On Patience

I love the quotes that I find on Twitter. I’ve shared a few here before, and today, it’s not going to be the exception.

This is the first time that I think of patience as a form of action. To me, it has always meant sitting still while waiting for life to happen. When I read that quote, my perception suddenly changed. It didn’t take long to convince myself that patience is motion.

In my student years in journalism school, I remember interviewing a young lady about entrepreneurship and making a living out of art. One idea that stood out for me in that conversation was taking “baby steps” when working on any creative craft. Great accomplishments are the sum of all efforts made one day at a time. It’s the repetition of small actions on a daily basis.

I also thought of the time I took swimming lessons. The instructor quickly sensed how frustrated I got when I tried different strokes and my body didn’t respond the way I wanted it to. His words still resonate even today: “you have to be patient with yourself.” It’s a matter of changing a mindset or breaking a habit, and these actions need constant repetition; one day at a time.

So when someone says “be patient”, that actually means “work on something and go step by step. You’ll get there.”

How do you view patience?

Unlearn what you know

The other day I saw someone on Twitter asking about the rules to write poetry. While there must be great pointers to get started, I think it’s valid to go with your own instinct. Being unaware of any ‘rules’ allows you to figure out your own techniques.

If you did learn how to do something, unlearning is a good idea to fuel your creativity. I’m thinking of Austin Kleon and his blind contour drawings, where he’s drawing a self portrait without looking at the page. He’s drawn his own cartoons for years, but this time, he’s trying something completely different. To me, he’s unlearning to rediscover his craft.

I remember my days on the basketball team when I was in high school. Sometimes, our coach changed our routine to learn new moves. That’s when we played volleyball or soccer to gain other physical or mental abilities to apply on the basketball court. It was also refreshing to switch to a different sport from time to time.

Sometimes, it’s healthy to forget about ‘the way things should be’ to leave room for exploration and playfulness.

If you had to unlearn your craft again, how would you do it?

 

Tip: Choose the verb over the noun

One of my favourite chapters in Keep Going by Austin Kleon is “Forget the noun, do the verb.”

Let go of the thing that you’re trying to be (the noun), and focus on the actual work you need to be doing (the verb). Doing the verb will take you someplace further and far more interesting.

If you want to be a writer, first of all, you need to be writing something. It doesn’t matter what title you give yourself if you’re not actually spending your time with words.

A “verb”, in this context, is an action. Creating. Crafting. Writing. Editing. Those are the steps that take you places. The “noun” is a title that you give yourself or that someone else assigns you.

If you wait for someone to give you a job title before you do the work, you might never get to do the work at all. You can’t wait around for someone to call you an artist before you make art.

So choose the action over a random title. Your actions define your results at the end of the day.

What are your thoughts?

Away for a few weeks

My husband and I are travelling to the other side of the world this week. We will take a break, and we’ll be back until November.

We’ve planned this trip for over a year, and we’re really looking forward to it. The time has come, and now we can enjoy it after months and months of hard work.

I’m also looking forward to all the thoughts that will pop up as I experience places I never thought I’d visit. Of course I’m ready with a brand new notebook to capture as much as I can. Travelling is inspiring after all.

I’ll be back with new ideas and lots of pictures!