Non-Career Advice: Kenta Thomas Naoi.

Non-Career Advice is a series that asks people - young, old, and in a range of occupations - for words of wisdom unrelated to work, career-building, dollars, or getting ahead.

Kenta Thomas Naoi / Designer + Photographer
Also: Cat lover / nomad / new Brooklynite
Age: 23

Trust yourself — and don't let fear drive you. There was a point in my life where I thought I had my next ten years completely planned out. But things don’t always work out the way you think they will — now, I take things day by day. I wake up every morning with simple goals: I want to be a good person, and a friend to others. I want to enjoy life the best I can. I want to let myself be vulnerable. As for everything else — if it works, it works. If it doesn’t, then I’ll figure it out. I trust myself. I’ve decided I’m not going to worry about where I’ll be in ten years, because if I stick to this way of living, I know I’ll end up wherever I need to be.

I used to think, I need to be the best, and I need to have these specific awards under my belt, and so on. I thought, if I don’t, then who am I? The fear of failing, and of being forgotten or undermined was the driving force behind my actions — but over the last couple of years, I’ve chosen to be driven by love. I went from not wanting anyone else to be a part of my work — because I was afraid they’d mess it up — to wanting to collaborate with everyone. I do what I do because it makes me happy. Once that clicked, everything only got better.”    

Thanks so much, Kenta. I love that. More from the Non-Career Advice series, here.


  1. Wow! So wise for his age. really great advice

  2. I love that too. Colaboration is always a good idea. <3

  3. So great! Perfect advice.

  4. great great advice and i needed to read this. i'm at a boiling point with my work so i really need to start living with this kind of philosophy!

  5. Such good advice, as always.

  6. Wow. "I trust myself." Powerful stuff.

  7. Thank you all for reading — loved this one, too.

  8. bold and inspiring way to live - *high five* to Kenta! (love love this series Shoko)



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