Never fret or worry about the obstacles in your path. They could be the very best things in your life.
A lot of people on planet earth dream of a utopia. All we have to do, they reason, is elect the right leaders, set up the right kind of government, make everybody socially and economically equal. But it’s never worked and it never will … our world is not designed like that.
The law of sowing and reaping is built into the system, and there are consequences, good or bad, depending on what we sowed. Reaping bad consequences helps us learn to find a better way to do things next time. Reaping good consequences reinforces good habits. The obstacles we overcome give us a sense of purpose and motivate us to keep pushing forward and keep getting better and better. We need the struggle and the challenges in order to grow.
It's not easy, but it’s worth it. Welcome to successful living. It’s much better than the alternative.
Just like the seedlings I was telling about in the January 4th blog, I killed them by protecting them too much. If I had planted them directly into the yard to begin with, they would have pushed and struggled and grown into healthy, flowering plants. The yard is a dangerous place for a tender seedling ... wind and rain pounds you, the sun beats down on you, and you might even get eaten! But worse than all that is to be denied a life in the yard where you belong. By sheltering those seedlings from all the dangers and hardships, I ultimately destroyed them.
Sometimes what seems right, is the worst thing. And things that feel mean and wrong, are the very best things.
In life, obstacles are inevitable. The trick is not so much figuring out how to avoid the obstacles, but being prepared to know what to do when they show up ...
Like those seedlings, a bit of pushing and struggling against outside forces will grow us and make us stronger.
For creatives, all that pushing and struggling will make your art better. Art is all about life. It reflects what life is … good and bad, soft and hard, painful and tragic, full of energy and joy.
It's because all those experiences we go through affect us, change us, influence us ... we grow, we become ... and it all flows out and into the work we create. We don't understand it, we can't explain it, but we can't deny it ... it is a fact.
Then people react to the art we create ... art that “speaks” to them. They feel something when they experience it. The spark that moves them is probably the same spark that motivated the artist to create the work, and that spark gets successfully communicated through the work.
Lazy artists don’t create work that communicates well.
And “lazy” means trying to take shortcuts and avoiding the hard places and still expecting the rewards.
I’m not talking about not working smart, I’m talking about taking the easy way out. About not having the courage to face the obstacles and take them on. Knowing that the struggles we successfully navigate will mold us and shape us and grow us. And all that flows into our work, makes us better artists and will come out the other end and speaks to our audience.
It’s January again … a new year, a new start, new challenges … I’m ready, and I know you are, too … let’s do it…