Manuel Lima | Designer, Author, Lecturer & Researcher

Manuel Lima

Manuel Lima is a designer, author, lecturer, and researcher based in New York City.
Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Founder of, Design Lead at Codecademy. Nominated by Creativity magazine as “one of the 50 most creative and influential minds of 2009″. WIRED describes Lima as “the man who turns data into art” while Creativity magazine considers Lima “the Edward Tufte of the 21st Century”.

Manuel-Lima_P1My Definition Of Success | Success is doing what you love, achieving many of your goals, and in the process, getting the appraisal and recognition from your peers.

I Am Driven By | Passion, determination, and ambition. Passion is a magnet that captivates everyone around you and makes the hardest hurdles feel like a walk in the park. Determination is the crucial engine for the effective materialization of your passion. And finally, ambition is what takes you higher, always one step closer to your target.


The Difference Between Good And Great | The main difference relies on their aspiration and commitment. For some, good is enough; for others, good is never enough. The latter kind tends to be driven by a maddening force for perfection, constant improvement, and well-defined ideals. They are normally their worst competitors and harshest critics. And this is exactly why they tend to succeed more often.

A Key Talent | Curiosity is what drives me every step of the way. Since I can remember, I have always been curious about my immediate surroundings, about how natural systems operated and how man-made objects were constructed. Nowadays, I recurrently say that I’m a designer who has no interest for design. While I rarely buy design books, for fear of constricting myself to an echo chamber, I’m an avid collector of books on a wide range of topics. The cross-pollination of ideas that results from this pluralistic pursuit of knowledge has always proved to be the most fruitful. Curiosity also takes me down unexplored, magical paths of discovery and exploration. I normally become intrigued by a given topic and decide to delve further. In the process I discover another interesting faced to explore, and without realizing I’ve went on a long journey of cumulative steps, which destination is utterly unknown.

The Characteristics Of Success | Perseverance, curiosity, optimism.

How I Use My Mind | I always aim at the most unreachable target. The higher the goal you set for yourself, the higher you will reach. Even if you stay far from your ultimate aspiration, the important thing is to aim high, to reach for the unattainable, the impossible or the implausible.


Dealing With Doubt | How do you deal with self-doubt, fear or negativity? Can you share a time in which you either doubted yourself the most or had great fear, yet faced up to them and conquered them? Whenever I’m writing a new book or working on a new project, I get very often struck by self-doubt. Fear of failure often comes when you are pursuing something novel. It could be a new project you are developing, or a situation you never faced before. First, you should congratulate yourself for pursuing an uncharted territory, no matter what it is; you’re not free unless you’re taking chances. Second, and this is an encouraging approach I normally follow, look back at what you have achieved and reassure yourself that you have done everything you could to succeed; if you have consciously done your best in a given endeavor, there’s nothing you should fear. Third, if you do happen to fail or make a mistake, guess what, you’re only human; failure is part of our human condition, and most importantly, it is a pivotal force for learning and evolving.

The Meaning Of Life | What do you believe is the meaning of life? We don’t choose to be born in this little corner of the solar system we call home. But since we are here, we should make the best out of our short-lived existence. This pursuit is always unique to each individual. For me, until my last breath, I simply hope to love and be loved; to surround myself with great people and inspiring work; to laugh uncontrollably; to explore new ideas, places, and cultures; to continuously improve myself; to contribute to my community and society at large; and hopefully, to leave some meaningful trace to future generations.

Advice On Building Wealth | Not to make it their main purpose, since it will simply blind them from what’s important. If you are passionate about something, you will willingly delve deeper into it and without noticing become an avid expert. Over time, while you improve yourself and become great at what you do, your talent, passion, knowledge and professionalism will contaminate others. Ultimately, and as a result of pursuing such a path, money and prosperity will naturally gravitate towards you. Just concentrate on doing what you love and becoming the best at it. Wealth will follow without you even realizing.

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