Sep 26, 2011

Sue's Views

The Art of Self-Discipline

One thing I’m not, but would love to be, is self-disciplined. I’m an organized person, but not near as self-disciplined as I’d love to be. I procrastinate about some things and don’t take other things as seriously as I should.

The most disciplined people I've ever seen are Asians. The Japanese and Chinese are extremely self-disciplined and the work they do, be it art or anything else, shows it. They’re raised to be that way. They know how important it is and how it leads to efficiency and order in their lives. Smart people. If our homes are unorganized our lives usually are as well. If our homes are chaotic our lives will be too.

There’s actually a lot of artists I know who are also self-disciplined. They don’t even own a computer. Can you imagine that? No computer. One of them told me that she doesn't own one because it would be a huge distraction. She is very self-disciplined in spending at least 8 hours a day on her art. She paints part of that time and the rest of that time she’s promoting herself and her work to businesses in her area. She feels that if she were to get on a computer it would take time away from that which is so important to her and she would not accomplish near as much as she already has. You’d be amazed at how many artists don’t even have their work online and no one even knows who they are and yet their work is beautiful.

Too many of us are of the opinion that if we’re not on the computer and we’re not promoting ourselves on the computer that we would be lost. The short sided Mindset of some artists who are promoting themselves online assume that if you can’t “Google” an artists name and have it come up that the artist just doesn't exist.

Let me tell you that I know more artists who have computers and still do not promote themselves online than I do those who do. Their work is truly amazing, but they just don’t feel comfortable allowing people all over the world to view their artwork. They’re not shy, but rather cautious. They choose not to put their work “out there” as they've heard so many horror stories about other artists who have had their work stolen from online photos. It’s too bad they feel that way and even more sad that other artists are ruining it for the honest, hardworking artists.

Being self-disciplined doesn't mean you can’t be on a computer, but it does make you realize that there just wouldn't be enough time to be on the computer as often as some people are (myself included). I’m not on the computer much and I’m on it much less on the weekends.

Let’s be honest….we all know some people who are online who would be much better served by taking that time and putting it into their art. Maybe their work isn't bad, but they are! They spend too much time trying to create chaos, hard feelings, and stir-up trouble where there shouldn't be any. Do you know people like that? Just imagine what kind of art they could create if they’d just spend that time creating beauty as opposed to things so negative and destructive.

Starting today let’s make a pact with ourselves to be more self-disciplined for just one week. I've heard many times that it only takes doing something for 21 days for it to become a habit. Maybe I should try the 21 day theory. Hmmmm. Ok, ok, ok….maybe not 21 days. Not for this lady anyway. I’ll start out with a week and see where it takes me. I sure hope it takes me to a place where I’m not procrastinating so much. That would be something. If there were pills we could take to be self-disciplined I want some. I want a whole lot of them. Shoot, give me a truck load of them puppies.

Enjoy this gorgeous Fall weather and don’t forget to stop and meditate or do some Tai Chi. We just need to chill sometimes.

Sue Hulen

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