Society and culture conforms us all to some degree, some more than others.
As long as we haven’t been totally brainwashed into a generic unit of opinion, we will keep in tack at least an ounce of taste.
The taste I speak of isn’t the pepper on your morning eggs, but the unique standards of opinion you hold. The opinion-style you use to make aesthetic decisions both on the surface level and deep down.
The only way to taste-make is to start exposing yourself to many different things, gradually refine your taste based on both positive & negative experiences, and then enhance your natural response all along the way.
Steve Jobs was one of the greatest taste-makers of recent times.
Everything that Apple did was an extension of him.
He once said, “It comes down to taste. It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best things humans have done, and then try to bring those things into what you’re doing.”
Edwin Land, founder of Polaroid, was Steve’s biggest inspiration and just in the same way there was no difference between Land and Polaroid.
He had infused every aspect of his taste into the products Polaroid created back in the day.
I admire folks like this and want to emulate the same in my own creations.
Who doesn’t want our art, work, life and the by-products of existing to be extensions of us?
Just as psychopomps guide your soul from this world to any other, your taste guides people to the part of reality and culture that receives your highest blessing, be it aesthetic or otherwise.
Taste steers attention.
This happens constantly whether intentional or not.
You show people where to look with the way you behave, the words you speak, and the thoughts you share. If you’re taste has been bulldozed over by society’s influence, your contribution may be more of a “don’t look over here, I’ve got nothing to say about it”.
We’re all out here with our existential flashlights, attempting to do our part, and recruiting more light to the direction we deem most important.
You have examples of this in your own life.
You see a certain shirt, or book, or meme and you think of someone specific.
“This is such a Ron mug” “That looks like if Jane painted it”
You have a distinctive way of behaving that with enough time, people can pick up on.
They get a sense of you and the more you stand on your own two feet instead of relying on other people’s opinions, the more distinct you’ll become.
There’s a fun thing I’ve done in the past when Amelia’s been indecisive and can’t make up her mind on something.
I’ll grab a coin, describe what tails and heads are equal to and then let her call out heads or tails only after I have flipped it into the air. Usually this is a quick way to cut through the mental fog and have the real opinion speak up by force.
There are so many ways you can pull opinions out of yourself.
Open a wise book to a random page and snag the first quote you come across. Relate it back to your own life situation and often times, your psyche will connect the dots for you.
Or ask a magic 8 ball a question. Pull some Tarot cards. It’s not the materials themselves, but what they pull out of you and bring to mind.
Muggles will find a way to call this random chance and nonsense, but I see it as a perfect way to extract soulful judgements.
My favorite way to surface soul wisdom is to keep an eye out for synchronicities.
Once you start paying attention to them, they’ll pick up in frequency.
You become sensitive to the subtle clues and signs of this dynamic, magic world.
You notice certain songs, people, places, and colors will speak out to you more than others.
These all inform your taste.
Going back to Steve Jobs, he liked to say:
“The design is not just what it looks like and feels like. The design is how it works”.
Same goes for our life and lifestyle.
It’s not just the surface level attire and decoration. It’s how it flows.
It’s how you show up to the grocery store, how you run errands, grab the mail, check the time, write with pencil, kiss on the lips, and take bread out of the toaster.
Taste done right will be infused in absolutely everything that you do & think.
If you’re like me, you’ll do your best to be influenced from the inner world of Self & Soul, then pass that unique perspective on up and into the outer world - extending my perspective through the levels.
We want to scale our perspective.
We feel as though we are onto something or at least have solved the tiniest sliver of the conundrum of humanity.
We’ve made our dent, however small, and want to magnify it to the world.
Our taste is our greatest claim to individuality.
Proof that we were here and observed, interacted, and revealed our true preference.
Turns out there can be a lot of overlap between building design and building a life. John Ruskin (unknowingly perhaps) tells us how to live life better.
It's never too late to stumble upon an underlying principle of reality. (Especially one that can be put to use immediately)