Celebrating 90 Years & Embracing Perseverance
Today is my Dad’s 90th birthday. We are celebrating. While we are still busy with the aftermath of my Mum’s passing, it’s critically important to celebrate this amazing milestone birthday and everything that it represents for my Dad and our family. As I mentioned last week, one of the things that helps us move forward is creating new memories. Today’s celebration will create a beautiful new memory and I’ll be sure to take lots of pictures.
Whether you are recovering from the loss of a loved one or are feeling stuck in a new creative endeavor, perseverance is a very important skill to have. Let’s talk more about it and the five ways perseverance helps us stay strong.
I’m in the middle of teaching my signature 8-week surface design program called: The Pattern Design Academy. Perseverance is super important when you are learning something new and frequently it’s at the half-way mark, right now actually, that students can feel overwhelmed.
Here are five ways perseverance will help you:
#1: The Mental Game – Not Giving Up
When you’re feeling overwhelmed, no matter the particular circumstance, the most important thing is don’t give up! It’s fine to take a break. That can actually be very helpful. But make sure you come back to your creative endeavor. Jump back in when you are ready. Re-watch earlier lessons if you need to. One of the amazing benefits of online teaching with videos is the fact that you can watch the material as many times as you want. And whenever it’s most convenient for you.
Remember how important the mental game is when you are learning something new. And be kind to yourself. It’s totally fine to work at your own pace. You are unique and different from everyone else. Take your time and move forward when you are ready to do so. Don’t fall into the comparison game and please don’t give up. Slow and steady gets you to the finish line perfectly well.
#2: Small Progress Is Progress
Think about progress as baby steps. I’ve used this analogy before but it’s apt here. Babies start by rolling over. Then they crawl. Then they walk. And finally, they run. They fall down a lot. But they keep getting up and trying again until they master each individual transition from rolling over to crawling to walking to running.
When you begin acquiring new creative skills, let’s take surface design for example, it’s a journey. You start by learning Adobe Illustrator. Then you learn to enhance and color your motifs. Then you make an actual repeating pattern. And finally, you put your artwork out into the world to sell. It’s a process. Each step builds on the step that came before. Be patient with yourself and make small incremental progress. Before you know it, you’ll have mastered these new skills and the joy and empowerment you feel is transformative.
#3: Builds Self-Confidence
When you overcome obstacles, you gain self-confidence. You gain a sense of inner resolve that’s powerful and never leaves you. Keep moving forward and before you know it, you’ll look back and recognize the tremendous progress you’ve made.
I’m a big proponent of celebrating each and every win no matter how big or how small. The act of taking time to recognize your progress and celebrate it makes perseverance almost fun! And the increase in self-confidence is real.
#4: Creates Muscle Memory
When you persevere, and keep moving forward, you create muscle memory. That muscle memory stays with you. You can apply it to so many other parts of your life. Even when you just need to fix simple things like a broken door knob or an overflowing toilet!
I know this seems like a bit of a tangent, but being resilient goes hand in hand with perseverance. When you get discouraged, be kind to yourself and take plenty of time to just be or take a break from what you are working on. When you get started again, you’ll realize that you have made progress. You will be pleasantly surprised.
#5: Perseverance Becomes Mastery
One more thing that’s really powerful about perseverance is that you develop mastery when you apply perseverance to a new skill you are learning. Don’t think about watching lessons over and over again in a negative way. Think about it in a positive way where you are gaining mastery. You are getting a deeper and deeper level of understanding each time you go through the material.
Don’t compare yourself to others and think you are slow. You are focused. You are putting in the time. These are skills you will have forever. It’s fantastic to take the time that’s exactly right for you.
Well, I’m off to dinner. Enjoy your day or evening wherever you are and I’ll see you next week.
It’s Never Too Late to Create
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My creative inspiration comes from a lifetime of observation. I grew up in Paris on the Place St. Sulpice and walked to school through the Luxembourg gardens. And that was only the beginning… Learn more by watching the video on my About page.