Let me show you my best painting secret!
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As I write this the rain has stopped and a stunning blue sky has emerged. The Spring sunshine is bright and welcome. The dust has been washed away. You can sense the grass growing and the sounds of bird-life suggest vibrant activity. Nature is taking full advantage of this moment. Are you? Evidence suggests that most people are not. They prefer to live in the past or the future. This leads to suffering at many levels. But there is a way to solve this problem.
Hide the Passion
Even with a perfect morning like this my first impulse is to fall back on the usual chores. Do they all have to be done right now? Besides making the bed of course - that is always done on time. But the dishes? Sweep the floor? Let that wait for a couple of hours. Better yet get up earlier and spend an hour or two creating.
My talented wife writes amazing books. She is meant to write two thousand words a day. Although she hears this calling she feels compelled to vacuum the house instead. She hates vacuuming! Remember that the resistance to your creative calling is always working against you. Call it procrastination if you want. But it is more than that. Steven Pressfield in his book The War of Art likens it to a great white shark that attacks you no matter what. Cold and emotionless. That is what you are dealing with.
Fear this Advice
Whenever your friends, loved ones and others tell you: It is too risky. What if this or that goes wrong? You are delusional! Don't try it!"
What do you think when you hear this? How do you feel? Relieved that you have been saved from humiliation or financial disaster that would have put you on the street? Or do you feel empty? Drained of life force? You need to be honest with yourself when answering this. Remember your true feelings the next time someone wants to pour cold water over your dreams.
It is Not All or Nothing
For some reason people think that taking time for your calling means it is all or nothing. It is not like that. Yes, you can start right now. You can sit down and write five hundred words and post your first blog article. Right now. You can take out your camera and take a photo in the perfect morning light. Right now. You can turn on your smartphone voice recorder and record your first podcast episode. Right now.
But, you do not have to burn your bridges right now. That can wait until you build up your new work ethic. Build up your side-hustle until it is a living and viable business. Step by step.
Nobody Knows What is Meant to Be at this Moment
Think about it. When others tell you you cannot because of this or that reason. How do they know what the world needs right now? Did some sweaty fat bloke grumble on a sweltering day: I wish they would hurry up and invent that dang air conditioner!" Hardly.
Did sea voyagers two hundred years ago lament that the jet plane had not yet been invented? Nope. Had Columbus asked Queen Isabella for money to build a jet plane he would have been locked up or worse.
If your idea provokes ridicule then you are likely on the right track.
But you cannot see everything that lies ahead. You have to figure it out step by step. This is true for whatever age you are. Your grandparents are figuring things out. So too your parents. And you. That is how life works.
What can you do right now to take that idea forward? To find out what it takes to make it a reality. That is your job to figure out so go after it. Test your idea. Put it to work and get the answers.
Know Your Enemy
The biggest hurdle remains fear. FEAR. It deserves to be in capitals, because it is the true bogeyman. That ever present thief. The heaviest force in nature that can crush your God given hopes and dreams in an instant. What is your greatest fear when you consider your art? Perhaps you can scoff in the light of day. But almost assuredly FEAR arrives at 3am in the morning. There is only one way to keep this force restrained. See it and acknowledge it, but do not let it control your decisions. Take action. Fear hates positive action.
You can never conquer fear entirely. Fear is our shadow in the light and it is the thief in the night. The question is do you give it attention or not? Do you let others throw fuel onto your smoldering fear or not? That is a choice we all have. So take action and fire up your passion for creativity instead. The warmth will bring joy to you and others who recognise it. Remember that bravery is when you do not give in to fear.
Choose Your Mentors Wisely
They say that we are the average of the five people we associate with the most. Consider this carefully. If you are constantly exposed to cynical people who blame others for their misfortune you will fall into that mindset. This means that you need to reconsider who you spend all your time with. Energy vampires or positive people who bring out the best in you.
Below you can watch an inspirational video by photographer Brooke Shaden. I chose this video because she is honest and humble. She strives to improve her art and to help others in the process. This is a mentor to be inspired by.
Invest in Your Education
I love this quote: Free Education is abundant all over the internet. It's the desire to learn that is scarce. (Naval Ravikant) Is that not true? You see that all the time. People choosing to waste time. Remain ignorant. Complain. Demand handouts. Yet the education is right in front of them, but they remain ignorant.
Your Time is Almost Over
Another thought from Naval Ravikant. Our universe is huge beyond human comprehension. Your life on Earth is like a single flash from a firefly. A second then gone. Life is so short and precious. Why spend it being unhappy? Why wait another day?
In an earlier blog I wrote about the sad passing of Tom Petty. He died at age 66. Imagine if Tom Petty waited for retirement before following his dream to play the guitar. Many people retire at age 65 and then hope to do what they have put off for a lifetime. Makes you think.
I do resolve to grit my teeth in the face of fear. Turn my back on the cynics and welcome those that choose the light. Do the work, laugh, cry and above all - love. The source of creation. When the final curtain is called I hope to have a only a few regrets. But as Blue Eyes said - too few to mention.
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