Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thought for The Day - Doing the Hard Work

Have you ever looked at one of your goals and thought "I really want to do _____ but I don't know if I can!" You question your capabilities, whether the world is ready for your execution of _____ and is the timing right. You doubt your knowledge, skills and even wonder why the notion won't leave you: "why can't I put this out of my head?!" But it remains an active part of your thinking.

It's the hard work, the challenging task and sometimes, most of the time, we want the easy route. But this one notion, this one goal or ideal remains in your head. This is not a fool-proof method, considering I have a nylon string guitar sitting in a closet that I have yet to gain "novice" level skills. Here it is: start simple. Before you build your castle, either buy, or form a brick. That one brick, or action is motivation and give you an idea whether you will be successful or not. You might find, maybe this isn't for you...

Quick example: I hadn't touched pencil to paper or brush to canvas for over 15 years. And I had built all this anxiety around doing this work I said I loved. My wife bought an easel some years ago and it took me months to assemble it. And when I did, I was still hesitant to buy paints, brushes, etc to do anything with it. But I had to start somewhere. And it started by carrying a sketch pad and pencils in the car with me, when I took lunch in a local forest preserve. One day, I sat I relaxed, sitting in front of a tree and reached for the pad and pencil. I had anxiety, but I was relaxed as well and let's just say that tree and I "connected." So I drew a line and erased it; I tried it again and again and slowly made my way up to the branches. The rendering was crude, but it was the effort that counted. So over a few weeks, I made the effort to kill that dragon and pick up that pencil. Never mind that my drawings looked like they were done by 10 year old, I was slowly building my skills again.

Now I would love to tell you it was a continuous path from that to "my goal," but truthfully, there have been bumps in the road! Heck, there remain bumps, tree stumps and dragons in my path and some days, it doesn't look like I'm going to make it! But I keep doing the hard work, one task at a time. And a repeated effort or task becomes a habit. And a habit is how you reach your goals!