You can’t do better than to do the best you can. Trouble comes when people base their concept of their personal best on a mental construct dragged up from their past experiences, or worse, the past experiences of others, which are no longer relevant. Every new breath is an opportunity for change and growth. Not that we shouldn’t learn from our past, but we must never become it’s prisoner.
For me that means, opening up to new ideas about what “good” painting means, and opening up new possibilities for engaging my mission. An example is my recent video endeavors and my playwrighting ventures. My muse is diverse and my interests varied. I begin to see them all coming together. As I become more comfortable in my present form, a trajectory connecting the events and activities in my life has begun to emerge. Now, I feel like a kid in a candy store.
Now, I know, more than ever, I have no idea where I’m going. The difference is that now I’m just fine with that. My mission is evolving. I use to believe it was fixed. I kept fixing it, as if it needed to be fixed. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in laying out a specific mission, setting goals that are concrete, and just a little larger than I imagine possible. But now I realize, these goals must always be fluid.
I once complained to a dear friend that I was depressed. He told me, “take one month of your life and do only what you want to do. See what happens.” I did as he recommended. Funny thing, not much changed. I still did pretty much the same thing, only now I was enjoying it. There were changes too, and over time my work began to change, along with my feelings about the work. I’ve tried never to stop living by this advice. People talk about satisfying needs, going after your hearts desire. This is not what he meant when my friend said “do what you want.” Because, if we are quiet, and we ask ourselves that question, the answer my surprise us. Try it.
Likely, buried way under the laundry list of external rewards, it involves connecting with others in a meaningful way. We do this through our relationships, through our art, or whatever our life’s work may be. Life, our bodies, are a vehicle designed to connect us with others, ultimately leading to Source. Narcisim and ego interfere with this process. So as we become quiet, as we get to what’s underneath our needs and desires to what is really calling us, then we will realize the how and why of our connection with Source.
If you like/don’t like or want to add your thoughts to the conversation, I encourage you to comment. Also, you may want to get a copy of Point of Art – Second Edition, or download it today. I offer career coaching for those serious about a career in art. Don’t forget to check out The Portrait – a painting video and The Power of Positive Painting, the original portrait painting video.