How much is enough? You only know. When is the best time? Probably always. How often? Maybe there is no such thing.
I’m much more conscious of how much I give now that I’m older. As I have mentioned before, the most precious resource you can give is your time. Your attention.
So, give. Always. And often. With no expectations of anything in return. Because you can. You don’t need any more reasons.
The answer in regards to your development and evolution as a human being when you ask the question to yourself, “When should I get started” should always be, “The Time Is Now.” We can tell ourselves all sorts of excuses of why we should wait until tomorrow, the next day, when you know more, when I’m older, married, single, adult, hair on my face – you get the idea. Nope. The Time Is Now. Say it. Don’t wait. The Time Is Now.
The mastery of the craft is in the doing. We can’t all start off as good. But none of the master’s ever did (There might be one or two or three). Everyone has to start somewhere. At the beginning. Don’t be ashamed of that. And as Steven Pressfield so eloquently said, . . . “and the secret is, to merely begin.”
Everything else will fall into place as coincidences, happenstance or just plain luck. Take it. And don’t look back. Because that well of creativity I continue to draw upon will never run dry. Not for me. And certainly not for you.
But I don’t have all the answers. I’m not sure how. Maybe I need more life experiences. Stop! So, when should I get started . . . ?
The Time Is Now. Go get it.
The most difficult goodbye’s for me is saying it to old habits. Ironically, I think those are the easiest to keep around and justifying it. Let’s be clear: there is nothing inheriantly wrong with habits. After all, brushing your teeth every day to keep your teeth and gums healthy is a habit. Regular exercise can be a habit. Reading a book every night before going to sleep instead of being on a device is a habit.
But, here’s the question: Where are your habits leading you? Do you want to end up there at the end of the day? The week? The month? The year? 5 Years? 10? 25? After all, we are only going in one direction at a time. We cannot being going forward and backward at the same time. So, understand where that road leads and choose whether you want to be on it.
Often times we continue doing the same thing mainly because it’s familiar to us. It’s the known. Like it or not we know what it’s like to be out of shape, 25 pounds overweight and not having any passion for specific work. We must move beyond the known into the unknown. We have to be healthy enough (mind, body and spirit) to realize the road we are on – and it may be a difficult one straight uphill, is the perfect place for us and where it leads. This becomes the unknown.
The unknown can be frightening no doubt about it. But, we must understand that pure creativity comes out of the unknown as well. If we can allow it. That’s the challenge. We must learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable in the unknown.
Even though we might not know where we are on this road in the middle of nowhere, we have the instincts to realize if we stay on it long enough by putting in the work, it will lead us to somewhere.
When have you traveled through too many countries? When have you given enough of your time? When have you seen too many sunsets? When have you refined your craft enough? When have you met too many people? When is enough, enough? Maybe never.
That’s okay most people want more of a good thing. We all do. There’s nothing wrong with that, but when we’re not able to appreciate the moment we’re in how could we possibly believe we’re going to be satisfied with an end result somewhere in the future. It’s a vicious cycle. It’s the child at Christmas tearing through gifts so he can get to the next one and tear that open. The adrenaline of opening up multiple gifts and not even noticing what they are is more of a rush than opening one gift and enjoying it for what it is.
Slow down. Look around you. Go within. It’s not a race. You’re not competing with anyone. Focus on what’s important to you and develop that. Enjoy that. Love that. Although it may seem important to have the accolades, the money and the posts in exotic places, in the end all you have is your own life experiences and the relationships you’ve created. Invest in those.
In “A Soft Manifesto” by Cortney Cassidy, she writes about creating as an artist in the face of Capitalism. Cortney says, “while there is value in the unplanned results of creative output, there is more long-term value in knowing what you want to say and figuring out the most effective way to say it.” This resonates with me because I feel like as an artist I can get lost in the process. The creation, the message, the delivery and ultimately who it’s for. I suppose we could argue the artist receives as much as his/her audience does in the end and probably more.
What interests me is the “long-term value in knowing what you want to say and figuring out the effective way to say it.” As I grow older, I would like to think I am a bit wiser and am able to come to the table with life experiences that enable me to not only bring a unique perspective, but to do it in such a way that I’m able to fit these “pieces of art” into a larger picture in order tell a bigger story. Maybe not.
What can be problematic for me is to worry so much about the type of art or the larger picture – I end up not creating at all. That’s the real shame. There is a part of me that subscribes to the way Apple creates it’s products. Just get it out into the public and worry about getting the bugs out later.
Maybe what’s more important is to create.