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?

 

Journals for thoughts, journals for life

Sometimes, your thoughts can’t stay in your mind all the time.

Sometimes, it’s a good idea to talk to someone you trust. We all need to rant from time to time to get rid of all the things we’ve kept to ourselves.

Other times, thoughts are so private that it’s hard to share them with someone or in a blog. That’s when journals come to the rescue. I’ve been journaling for 23 years, and even when it seems that I’ve lost the habit of composing my private notes, I retake it, and my mind finds peace again.

There’s a place where the world can’t reach you and judge you: the pages of a journal. I find that introspection is therapy for the soul. When you write down your emotions and thoughts as you feel them or as you mean them, you create a new self. You get rid of all mental blocks and think clearly.

You’ll be surprised of all the answers you can find in your own words. You can be as bold as you like, and no one will be offended.

If you manage to maintain this habit for years, it’s useful to read past entries from time to time to remind yourself how you overcame tough situations. You can also remind yourself what things made you happy at a certain point and retake them.

What do you think?

 

Opinions that matter

The other day, I came across this post on Twitter:

This short video contains a piece of advice that is truly thought-provoking. Whose opinions really matter to you? The idea of making a list is brand new to me. I have never considered an initiative like this, and now I see great value in it.

There’s always a small group of people you trust. Whenever you are working on new ideas, you ask them what they think, and you find their feedback useful. You respect them, and they respect you. There’s a reason why their opinions matter.

In a digital world, where anyone can criticize your work mercilessly, you have to learn who to listen to. Not all opinions matter. It’s unfair to let trolls influence your every move and your every thought.

Those whom you trust are the ones that can offer you solid comments. You know you can only expect honesty from them. Listen to them and nurture meaningful conversations.

If you were to start that list right now, how many names would there be on 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?

New Year: Planning your progress

The beginning of a new year is one of my favourite seasons. Everybody is genuinely trying to be a better version of themselves. I think this is a noble cause. We can affect our environment a little bit by bringing some positives vibes.

At the same time, we wonder how long we’ll be able to maintain our goals and turn them into a reality. While it’s a long journey that requires a lot of energy, I recommend focusing on solutions rather than resolutions to obtain realistic results.

Here’s a few more thoughts and my list of personal objectives for 2020.

Continue reading “New Year: Planning your progress”