One memory that keeps returning from the grunge years is of an industrial band called Machines of Loving Grace. Closing out their—really good, actually—album Concentration is a hidden track just before “Trigger for Happiness” with a voice repeating “don’t fool y’self” several times. It’s still creepy, good advice.

It’s easy to deceive ourselves, after all, we know what we want to hear to justify any whim. But being realistic about your faults and your facility is helpful for creative path walking. It’s a lot easier to work within constraints, too, than to have too many options.