GOOD is featuring interviews of devoted members each week on good.is. Derick Tsai is the Creative Director of Magnus Rex Studio and editor of Re:Invent.
The last time I did good
On November 24, 2013 I had the opportunity to give a TEDxYouthTalk to 400 high school students at Canyon Crest Academy. The subject of the talk was about using the failures and adversity we all face in life as opportunities for growth and self-discovery. I feel like there’s such a stigma around failure when it’s a natural byproduct any time you step outside your comfort zone and strive for something more. In many ways it’s a barometer to see if you’re pushing yourself or not. I hoped that by sharing some of my own setbacks and how I learned from them it would encourage the students to keep pushing forward towards their dreams no matter how many times they fall down.
A 'Do' I want to share with the world
Listen to that little voice inside that’s pushing you outside of your comfort zone.
Best advice I've ever gotten
“Let’s wait until someone tells us what to do.”
Book I recommend
“Good to Great” by Jim Collins. At its core “Good to Great” is about the role of focus in realizing potential. Collins details how various companies discovered their hedgehog concepts, that one thing they were uniquely equipped to be the absolute best in the world at and how they transcended mediocrity to be truly great. The interesting thing is that the hedgehog concepts of these companies were usually something they had very little experience in when they first started! In short these companies took a chance on doing something different and reinvented themselves for the better. Even though it's about companies, it's also extremely applicable to individuals.
My good friend Francis Tsai (no relation), is a fantastic concept and comics artist who is currently paralyzed by ALS, more commonly known as Lou Gherig’s disease. Instead of quitting he found a way to keep creating art by using eye-gaze technology from Tobii. His tenacity and mental fortitude in the face of overwhelming adversity has changed my entire outlook on life and inspired me to push my own limits.
My favorite teacher
Experience. Since 2010, eight people around me, some of which were incredibly young, have either passed away or have been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. This has taught me to make the most of every second I’m here and to live a life filled with positivity and gratitude.
Maximize every second.