Thursday, November 10, 2011

7 reasons to NEVER give up.

"Dreams come true". "Hard work pays off." Do these words fill you with happy thoughts, or do they make you want to click off this page (and you can't click soon enough)? When we are in the trenches and getting muddy in our creative careers, trying so hard to start our own parade or working to increase the momentum of the little one we have already started, it's not always easy to feel that Disney feeling. In fact, sometimes it can be downright hard to even look at those words. You know what I'm talking about? It is not always a sunny ride with the top down.

Well, I'm going to argue for the other side. Rome was not built in a day. Read on. Here are my...

7 reasons to NEVER give up.

7) Free school
Guess what? You WILL get smarter. Win or lose, if you are continually moving forward and taking chances, you will learn new and fascinating things about yourself,  what you can offer, and the particular sandbox in which you play. This is a stone-cold fact—100% assured. And knowledge is not only priceless, but it's measurable, and applicable. So, by not giving up, you continue to get sharper and shinier!

6) You WILL acquire clarity.
It won't happen overnight, but after focusing on your specific goals for a long time and working on all the various different things that come into play in order to support it, you WILL eventually (and continually) gain clarity and focus. As you continue try and and have times when you fail, you will gain more clarity, bit by bit. Though these moments are not awesome, they are moments of potentially rich growth. Try to get past your issues at this moment, and don't waste this opportunity.
After I reach a milestone (be it a big, positive one or a major bummer), I stop, take a breath and give myself the moment to process what happened. I reassess my goal (and sometimes, I really, really reassess my goal) and I look at how I am working to achieve it. What's working? What's NOT? What can I do more effectively? What new, fresh idea can I try, or what older idea can I revamp and re-try?  Hey, I can wallow for a few minutes with the best of them! But then, that's IT.
Just don't be afraid to tinker—there is no perfect one-size-fits-all  formula for success, so keep trying. Besides, variety is the spice of life! Everything in life is in either a state of evolution or stagnation—always. You're either fresh or your moldy. (Eww..) But, take your pick. Reassessing your goals and remapping your route is NOT failure. It's simply taking stock, and taking stock is really important in order to continue moving forward with clarity.

own your guts.

5) The odds are in your favor, the longer you stick it out.

The more you try, the better your odds. "Perseverance has been shown to be the #1 barometer of success." Have you heard this before? I don't know if it's a somehow-tested truth, or an urban legend. I've decided that I don't even care. Because, when you think about it, it's just common sense.
As an aside, I recently went to an a conference where I listened to several (highly successful) scientists and mathematicians speak specifically about success. And you know what? They talked at length, and with a lot of insight, about their failures and how important they were. In fact, they all seemed to embrace failure.
Failing comes abundantly with the territory of success. So if we fail a lot, we need to start looking at it as progress! Which brings me to...

4)There is no REAL failure, if you don't give up.
Yes, you can lose on the battle level. But battle scars build character. Plus, when you never give up, you never give in... and, when you don't give in, it means you haven't lost yet. You have gained some valuable ammo, though— the experience and knowledge that you can take with you into your next round. So keep at it.

3) The journey IS the destination.
I first read this quote on the cover of the book of the same name. The quote captivated me with raw truth (as did the book, which I ended up buying).

Ok. So... the journey and the destination they are not one and the same. But, looking at the big picture, would you agree with me that they are equal in importance? You can't get to one without the other. And, on top of that, the journey itself never ends. Let's hear it for the journey.

2)You WILL toughen up.
You cannot buy a thick skin. You have to earn it. This is an absolute truth, and it's one of the great equalizers of the universe. Things certainly don't get EASY when something doesn't go your way. But things certainly get easier, and as a bonus, you will acquire new and exciting coping mechanisms! Soon, you will find yourself knocking on the next door, knocking on several doors at once, standing on your head, balancing a plate on your toe while knocking on a door... (see where I'm going with this?)

1) IF you decide to give up, You WILL be miserable.
This is a tough pill to swallow I know. But this, I can promise.
You might not be miserable right away. But eventually, you will become enshrouded in the shadow of gave-upness, like an invisible cocoon that slowly grows over your entire body, eventually paralyzing you. This will most certainly turn you into you a miserable and unhappy person. Which you are not. So don't go there. Life does not get any easier when you quit. The disappointments just change.

you're going places.

So don't give up.


Anonymous said...

Loves u! This is a wonderful post. Hugs and perseverance!

Loni Edwards said...

Great advice!

Megan Moran Smith said...

Wow, thank you and perfect timing. Great post.

Diane Hoeptner (hep-ner) said...

PROFOUNDLY AWESOME: Just what I needed to read this morning. Big huge Gigantic THANK YOU, Kathy!!!

Dana said...

Thanks for taking the time to write that, Kathy. As fate would have it, I needed to read it today! :)

Helga Pearson said...

You are officially AMAZING! It's as if you sat down and had a profound conversation with my brain. Printing this and sticking it over my workbench, lest I forget. THANK YOU!

Monica Lee said...

I love this post...and the art...girrrrl that is some really fine squiggly art you have there!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Well said. I needed that!

Kathy Weller said...

Thank you all so much for chiming in!! I'm touched that my post helped you so much... really glad.
I could go on and on (...believe me... no "off" switch...) so I'll just stop at...
<3<3<3 THANK YOU <3<3<3
Each of you made my day with your comments :)

i spy with my crafty eyes said...

AWESOME post, couldn't have come at a better time. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Laura Zarrin said...

Great post!! I needed the nudge, thank you!

Love those sketches and the pens are so cute, too!

eeli said...

You have very beautiful blog! Thank You for sharing the 7 reasons :). With the best,

Mary C. Nasser said...

Very inspiring sketches and 7 reasons! :)

So nice to meet you through BYW.
All the best,
Mixed-Media Map Art

Emmi said...

Very inspiring! Thank you thank you thank you!

Jamila said...

AWESOME! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. We have to remind ourselves of these types of things or hear others say it for the first time. :)

Softpencil Studios said...

What a great and inspiring post! I totally agree with you!!! :)

ella said...

Fabulous Post, I especially like number 6 as I feel I am slowly getting there myself at the moment! Thanks for the inspiration and motivation!