Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Celebrate All Success!!

Monkey here once again.

Here at Monkey + Seal, we often talk about chasing your dreams and setting goals - lots of long-term type stuff. But more often or not, the reason why lots of people give up on their dreams and settle for something less is not about the long-term motivation - everyone wants to follow their dreams. However, the biggest barrier is the short term blocks, and today, I want to talk about not rewarding yourself enough.

Once we're up and running and chasing after that dream, then what? Yes, we know it's a long and tough road, but are we just supposed to suffer through this long (sometimes even a lifetime) journey? If your goal is to become a famous painter (you should probably be more specific, but continuing on..) there's a lot that's going to happen on your way there.

You're going to finish paintings, put on gallery shows, submit to curators, sell pieces, have friends show up at your events, maybe you'll do some teaching, get a residency someplace - my point is that there are a lot of little (and big) things that will continue to occur until you're famous enough that museums are asking for solo shows and paying you hundreds of thousands of dollars for your art.

Often times, dream-chasers can be so focused on the goal that you're missing the bigger picture: you have to enjoy the ride.

Seriously. Like we've said before, if your goal is to be famous, it's easy. Go assassinate someone famous, blow up a city, give into the casting couch, run on television and shoot yourself in the face or something (please don't). if you want to be famous for doing something you love, that's the hard part, but it's also the enjoyable part as well. The big difference that when you say you want to be famous, you want to be famous by doing something you love and doing it well.

When you're doing something you love, it should be fun. Yes, it can be tiring or difficult at times (especially when you're shaking and trying to hang paintings because you're running on 2 hours of sleep), but at the end of the day, you're painting or dancing or singing or acting or writing or doing whatever it is that you love to do. It's awesome - so acknowledge that and be happy!

I personally often put down my own accomplishments because it's not received with some gigantic fanfare and the like, or it's not up to my 130% uber-expectations. However, if you don't celebrate these little achievements, what's the point? Every time you finish a painting, you should think "wow, I created something," not "ugg, this turned out shitty." It's probably not nearly as bad as you think, and if you hate it so much, then it's probably not finished and you need to do more work.

Celebrate everything, even your failures, and you'll find that the ride is becoming much more enjoyable and you'll be a lot happier. Complaining is fine, and acknowledging your weaknesses and flaws is fine, but just don't let them overshadow all that is going right with your life. Didn't sell any paintings at your recent show? That sucks, but YOU JUST HAD A SHOW! Lots of artists don't get shows. Finished a really great painting but didn't get into a show you submitted to? That sucks, but YOU JUST FINISHED A GREAT PAINTING! Lots of people couldn't paint to save their lives!

Everyone has good and bad days, successes and failures. Whether or not you're happy is all about your mindset. Enjoy the journey and the little success, and you'll find that you'll be a lot happier and the road to your goals will be much smoother.

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