Productivity & Mindset

I came across an interview with Luke Burgis some time ago and I found fascinating what he had to say about human behaviour. I could recognize right away some of these patterns in my own routines and the potential I could tap into if I implemented a few simple changes.

Main concept

I believe the theory of mimetic desire originates with philosopher René Girard.

The basic idea is that we are unconsciously imitating the desires of other people (aka models). Before we have a conscious awareness that this other person is modeling value or signaling the value of something for us, we are perceiving that this thing is important because somebody else thinks it’s important or desires it.

If they care so much about it, it must be important. Somehow a version of FOMO.

How does this affect us

When it comes to desires, it’s important to separate essential from non-essential. Why? Because it can have a huge impact in our lives. When we focus our efforts towards a clear goal which is aligned with our vision, the results are multiplied tenfold. Therefore it’s vital to discern what it is that we want the most in our lives (essential) to have a clear sense of direction. When we go from Pre-Conscious to Conscious awareness, we can be more intentional in recognizing this difference and make choices that can bring us closer to our goals.


We want to be less mimetic towards negative forces of influence, these days social and traditional media in the first place but also peer groups. Not to eliminate it but make it more intentional, more selective towards the positive, reducing thoughtless worship or comparison/competition.


STEP 1: Who are the people who I notice when they do something?

STEP 2: Add to the list people I wish would be on the list (they inspire you) but I’m not paying attention to them.

STEP 3: Make distinction in the way people affect us for good or bad (the same person has multiple qualities).

STEP 4: How do you want to invest your time, what do you have to give up to implement this decision.


Also, it’s hard to understand these dynamics while we’re continuously plugged in. It can be good to get a few days’ retreat, completely unplugged, to get a good look inward and more effectively assess where we’re at.


Books closed podcast: Filip Leu

A great interview just recently came out, produced by Andrew Stortz. In his podcast Books Closed, Andrew interviews some of the most influential tattooers of our time. This episode features Filip Leu, a legend in the business. I could tell you why he’s so respected, why his work is so good and how his name became one of the biggest in the world, but I prefer to let him tell you his story.


Especially as young artists it can be tremendously beneficial to listen to the point of view of someone not only incredibly experienced but equally humble. The real tattoo school is right there.