Probably the amount of time you need to get into a daily habit of exploring and identifying the path you must take and the art you must produce.
This post is a more practical one, following a number in which I’ve tried to paint a different picture of the world – one in which you see yourself and others as artists, a world in which people take the things they love to do and do to love to the highest level. This isn’t daydreaming, the only reason this world doesn’t exist is because we haven’t made it real yet.
So, a free trial. There are no contracts to sign up, only a promise to yourself to use the next thirty days to identify the things you both love and do not love, the skills you have and do not have, the relationships you value and those you need (and maybe those you need to end).*
Thirty days isn’t a long time but what you’re able to identify through daily practices will begin to change your world. Don’t try and overdo it; begin with 10-15 minutes a day, and, if 10-15 minutes is all you can find, this is okay – trust the process of reflecting daily). Everything I include below, I have personally used in some way or other:
- Obtain a journal to record the journey – as well as the paper kind (lined and artists’ sketch pads), there are online journals, and even blogs – literacy is one of the great Human inventions making it possible for us to develop as a species. Don’t worry about how to write, just write whatever comes to mind – you’ll get a chance to edit later.
- Identify the place and time which will best work for you and promise yourself to come to this place daily – it needs to be an attractive place for you.
- Identify your most important values, world views or faith. Don’t be satisfied with just a word, provide some details. What are the things in the world which most irk and upset you? Again, not just a word but details.
- Who are the significant people in your life? The people who build you up? Who champions you? Who are the people who collaborate with you? Who are the companions in your life? Who opens your mind to new things? Who connects you to others? Who energises you?
- List all the labels you wear – (e.g., Geoffrey, husband, father … dreamwhisperer).
- We are not our labels, so what are the significant things behind each of these labels?
- At the same time, begin to keep two lists for fourteen or so days: “I loved it when …” (to record things which really energised you), and “I loathed it when …” (to record things which de-energise you) – recording who you are with, what are you doing, why you are doing it, and when (the beginning of a process, etc.). You should have two quite long lists of the most energising and de-energising things in your life.
- Begin to highlight the most outstanding of these – the most energising and the most de-energising.
- What if you could do more of the things which most energise you, and eliminate or better manage the things which de-energise? Begin to imagine what these might be – both through abstraction and replication.
- What are the things which begin to suggest themselves as your art? (Don’t worry if this isn’t there for you on day 29 or 30, you are closer to it than before and it will appear.)
- On day 30, write out** the values and beliefs you will live and die for, and what it is you believe you must do because of how your skills and passions come together, and, also the things you have come to see must not do.
Keep watching this space for more; your adventure has just begun.
(*It may be a free trial but nothing that is important comes without cost.)
(** If you want to express it in some other way, go for it.)