If you are like me you need a revolution in your perception every few days. We are creative beings and we need to keep seeing. The rut of seeing and not really seeing is a natural thing to fall into because it is the most comfortable road. We always want the easy road. Because we are so tired.
But we are tired because we are in a rut. Doing things the same way will eliminate stress but having no stress in your life will work against you. You just have to have controlled stress.
It is like working out. The minute you stop pushing your muscles to perform harder than they want you plateau and it doesn’t do much good. You are going to class and doing the same thing but it is having less and less impact on you because you are good at it.
You want to be on the edge.
The edge is where you are stressing and pushing but not the point of freaking out.
YOu want to stay just shy of that.
Ask any public speaker how they feel just before they go out and give another speech and I will guarantee that they have at least some butterflies.
If you don’t have butterflies you are not doing your best effort.
Butterflies are your cue that you are on track to have just enough stress to grow.
They are your best friend.
I remember my first big time art show. I was so sick to my stomach before the opening I thought I would die. But once I got there and got going and got in the groove… it was euphoric.
the thing is you have to do this every few days or so or your whole life will stagnate. And stagnate means it is not just staying the same – it means it is rotting and getting worse.
Here is to your own mini revolutions in thinking and doing to keep that edge sharp.
I have found that all our lives are either in one camp or another. We either see ourselves as too old for something or too young.
I am to young to plan for retiring, I am too young to have to worry about my health, I am too young to even have to think for one second about dying.
Or I am too old to start training. I am too old to go back to school and start a new career. I am too old to pay off this mortgage.
Both of these are never never never true. You are to young for nothing in the world . It never is too early to start saving, planning, scheming, selling, promoting, buying,or moving or being responsible for your life.
You are not to old to do the same. Believe me it takes a few minutes to realize a wrong turn, correct the wheel and start going in the right direction.
My son was a tremendous encouragement to me today. He spoke these words to me and though it was humiliating to be on the receiving side of wisdom from my own child and I would have much rather have been doling them out to him, I did receive them as from the hand of God himself . Humility is a bitter pill at my age but then again it is better to take that pill than keep on living in make believe.
I am not too old and he is not too young.
Everything is just right. And the only time that matters right now is right now!
The simple act of walking away from a stressful situation and regrouping and getting some perspective can be a welcome path when you don’t have a clue how to proceed.
Everyone knows that relaxing and thinking about something else can free up your mind to solve problems . but the walk away is a little more than that,
You still are looking at the issue, but you are standing back from it more and more till your perspective changes.
Under duress, people move closer to the said problem. and try and examine it with a microscope.
The closer you get the more you cannot see the forest through the trees.
And the closer you get the bigger the problem gets.
I recently(this weekend) experienced the walk away.
Once I saw the whole picture in context with everything else it was easy to see a solution.
Artists have these gismos that you can look through to see your painting as if from afar. It really does help to get it away from you. I also take a picture of it and put it on the computer and look at it small on the screen.
I can see every flaw in a second.
But the great thing is it works for everything else in life too.
If you knew that no matter what job you chose to do for your life, it would work out– what would you do.
People always bet against themselves when they think they cannot do what they are good at.
You think well I am picking something I can be sure will provide for everyone and be safe when in fact nothing is guaranteed. You can work in a job for 20 years and the company can go out of business.
You could lose your 401k in a downturn in the market and make it worth practically nothing.
If you don’t look at yourself as yourself but just someone else- what would you advise someone who was really good at something. Would you say– be cautious and don’t do it but instead do something that you are not that great at and will only do a so so job , but hey it is safer.
I would rather be with a person who is doing what they do best .
some people don’t know what they do best but if you know you better do that.
But this is the kicker you must exert one million percent into your work every day and work on it the same as if someone was paying you to do that.
that is the missing link with people who want to do something but are sitting around just thinking about it. You have to market it and do all the steps to get your thing out there. You cannot sit back and wait for anyone to do it for you. Artists are basically lazy when they don’t do the hard part of marketing. They cannot rely on Galleries who have 200 other artists to market. In this day and age you have to market non stop as though your life depended on it. Because it does.
You have have have to make marketing your best friend not a dragon looming in the cave ready to kill you.
Writer, Accountant, clothes designers, auto repair people. do what you love and the rest will follow…everyone has heard that, but I say do what you love with all your might and put that pedal to the metal and don’t
‘t stop till you get there and be willing to go through pain and do what ever it takes. Then you will make it.
Even working at Dairy Queen has a period of time when you have to learn to do all the duties right.
Here is the truth.. Life is hard not matter what you do. No path is easy. Every path is hard ,, but that is the thing. That is the life!
If I could paint whatever I wanted with zero pressure to do anything someone else wanted, if I had unlimited resources and if I had nothing else to do all day but exactly what I wanted what would I do. You might think dream on but in fact that is what we all can do each day. The constrictions are ones that we put on ourselves . Nobody else puts them on us. We think well I have to do this or I will die.
But the truth is you will not die. And even if you do well we all have to do that anyway.
but you only die once.
Some people think they have to die every day to what they really want.
And as far as resources go.. You have enough.
Once when I lived in San Francisco I had no money so I went dumpster diving and go stuff to paint on. I had no paint so I used charcoal. and varnish. hardware items that were super cheap. .
Now I still have all the time I would ever have. I choose to do somethings not art related .
And you might say well you have no responsiblilites like children.
I knew an artist who had six little kids and she managed to be a painter and o tons of work. She tells her kids Mom has to paint for a few hours and they do not die from neglect. They keep themselves busy and learn to take care of each other.
There are not excuses for not doing what you want. It would be the same for any creative pursuit. And every single pursuit is a creative pursuit.