Thursday, September 6, 2012
“Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”
It may seem presumptuous to disagree with one of the accepted greats of English literature, but I’m going to do it nonetheless. Sorry Oscar. Now I know that inspiration, creativity, motivation, spontaneity and such are most powerful when they are unhindered by oppressive shackles, laborious responsibilities, and the mind-numbing drudgery of life, but without focus, none of those things can find their highest potential. The way I see it, being consistent helps a person form discipline. It provides structure and a framework to build ever greater things. Finding a proper outlet for creativity and imagination allows them to flow, develop, grow and expand. It’s also worth note to say being consistent with your art form helps build skill, experience and technique.
Consider, what good is it to be a talented painter, writer, composer, sculptor, etc. without contributing to the craft? Having talent and creativity is great, but if you don’t bother to express it on a regular basis, that ability has gone to waste. Being consistent, however distasteful to Oscar as it might be, allows for expression to flow uninterrupted. So think about it, if you have a mindset where you can express yourself (through your art) on a consistent basis, you can focus on what you really want to convey and produce. Repeatedly coming back to your craft, working through the obstacles and barriers, both of the world and the mind, helps you gain valuable experience and develop a personal technique. Your voice, through your art will be that much more powerful because it is all the more refined and focused.
I’ve found that many times, I needed to push through the malaise of the mind, battle against apathy and distraction, literally forcing myself to write even when I didn’t want to do so. Some might say that isn’t creativity, or inspiration, and perhaps they are right. But I always looked at it as restructuring my mindset. It’s so easy to get distracted and say something else is more important because it needs to be tended to ‘right now’. If you let it, everything in life will distract you from your passions. Being consistent in refocusing your mind on your passions is the only way to make sure life doesn’t run rough shod over you your entire life. Remember, it’s not so much if you’ve done something, it’s how many times you’ve gone back to it after distractions pull you away that makes the difference.
Thanks for reading. Comments and questions are always welcome.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
Stay strong in body and mind
Have you ever been accused of being stubborn? Are you stubborn? Being single minded about an objective or goal is actually a very good thing. It keeps you focused. I call it fortitude. Applying your personal strength and conviction to a single goal helps achievement, but what about applying fortitude to life in general. What good is that and what purpose does that serve? Well, having the strength of mind to withstand the pains and adversity of life is a pretty valuable asset don’t you think? I’ve talked about perseverance and how it aids you on your life’s mission and keeps you going toward your goals. But perseverance isn’t enough. That’s right, you need fortitude. Being able to keep going is one thing, being able to maintain your mindset and inner strength as well is totally different. There will be a time when challenges in your life beat you down so much you might think you’ve lost. But if you have a solid foundation of who you are, what your values are, and why you have them, well that’s fortitude, and you can take comfort from that; draw strength from that and carry on.
The only person that will always be with you throughout your life is you. You better like that person’s company if you’re going to find any value in your life. I know a person who has compromised everything they ever held dear because they thought it would be easier to attain what they wanted. That person was wrong. I know another person that never bothered to set any life goals, look toward the future or bother to develop a strong sense of self worth or conviction. That person’s life is very unhappy.
I’ve had my values tested, my convictions called into question, but I’ve always focused on who I was, what I wanted and what I valued. When I weighed the options and saw what compromising my ideals would bring, I chose the right path. Fortitude isn’t just about being strong. It’s about believing in yourself when things go wrong, look terrible and you doubt everything. When I got divorced, everything seemed go to wrong, then get really bad, and then get horrible. I was hungry, homeless, penniless and thousands of miles away from family. Let me tell you, sleeping out on the street for a few days really tests your fortitude. I made mistakes, chose poorly, and didn’t listen to common sense. I paid the price. But because I took the time to re-examine my path, but stay strong to my convictions, I steered back toward my goal, and continued on my mission.
Getting through the bad times can be done. I know it from experience. Don’t give up. Stay strong. You never know when things will turn around.
Thanks for reading, post a question or comment. I’d love to hear from you.
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