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"Trying to look good limits my life." — Stefan Sagmeister

I love that quote from Stefan Sagmeister.

It questions concerns with looking good, in context of being real and taking risks. Trying new things. Doing something that may not exactly fit your image.

Why are we so concerned with looking good?

Of course, I understand why on one level. You want to look good for your friends and family, your employer, customers, prospective clients, and people in general. That's not what I mean.

I mean maintaining "appearances" rather than letting down your guard and being real.

I mean sharing weaknesses with your family and friends now and then.

Trying the sushi, kimchee or flaming cheese, exactly because eating those strange foods is both scary and exciting.

One thing for me it's not always letting others know what bothers me.

I'm getting better about being assertive and sharing these things, but it's hard. I don't want to hurt feelings. What might people think?

On the other hand, I need to be real and honest. It's limiting my life.

I'm working on it and will try to let go of looking good in exchange for being real.

How does trying to look good limit your life?

Here's Stefan's TED talk, in which he talks about happiness and how it relates to design. This quote is mentioned near the end of his 15 minute talk.

Check out more information on the design piece "Trying to look good limits my life" on Sagmeister's company website.

I've also found a Hillman Curstis short film on Stefan, sponsored by Adobe.

Finally, Stefan's interview at DesignBoom.

Reader Comments (3)

Well said. I'm also a big fan of stefan sagmeister, although no one understands what i'm talking about when i quote him. :) too much design speak i guess.
June 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAmber Yount
I try to make my work look good.
June 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterPete Prodoehl
Amber � nice to see someone else enjoying this quote! I guess you need to mention them only around other designers. :-)
June 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
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