As designers we balance sensory elements to create aesthetic, emotional, cerebral, and sometimes even spiritual “experiences.” But there is another kind of balance at play in the Designer’s process. It is the interplay between confidence and humility, both of which affect a Designer’s interaction with clients, collaborators, users, and the outcome of the project itself. Confidence without humility risks arrogance. Humility without confidence jeopardizes trust. One way to ensure balance between the two is to emulate those artisans who best embody the values and standards to which we aspire. This enhances our work, our client relationships, and our industry. Embark upon an introspective journey of discovery with Designer Mel Lim as she challenges her audience to reflect on core strengths and skills, excavate motive, and examine the tension between continuous learning to perfect one’s craft and pursuing a well-rounded life. Explore the role of humility in the creative process and its impact on ownership and accountability and the mastery that delivers authentic experience every time.
• Confidence does not showboat.
• It does not yell and scream for
attention and say, “Look at me.”
• It does not clamor for
audience, insist on notoriety,
or proclaim superiority.
• It is neither a bully
overcompensating for insecurities
nor a narcissist constantly admiring
the wonder of itself.
Confidence or Ego?
“I have no special
talents. I am only
–Albert Einstein, one the greatest creative
minds of the 20th century.
IS the first building block
• Getting A’s is a must; it’s about how
many & how you maintain them.
• Unless it’s a gold medal, don’t
• “Talented” = Failure.
• High school graduation parties?
NEVER. It’s about what you are
going to major in next…
• Which University? If it ain’t
prestigious, you are screwed!!
• After graduation (with 4.0 GPA), you
have to land a “good” job.
• How much $$$ are you giving your
• It’s never about getting A’s. It’s about
the process of getting there.
• It’s never about winning the gold
• “Talented” = “WOW”
• High school graduation = a big deal.
You can take time to figure out what
you want to do next.
• It doesn’t matter what college; just
as long as it’s close by and
• It doesn’t matter what degree; just
as long as you graduate.
• Upon graduation, settle for a job
that will simply pay the bills.
Joe’s Upbringing False Sense
– Malcolm Gladwell,
Outliers: The Story of Success
“Practice isn’t the thing
you do once you’re good.
It’s the thing you do that
makes you good.”
“In a world of change, the
learners shall inherit the
earth, while the learned
shall find themselves
perfectly suited for a world
that no longer exists.”
– Eric Hoffer, Social Philosopher
Rules of Mastery
• Fall in love with what you do
• Dedicate your life and breath to your craft
• Choose your heroes wisely and be that person that inspires you
• Be accountable; take ownership, without hesitation or thought
of saving face, of your mistakes
• Big is not always best
• View each failure as a stepping stone toward constant
• Work hard each groundhog day and deliver the originality born
of quality and consistency
“Once you decide on your
occupation, you must immerse
yourself in your work.
You have to fall in love with
your work. Never complain
about your job. You must
dedicate your life to mastering
That’s the secret of success
and is the key to being
– Jiro Ono, Sushi Master & Owner
of a Michelin 3-Star restaurant
The Zen in
We must taste bitterness
before we can
appreciate the sweet.
CEO of Toyota Motor Corp.
When you aspire,
you design the future.
Our passion precedes us.
We love what we do.
We aspire to excel & innovate in
every touch point of our work.
We stay humble so we
No matter what the circumstance,
we must maintain our integrity.
We practice the art of appreciation,
with small gestures that draw big smiles.
We are powered by the oneness of
the we, not the me.
JOIE DE VIVRE
Laughter & fun are company assets.
We are master “motivators.”
Design is our product.
Our process is art.
Our joy is in the “doing.”
And as we “do,”
we design a better, more
intuitive, sustainable, and
Are YOU an Artisan?
• What is YOUR passion?
• How would you honestly rate yourself on the six elements of
• What is YOUR manifesto?
• What is YOUR mission?
• How will YOU change the world??