Linked Lists:

Two found lists, both old, both worthwhile in parts.

Stefan Sagmeister on Things I Have Learned In My Life So Far:

  1. Drugs feel great in the beginning and become a drag later on.
  2. Over time I get used to everything and start taking for granted.
  3. Money does not make me happy.
  4. My dreams have no meaning.

And, more recently, Immaculate Heart College’s Art Department Rules:

  1. Nothing is a mistake. There is no win and no fail. There is only make.
  2. The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all the time who eventually catch on to things.
  3. Don’t try to create and analyse at the same time. They’re different processes.

There is only make.

I'm Dan and this is my blog. I'm a former high school math teacher and current head of teaching at Desmos. He / him. More here.


  1. I’ve seen the “The only rule is work” list before, but never the “My dreams have no meaning.”

    Quite a bit of overlap in philosophical underpinnings, isn’t there? First, that dreams have no meaning, and neither do ever-idling money nor drugs. Second, that the only rule is work.

    You judged by the sweat of your brow, and all that, eh?

  2. Like JackieB, my assumption is that IH’s art dept. “lifted” the concept from young master Luke’s training at the hands of Yoda: “Do or do not. There is no try.”

    I used to have this very quotation — laid over a giant poster of the not-so-giantesque Yoda — on the walls of my high school architecture/design studio. None of my kids even knew what architecture was on day one of the class. In their particular urban landscape, architecture was intellectual currency not typcially afforded their families at the dinner table. Nor a reflection of what they saw in the mirror each morning. They did, however, learn very quickly that there was “no try”, only “Do or do not”, when we spent time together.

    Ultimately, they were like the bumble bee from a law of physics P.O.V. Aerodynamically, they should not have been able to fly. Somehow, my kiddos never got that memo. They soared — as designers and human beings — because they never were allowed to linger in the “land of try”.

    BTW, I’m certain that there are a few old skool Puritans out there raising their collective fists on some metaphysical Olympic stage in support of this conversational thread. Power to the work ethic.

  3. I’m a future foreign language teacher, for me the “don’t create and analyze at the same time” notion is brilliant. For beginning learners you can either be creative with language or be too afraid to take a risk and make a mistake.