I was stressing out one day some months after my return from Spain. I was bothered by how much I didn’t know about my field and how much remained for me to learn. I believe at that time, I had just begun my design classes and I was muddling through the software and design concepts. I felt I was producing mediocre work and I was just beside myself with how I was ever going to make it in the world. I looked to my friend Ivan, who was a designer for a marketing and publishing firm in Spain (and also, coincidentally, one of my drinking buddies during my time abroad). In an IM conversation I asked him how he did it. Of course, at the time it was beyond the scope of my imagination that I could appear to do so terribly (in my mind it was terrible…I suspect it really wasn’t all that bad.) and expect to ever have any success as a designer or as anything else for that matter. Ivan simply responded (roughly translated), “I just try to leave it all a little better than how I found it.”
That really hit home for me and it’s a statement I continue to think about whenever I’m feeling overwhelmed with the futility of my existance. All I (or anyone else, for that matter) can do is simply do one’s best…take something that’s average, bad, or whatever…and make it a little better.