Nuno Santos is a product designer based in London, currently working at Google Health. The biggest takeaway I got from this interview was: maintain perspective and practice patience. Nuno shares some words of advice for those who feel lost, how to practice being patient (with yourself, career & others), the way in which being passionate in one area carries over to other aspects of your life.
1. What is your life motto right now?
Embrace the shitstorm.
2. What's your most-played song within the past week? Why?
It Might be Time by Tame Impala. My friend Fred played it at our picnic last weekend.
I also started listening to Ginger by Riton and Kah-Lo. It’s a good club song. I listened to some of The Hamilton songs because it recently launched on Disney+. And over the last month I played the Final Fantasy 7 Remake’s J-E-N-O-V-A song quite a few times. It’s the perfect mix of old epics and modern techno.
3. Top 3 books of all time:
「心を見つめる言葉」 by the 14th Dalai Lama
Sprint by Jake Knapp
Creative Confidence by David and Tom Kelly
「心を見つめる言葉」translated to English is roughly “A stare at the heart”, but I can't seem to find the English title. It’s an important book for me because it cleared me spiritually and helped me find the way forward in challenging times.
Sprint and Creative Confidence helped spark the passion I for design back at a time when I was considering other paths.
4. Your approach to health in one sentence:
Health and education are the two areas you should invest in without holding back.
5. Your approach to happiness in one sentence:
Focus on building lasting, meaningful relationships. They will be the source of happiness no matter where life takes you.
6. Your approach to dating/love in one sentence:
Be honest and let go of control. With yourself and with others. Give it time.
7. Most cringe date:
I wore a black turtleneck to a date in a coffee shop. Had some dark denim jeans one, New Balance, fresh haircut. I was ready. My date promptly said I looked like Steve Jobs. Ooops.
8. Your most used word:
9. Last screenshot:
10. What are 1-3 things you do when you feel blue to make yourself feel better? / or feel like you’re having an off day?
Take a nap
Have some comfort food
11. Insert most used emoji:
12. Most inspiring quote:
‘Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.’
13. Who’s someone who you can rely on to always make you smile? Why/what do they do?
My friend Sachiko Tamaru. When I broke my knee after a road accident I was trembling and in shock. She was next to me, joking around. Made me laugh a few times. I also have a sense of humor even in dark hours. She is always in a good mood, but her company that one time especially was really important to me.
14. Best advice you’ve ever gotten:
I spoke with my personal tutor at university about wanting to drop out. She told me that at some point in life, we stop having a place we’re meant to be. At some point, usually after high school, the choice is ours. We are never lost, we’re exactly where we’re meant to be. Because there’s no longer a place we are supposed to be. So if I want to drop out, I should.
I felt lost several times. I wanted to drop out of university. I wanted to quit design and pursue a new career. I wanted to move to a new country. But I always felt a choice and freedom because of this piece of advice.
I ended up dropping out of the course, I stopped doing design for a couple of years, I moved to a New York and Tokyo. But I still ended going back to university to finish the course, going back to design and moving back to London. I dropped everything at times to pursue something new, faced some challenges, but the dots still connected in the end.
15. Someone/something that changed your life (for the better):
My best friend, Tiago Alves. He was the top student in my class, and had so many extra curricular disciplines. Despite his busy calendar and not so many hours free to study, he excelled. From very early on I learned from him how excelling in one area carries to another, learning more subjects makes you better at all others. My multidisciplinary, learning and growth mindset come from him.
16. Most overrated advice / trend right now (in your opinion):
The focus on vanity metrics and all the advice to increase them. Perhaps not a new trend, but it’s overrated.
17. Something you feel like saying:
Very few things we’re doing today will matter in 10 years time.
18. Fave website / youtube video / link online at the moment:
The Support Your Friends Slack community.
A great bunch of different people brought together by Micah Carroll.
19. Fill in the blank: I’m happiest when I: _______________________
… have the ones I love near me.
20. Tag a gem who inspires you:
Andrea Limjoco. I wasted too many opportunities to learn more from Andrea, but even the short times we’ve met she gave me valuable advice.