This deceptively simple question might just keep you up tonight!
I was reading this awesome book (Mitch Horowitz – The Miracle of a Definite Chief Aim. I wish the cover was prettier, Mitch!) The mind-blowing part isn’t where he asks “what is your definite chief aim?” I was expecting that; the bright yellow cover kinda gives that away…
The kicker came when he explained how a lack of clarity on that aim can impede your chance of achieving that aim. Not that surprising now when I read that back, but at the time I thought “Aah, that’s why I kinda get there and just fall short!”
This lack of clarity of my Definite Chief Aim (DCA) in my own life has manifested as regularly spreading myself too thin, occasional chopping and changing, and a dash of procrastination. Add to that a measure of self-doubt around my creative abilities and you’ve got a real recipe for missing the goal every time. Stepping aside from painting for a while has been a life-changing decision for me. I feel lighter and freer because I was spreading myself wafer thin, trying to do a bit of everything. Now I’m concentrating on writing I have the headspace to write what I want to write and it frees me up to work more in our business when needed without making me want to scream.
I can’t do everything. Who knew?
After some deep thought and journaling, I’ve identified my DCA, but I’m still working on the wording. My DCA over the next few days is to work that out!
Mitch says you have to be really honest with yourself. What do you reallywant?
Judging by the below blog post from 2009, I had a vague idea of where I was going then. I did achieve a measure of success, but few collectors are seeking me out unless you count family and friends who still want Kombi paintings… That dream job taught me so much about myself as an artist and the art world. I met some amazing people and I kicked some serious career goals, even ones I didn’t know I had!
Now it’s not necessarily a matter of thinking bigger, but of focussed daily work towards that thing that makes your heart sing!
Again, what do you really want?
Here’s a blog post from the dim-dark past.
Friday 25th November 2009
A very wise friend of mine recently reminded me that we need to let the universe know what we want so that we get what we want…now I am not 100% sure that we get what we want, but I do know for certain that we get what we need…what we need to learn, to grow, to be fully what we decided we wanted to be before we forgot…
but just in case we are meant to get what we want…I have been asking myself, what do I really want from my art, a career? a diversion? to leave my mark? fame? I have always been an artist, but for a long time I was a painter that didn’t paint, and a writer that didn’t write…then one day, the pain of not painting, and not writing, got worse than the pain of actually doing those things…so I sat down and wrote my memoir (18 months work, thousands of words, but needs an epic re-write and editing session…) and I picked up that paint brush…
what I can say? What I can say unequivocally, is that painting, no, art, is my passion…I can’t descibe the drive that makes us paint… is it primeval? is it the ultimate arrogance that we think others want to see what’s going on inside our heads…make them see what we see when we open our eyes? Is it why I am here? to paint the reflection of boats on the water…the way sunlight hits the Arc de Triomphe in the August heat? Can it really be that simple?
Well, just in case we really do get what we ask for, I am going to tell the universe right here and now what I want from my art, from my life. I have a wonderful husband and a fabulous son, family and friends, my health and a home and I am already an artist. I am so blessed!
And now…I want to take this ride as far as it will go! I want success as an artist…and I define that by the number of paintings I am making and selling to those who want them. I am not trying to make statements or to be provocative…I just want to make pictures and sell them to people who love them!
I want the whole box and dice here…I want to travel with my art…to France…to the USA…to Spain…I want to sell a lot of paintings and be sought out by collectors…I don’t want to be rich and famous, but I want enough money so I can do all the things I want to do and help my family. I want to do the work that I want to do…make the art that comes bubbling out of me…and I want to be a role model for other women and for my son…to live out his passion for music and take that ride as far as it will go.
so there you have it…is that my prayer? my offering up to the universe a shopping list for success as an artist? I hope this doesn’t come across as arrogant… or selfish – This is the first time in my life that I have had the guts to really ask for something I want. I was raised to put myself last but I am over that. My husband and son are so important, that goes without saying, but so is my art and now – I really believe that this will happen, that it is already happening. this year has been such a rush of firsts and achievements. In April I was miserable working in a Bathroom showroom…doing a great job but in a funk. I didn’t have time to paint and it was driving me nuts! I decided enough was enough and left and within the last 7 months I am now a full time artist earning a living from my art…and now I just gotta think…bigger…!