Most of the times when I meet people who are interested in doing something like an art, or a new project or an article but they are NOT able to do it, they have an outline answer of “I don’t have time”. And when you get closer or dig deeper, it is not about having time but it’s about not able to make time. And it’s confusing isn’t it ? When you want to do something but you give an attempt later say you can’t make time. And a little deeper analysis into the human psychology and manpower efforts, it goes to the mental traps that take away the time even before you start the work. Wanting to understand the process, wanting to make the best of your work is a good attitude but what defines the best work accordingly to you matters most. I definitely want to write the best article that can be published in ET magazines or Hbr columns but can that only define my work best ? I invest my time, tune the mind, align the thought process for a flow and analyse to bring my version of best in every article. So while aiming for making it better than my previous work each time can be a good progress, the minute I start a comparison and set a label of standard, or even think of critics who actually have not experienced writing themselves but are good at throwing negative comments – these factors challenge my mind and waste the time at initial phase. This is exactly why many of us are not able to “make time” for actual work because we get drained on the mental preparation of the process.
A very beautiful story inspired me to see this definition of ‘perfect work’. One day a budding artist painted a canvas and he liked it but was not sure if it is at a good quality to present to people. So he asked his guru “what would people think about my canvas painting?”. The guru told him to place the canvas in the free entrance zone with a pen and disclaimer, “pls circle if you find any part of the canvas needs to be better”.
The artist did it and when he returned evening he saw the entire canvas spoiled with circles all around. Everyone had pointed a mistake and he felt dejected about his work. Very sadly he went to his guru and accepted that his work was a nonsense , look everyone found fault everywhere. I am not fit to be an artist. The guru asked him to make another painting exactly similar and next day, he asked the artist to keep it in a paid entrance zone, also the pen with disclaimer ” pls correct the part of the canvas where it has to be better”. By evening, the artist was infact broken and nervous to go and see the canvas. He was afraid that there are many people out there with greater talents who would make his canvas beautiful and perfect. With the inferiority complex, the artist went and saw his canvas. He was shocked, there was not a single change, no one made any change. It remained exactly same as how he painted it.
He went back to the guru with a confused face and the guru explained, “this is how people and critics are. We would get thousands of ideas or suggestions and more than that, people finding flaw at our work. But when we ask them to make it, correct it, no one comes forward because there is no such thing called a perfect work. What makes a perfect art is you giving your best and making it perfect wholeheartedly each time. Your time, mind, vision, efforts, the way you plan things, the training you take to learn the art, the originality you bring to your work – this defines a perfect art and never allow your work get diluted with critics feedback.
This story truly gave me much needed perception to see my work differently. And the same day, my mom sent me both these drawings. The left side one is drawn and coloured by my 5 years old daughter who is very interested in art and the right side one is done by my 60+ years old mother who always said she can’t draw well and never attempted even during her childhood. With my daughter in her drawing class, my mother also has started her drawing journey along making their own versions of perfect art 🙂
Here are simple seven tips on how we can be self motivated and bring our best
- Determination is the key. Don’t wish to do things, Just DO IT !
- Discipline yourself – there is no best time that would wait for you to start a new project or work on a new art. Create a self discipline of pursuing it regularly
- Listen to right people : If I am able to write better today, yes, I have learnt how to ignore the critics but I also have carefully found my space, the right people whose feedback on improvements truly help me , they go beyond a step to guide me, to motivate me but not flatter me and it’s important to know them and seek their views
- Training to learn the art, to study and research is an interesting element and will help your skills become stronger
- Be authentic and this will help you discover your style
- Everything has a purpose : A tiny greeting card that says ‘i love you so much amma’ made by my son when he was 3 years old is placed on my dressing table mirror. Everyday when I get ready, this card reminds me the inner beauty, and days when I feel lonely, it’s the precious asset that soothes me. Similarly my random scribbles on wine bottles are beautiful decors at home. My blog on ‘The Indian skin tone’ is still referred by many readers especially to the kids who are unhappy about their dark skin. So, believe that each of your work has its own purpose in this world.
- Celebrate : Most importantly, take time to feel good about your work, the art, the poem, the blog – don’t judge or box it into ‘just a simple one’s category. It is created and presented by you. Celebrate the creation, that makes you feel good and boosts your creative confidence.
Let us not wait for the perfect art but just make every art perfect in its own way !