Hi all, welcome to your new week. (I skipped last week because it was our 18th year anniversary.)
When we began this road toward commitments, my wife and I discussed different types of inspirations, we took inspiration from those who inspire us, and we pulled these together. Overtime, we came to realize there was something we kept touching on, alluding to, and continually thought about, but we hadn’t devoted a whole section to: #14 Fearlessness. The opposite of which will rob us every time. It will rob us of trying new things; it will rob us of strength when we try new things; and will rob us of hope to continue.
Here’s how this works out; we set out to create and the questions of why come. Why am I doing this? Is this even worth it? Who is this going to matter to?
Why is not a bad question—but when asked in fear—that’s when it steals what’s at stake. How do we meet these questions with fearlessness? Let’s ask a different question. Does what you are setting out to create matter to you? Does it make a difference in you? Is it worth it to you? If the answer is yes, then it’s worth it. You are worth it. Valuing ourselves, what we need, isn’t wrong or selfish, it’s an integral part of moving forward and sharing what we have with the rest of the world.
This is why facing our fears is so deeply essential. What’s at stake if you don’t pay attention to what you need as a person, to your values? If we want to get right to it, let’s just say it: an earlier than needed death. We could spend time talking about the potentials of frustrations and the way those play out, but they all lead back to one thing. This is about living and dying. Live fully, that is what you have been created to do. The more you do, in a healthy work/life balance, the more you will bless others. That’s the truth.
Fear is a blessing when it is used appropriately, but it’s a curse when we let it limit our exploration. Fearlessness is a skill we need to build. The worst thing that can happen if we become fearless in art and in life is a bit of pain. (By the way—Fearlessness doesn’t equate to stupidity; Fearlessness doesn’t remove responsibility; and Fearlessness doesn’t decrease risk.) If you try something new fearlessly and it fails, it will hurt a bit, but we can gain wisdom from the pain. Try again. This IS worth it, because you and your life are worth it.
We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down. ― Kurt Vonnegut
I know that fearlessness is hard, but if we are going to allow the other commitments to work in our lives—we must work on this. It is the grand initiator as well as the glue that makes the rest stick. When we practice Wonder, Purposefulness, Friendship, Listening, Honesty, Studying, Rest, Encouraging, Doing the Work, Sketchbooking, Scribbling, Shipping, and Challenges, we are stretching our current fearless muscles and making room for them to expand. With the expansion of our fearless muscles, we’ll be aided to continue in the other commitments in more boldness and thus we create a cycle, each feeding off of and into the others.
Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good. ― William Faulkner
If you feel fearful, dig in. God has created us with fearlessness as well. Dig in, find that spark of bravery you need and face the act of creating: writing, drawing, relationship, whatever the fear is—grapple with it, ask your hard questions, find your why and fly. That’s the best thing that could happen.
When you feel like quitting, think about why you started. —Anonymous
If the answer is you, that’s enough.
Here’s how we put it Thirteen (Fourteen) Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration: “I commit to fearlessness, believing that behind every fear is a new possibility for growth.” Subscribe for your free copy.
By the way, I’ve collected all of the “Thirteen (Fourteen) Commitment” posts, so far, under one link. Please share them with the artists you know. You can find them here. (Note: I will be updating all sections to reflect the, now, Fourteen Commitments.)
Moleskine Sketch Book
Moleskine makes quality compact sketchbooks. The kind I got has a bit of waxiness to it and helps decrease bleed through. I like that a lot.
“The Moleskine Art Plus Large Sketchbook is made with top quality heavy paper and is perfect for on the go drawings, sketches and tempera colors. Every Moleskine product is thread bound and has a cardboard cover with rounded corners, acid free paper, a bookmark, an elastic closure and an expandable inner pocket that contains the Moleskine history.”
RECENT GOOD READ:
Raynna and a few of the kids just started reading this out loud, under covers with flashlights. So far they love it.
Thanks to Laure Hittle for the recommendation!
The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic: Jennifer Trafton
Ten-year-old Persimmony Smudge lives a boring life on the Island in the Middle of Everything, but she longs for adventure. And she soon gets it when she overhears a life-altering secret and suddenly finds herself in the middle of an amazing journey. It turns out that Mount Majestic, the rising and falling mountain in the center of the island, is not really a mountain – it’s the belly of a sleeping giant! It’s up to Persimmony and her friend Worvil to convince the island’s quarreling inhabitants that a giant is sleeping in their midst and must not be awakened. The question is, will she be able to do it?
Still a bedtime fave: What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom
When we asked our five year old what was inside the problem, he told us it was blue and yellow and opportunity.
What have you found that helps you become more fearless? Share in the comments below?
Have a great week everyone. Create, be happy, create more,
P.S. Raynna and I have been dreaming up something exciting for awhile now that we’re hoping to announce soon, make sure you’re subscribed if you want to hear first. Thanks for being here everyone!
Also, Subscribe to get the free one page PDF: Thirteen Commitments for Artists to Cultivate Inspiration. My wife and I have packed it full for you.
Please share this with anyone else you think may be encouraged by these kind of updates. Thanks!
I always want to disclose to you that I do use affiliate links on the products I recommend but never at any extra cost to you and never just to make money. I’ll only recommend products I believe in. Thanks for your trust. My full disclosure policy is here if interested.