The Letterloop Blog 📝

Ben Uyeda is a designer behind ZeroEnergy.com and Homemade-modern.com. He's based in Joshua Tree.
Issue No.26 · August 27, 2021

5 Questions with Ben Uyeda

The best conversations start with:
What are you currently most excited about is my favorite question to ask people. It is simple yet open and lets them share something positive that could be as simple as what they are going to have for lunch or as grand as their inspiration or ambitions.

What’s on your nightstand?
Water, a sketchbook, and a "chemical snooze button" 3 days a week I like to get started early and I keep a cold brew coffee, pre-workout, or some ready to drink caffeine like https://taika.co (not a sponsor) right next to bed. When I wake up I down it and then snooze typically another 30 minutes until it hits me and I fire out of bed and right into my to do list.

What’s most important for your mental health?
Sleep and exercise is first but I realized i have productivity dysmorphia which I suspect might be almost as common as body dysmorphia. I work really hard yet often feel as if I am not doing enough. Framing it as a condition i am susceptible to and acknowledging its harmfulness has helped me manage it and relax!  Note: I don't know if productivity dysmorphia is an actual thing but i know so many objectively successful people who seem to regularly feel like they are not being efficient or productive enough despite a wealth of enviable accomplishments. My work life balance is far from ideal but overtly acknowledging my own tendency to lean towards work helps me.

What’s the greatest gift we can give to others?
Curiosity, the effort to pursue it, and the willingness to share what we learn.

What is one of the most worthwhile investments you’ve ever made?
The consistent investment of time into small design and making experiments has been hugely beneficial. It can be hard to come up with a grand and unique vision all at once and often large projects require investment or support from others.  Small projects where I test out 1 or 2 ideas allow me to take small consistent steps and because I share them online it is easy for me to find collaborators who want to support my larger scale projects.

Samanee Mahbub is a mindset/career coach who helps folks overcome burnout and imposter syndrome to lead a happy, successful, and stress-free career. You can find her work at unstoppablecareers.com.
Issue No.25 · August 19, 2021

5 Questions with Samanee Mahbub

What was your path to where you are right now?
I was an overachiever who kept everyone happy but myself. I rode the train to an Ivy, to banking, and kept chugging until I crashed: mentally, physically, spiritually. I was a shell and I needed to fill myself up. Cue therapy, letting go of perfectionism, and setting healthy boundaries. Now I work less, live more, and help others do the same :)

My go-to ritual to slow down is:
A simple breathing exercise: inhale for 2 counts, exhale for 4 counts. Helps calm the nervous system.

Vulnerability is:
Removing the facade we’ve built for everyone else. It’s letting ourselves and people see us for who we are, not what we do. And it’s loving that person.

What do you do when you feel afraid?
I thank the fear for trying to protect me. Caveman brain after all. And I tell it, things are going to be okay. I’m going to try the thing that scares me, and I might fall on my face. But it's okay. I can get back up and keep going.

Something I wished more people asked me about is:
How the view we adopt for ourselves profoundly affects the way we lead life. From the love we accept, the careers we take on, the leap of faiths we take. Everything comes down to mindset and self-belief. Change that, and you can change anything and everything.

Minh Do is a cofounder, chief innovation officer, and producer based in Los Angeles, CA. You can find him at minhdo.com.
Issue No.24 · August 12, 2021

5 Questions with Minh Do

What was your path to where you are right now?
It's been a series of explorations. I can't sit still and I love to experiment. As a result, that's given me a love of many areas stretching into design, technology, entertainment, editorial, music, and education. Synthesizing them successfully has been the project of my 30's.

My go-to ritual to slow down is:
Meditating, walking, pushups, pull ups, and cuddling my dog. But honestly, playing hardcore video games while watching my favorite TV shows.

Vulnerability is:
Being as deeply honest as you can be with yourself. Allowing people to see your innermost fears and desires.

What do you do when you feel afraid?
Freeze up. Sweat. Mind running. Reset. Take a deep breath. Rinse and repeat. Look deep into myself later with shame, regret, and somehow renewal.

Something I wished more people asked me about is:
What do you think it means to be truly awake?

Try for free
Thanks for requesting access! Check your inbox soon for a message from Letterloop. ✨
Oops! Something went wrong. Try again?
Made by Candace, Bharat, & Jonathan