Often we want change and growth to be immediate, to come in great leaps and bounds. And to come without struggle and without taking risks.
If it doesn’t come right away we tend to give up or jump to the next thing or we look for the quick fix.
I’m certainly guilty of some of this. I’ve put stuff I like and enjoyed aside because I don’t feel good enough at it and getting better feels too hard. Have you ever done that? When we do this we are cheating ourselves.
We are looking for some sort of revolution, but those are extremely elusive.
How to fix this?
Embrace the Evolution
The answer is to focus on the evolution.
The person we want to be, the art we want to create, the creativity we want to have, the million dollar idea — none of this is going to happen overnight, or strike us out of the blue. Day to day growth, day to day work, all the little things you do to look for a great idea or develop yourself and your skills. These are your rituals. They slowly evolve you into the person you want to be. Or into the artist you wish to be.
Take Action Daily
Now we accept that there is no easy road or quick fix, we hopefully are willing to take daily action. Evolutions are slow by nature, changes take time and are step-wise. Every day is an opportunity to take a small step towards our goals and dreams. Our rituals are key to determining what direction our evolution will take. If you want to be more creative, then every day, you must do something to magnify it. If it is your artistic style you wish to develop, then every day, do something to build on it.
Whatever direction you want to take your work, whatever you want to build, do something every day towards it. Rituals are powerful, but they only work when we do them! So decide what it is you want to create, what skills you want to have, the kinds of ideas you wish to have, and make room for practicing these every day of your life.
Enjoy the process
The best part of evolutions is that it emphasizes the process. Revolutions focus on outcomes, and when we focus too much on that, we lose. The road to the outcome is where the growth, the joy, the pain, the lessons, and the experience of life is. Celebrate the small victories. The progress on a painting, a new skill you have learned and applied, a list of new ideas to draw from.
Every single day is for you to use to work on building yourself, your creativity, to make little experiments in you work to add to your style. Use this day, this chance to make a new expression of yourself. To try a new idea. Enjoy the growth.
Look back now and then
Days when it feels like you are spinning your wheels, nothing is happening, and growth feels like it is for other people, use these days to take a look at where you came from. Where did you start from?
Review your progress, check the list of goals accomplished. Flip through your previous work and ideas. Take a look at how your personal style has evolved. Chances are there has been quite an improvement over a year or two or more! Know that there will be more progress with more daily, consistent effort.
Do revolutions never happen?
Of course they do and can, but they are rare. Creative geniuses might seem like they have great breakthroughs, but they are the result of many years of work and effort. Often we only see the final accomplishment, the final show or creation, we don’t see the hours of work done in private, the long nights, the pain and toil of repeated failures. Don’t be deceived by not seeing the entire process.
Maybe you will be lucky and have a great jump. They can happen at any time, but while you wait, keep on working on the evolution.
Take a few minutes to note the evolutions you are working on in your art and creative practices. Keep on asking yourself what the next step is, and don’t let anything stop you from taking it!