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Tags: art, illustration, inspiration, life, Maurice Sendak, writing
Categories : Uncategorized
Rather than being an anchor, a drag, holding back the ship, I want to be the sail, harnessing the wind energy and directing the craft. We’ll not only go farther faster, but it’ll take a lot less energy.
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Tags: conquering fear, creativity, dreams, inspiration, life, motivation, moving ahead, sailing the craft, success
Categories : Creativity, inspiration, motivational
The crocuses (or are they croci?) have popped their colorful heads above ground, the Bradford pears are budding, and the rhododendron are adding a splash of yellow to the side yard. Next will be daffodils. Then I’ll know for sure spring is here.
And with that, I’m looking back over my New Year’s resolutions. Two months have flown by already. I’m still on track for all of my goals, but I’m not progressing as quickly as I’d envisioned. I discovered something along the way, though. I started putting realistic time estimates beside the items on my to-do list each day.
The first time I tried it, the items on my list for that day added up to 46 hours. No wonder I never got through the list. I was exhausted, discouraged, and mentally berating myself for falling short of my goals. So I’ve eased up on myself a bit. Now I only try to squeeze 32 hours of work into a day. Obviously, this is an ongoing project…
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Tags: brainstorming, emotions, goals, life, motivation, time management
Categories : Creativity, inspiration, motivational, writing tips
Recently, I’ve been working on an assignment that requires a series of bios of famous and semi-famous people from around the world throughout history, and I discovered something interesting. Almost invariably, the artists, composers, moviemakers, and writers lived well into their 90s; an amazing number even made it past 100. Many politicians, kings, and government leaders died young. Of course, coups and assassinations cut some of their lives short, but even those who died of natural causes lived a much shorter time than those who were involved in the arts. Even during eras when living to 40 was considered normal, artists generally outlived their contemporaries by 20-30 years. When artists died young, it was often because they took their own lives, so it’s hard to know how long they would have lived, if they’d given themselves a chance.
So what it is about the arts that leads to longeviety? I’ve pondered this and wonder if it’s because artists approach life differently. Politicians often have driving needs to compete, to be first, to get to the top of the heap. Once there, they have additional stresses heaped on them. Artists spend their time creating more often than competing. That’s not to say there isn’t competition in the arts, but given a choice between winning or creating, most artists choose the latter.
I suspect, too, that artists’ angst and stress often get expressed through creative work, so although many artists struggle to make a living, they transform their problems into something outside themselves. When they lose themselves in their work, many of those stresses disappear, even if only temporarily.
Creativity may also give artists an edge in solving problems; they’re usually willing to think outside the box. And the act of creation is life-giving and energetic, so perhaps artists benefit internally as they share their gifts. Art renews the mind and the spirit. So every day artists may be renewing themselves as they work.
But I think the real secret is the childlike wonder and unique approach to life that many artists have. Most keep their youthful and innocent eye as they age, so their internal age is much younger and more vibrant than their external age. Have you ever noticed that many artists have an aliveness and a sparkle to their eyes, their features? They think and speak excitedly about their next projects. Perhaps they’re less likely to give up on life because they have another project they’re just dying to do. (or maybe not…perhaps it’s a project they’re just living to do.)
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Tags: art, artists, assassinations, competition, competitiveness, composers, coups, creativity, death, energy, innocence, life, longeviety, moviemakers, politicians, problem-solving, stress, thinking outside the box, wonder, writers
Categories : Creativity, inspiration, motivational, Psychology
I learned recently that I’m a 9. If you’re not familiar with Enneagrams, this won’t mean anything to you, but what it means to me is that I now have an excuse for why I can see all sides in an argument and agree with all of them. This trait used to frustrate my family, who always wanted to know what I really believed about an issue.
Whether it’s pro-choice/pro-life advocates, Republicans/Democrats/Independents, religious fanatics/atheists, or debaters on any other volatile topics, I nod my agreement to their arguments. And it’s not just lip-service (or, should I say, head-service?). I do support their views. And I totally get where they’re coming from.
So does that make me a fence-sitter? Not really. I have strong opinions of my own, but I also value the ability to get inside everyone else’s skin and see issues from a different POV (point of view, for any non-writers) or even from multiple POVs. I guess that’s one of the perks of being a writer. I can look at life from many angles.
Which leads to a question: Do I do this because I was born a 9 or did being a writer turn me into a 9?
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Tags: 9, argument, atheists, debaters, Democrats, enneagram, enneagrams, fence-sitter, Independents, issues, life, personality, political, POV, pro-choice, pro-life, psychology, religious fanatics, Republicans, seeing both sides, undecided, writer, writers, writing
Categories : inspiration, Psychology
Life throws you roadblocks all the time. Losing a promotion, a job, a spouse, a limb, your reputation… No one ever knows what they might be called on to face, but you have two choices:
You either let it throw you into despair and paralyze you OR you move on. Sure, I hear you saying, easy for you to say. You have no idea the horrible situation I’m facing right now.
And you’re right. I don’t. But my inspiration comes from Corrie ten Boom, who lived through the horrors of a Nazi concentration camp and watched her sister die. She lost her parents, relatives, and home. Yet she went on to become a motivational speaker. What made her story even more compelling is that she forgave her jailer–in person.
Many people move on from situations where they’ve been wronged or hurt, but they carry bitterness with them–a poison that eats at their hearts and ruins their present. To get beyond it, takes a new mindset. Reframe the situation until you can thank the person who caused it. Many times that can’t be done with human strength; it requires moving beyond yourself to the realm of the supernatural. Believing that a higher power knows what you are going throught and has a plan for your life is often the key to reframing situations.
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Tags: concentration camp, Corrie ten Boom, death, despair, facing pain, forgiveness, higher power, inspiration, life, life lessons, losing a job, losing a spouse, loss, motivation, Nazis, overcoming bitterness, overcoming obstacles, reframing, reputation, supernatural
Categories : inspiration