocolate. Need I say more?

    15. Worrying solves nothing.
    It’s true. It’s worthless!

    16. Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.
    True that! Don’t complain about politics unless you plan to do something better, or are doing something to try & change it. Upset that you’re not learning something fast enough? Stop whining about it and act – study more, etc. or Shut up!

    17. Everybody thinks they are right.
    Good to remind yourself sometimes – you are one of those people as well! Of course you always think you are right – sometimes you need to recognize when you should open your eyes/mind a little, too!

    18. If I want to explore a new direction professionally, it is helpful to try it out for myself first.

    19. Low expectations are a good strategy.
    It’s true – you won’t be disappointed that way!

    20. Everybody who is honest is interesting