Welcome to Friday, I hope you’ve had a great week!
I’ve given a lot of thought to PURPOSEFULNESS, and how it affects us as artists.
For many of us, not having a sense of knowing our purpose hurts deep. I’ve experienced it. We need to start with what we know, and not belittle even the most minimal thing. Take one step at a time and truly, “do not despise the day of small beginnings”. Your life matters. Yes, even when it’s hard or feels impossible to understand, or see a way forward, it matters.
One of the bigger watershed moments in my own journey, thus far, occurred once I decided — I’M AN ARTIST. Knowing who you are gives you intent in your direction. If you ever get lost in the woods or turned around in a park, you will find that without that clear sense of direction you end up where you started. You will literally walk in circles. This is due to uncertainty, and there’s now scientific experiments showing this process as well as the reason for it.
“The results from these experiments show that even though people may be convinced that they are walking in a straight line, their perception is not always reliable…People need to use reliable cues for walking direction in their environment, for example a tower or mountain in the distance, or the position of the sun.” -Marc Ernst, Group Leader at the MPI for Biological Cybernetics
A focal point guides us with the certainty we need to hit our goals, in the woods and life. When our minds are jumbled with all possible directions we will try to head in all of them. That’s called distraction, otherwise known as a cruel form of torture that leads to death. Don’t do that. Narrow it down. What is your purpose? Stick with it.
But what if you don’t know what that is, right? I believe living with wonder, awakening with wonder, is the straight path to this answer.
“The beginning of our happiness lies in the understanding that life without wonder is not worth living.” —Abraham Joshua Heschel
Or what if you’re sure it’s more than one thing? I’m sure you are right, but I’m also sure you have to start with one thing. Do that one thing first, then move on to the others—if they still apply. I know for me I had multiple ideas, but when it gets boiled away, storytelling is my one thing. How I approach storytelling has been boiled down too. Fairytales are my subject matter of choice.
Knowing that our life has purpose and even specific, knowable, purpose connects to what I write about honesty in Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration. Often we want to understand the purposefulness of our lives by some message coming down out of the sky, but most often purpose is found by a willingness to look our fears in the face.
I cannot commend a quicker way to moving toward your purpose than facing your fears, not just acknowledging them, but doing the hard work of asking whether the fears are true or not. You can do this alone, but it is best done with someone who knows and supports you. Sometimes simply the act of revealing the fear as we share with another person holds enough power to remove it. Hard, yes, but vital.
The importance of saying, “no”, to the lies that tell you, “you have nothing to offer” cannot be overstated. That lie is just not true. Value your knowledge. Value your skill. You were created in the image of a creative God with much purpose. I know that may cause some of my readers to want to quit reading, but I hope you won’t. I hope you’ll make a commitment to purposefulness with me.
Here’s how we put it in Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration (get your free copy by subscribing if you haven’t already):
“I commit to purposefulness, believing in the transformation this brings. I may not always understand, but I will not despise the day of small beginnings.”
I have used this pen off and on since 2014. I love it. I use it for drawing and recently writing as I attempt to a) tell stories in my sketchbooks and b) try to learn to get better handwriting—this is ebbing and flowing. The pen, unlike my handwriting, flows really well. I use the Noodler’s Black Waterproof Fountain Pen Ink in it and have been using the same ink to refill my Pentel BrushPens.
RECENT GOOD READ:
As a kid, I watched the movie multiples of times, but I hadn’t ever read the story. As a person who loves the oral tradition of telling stories, Audible gets me there closer than anything. This story is heart wrenching and gut punching. I remember the first time, I watched Artax die in the Swamp of Sadness, I cried. I was 12. I had to hide the tears, but I did cry. It’s even more so in the book where there are multiple twists like this. But, in the end, as you watch Bastian grow and change, you see the wonder of his life play out and his search for purpose almost destroy him (not to try to shoehorn this into my post). If you enjoy story and haven’t read or listened to this tale, pick it up.
What have you found helpful for finding and keeping purpose? Let me know in the comments.
Have a great week and keep creating,
Please share this with anyone else you think may be interested in these kind of updates. Thanks! Subscribe for these updates to come directly to your inbox HERE.
Other ways to connect: Twitter or FaceBook .