Monday Motivator: Choose What Your Heart Wants

“Without fear of doing something wrong and getting judged … you’d simply make decisions based on the best info you have, and on your gut. You’d choose from the heart, rather than getting caught up in overthinking. You might make mistakes, but you’d learn from them, and make adjustments.

… Fear does come up, of course. And you simply deal with the fear, with breath and love. It doesn’t have to be a blocker.

… When we get caught up in thinking, it’s because we think we can solve the uncertainty by thinking it through. While thinking can be helpful, it will rarely cut through indecision when fear takes over. A different approach is simply to choose from the heart — ask yourself what your heart wants in this situation.”

Leo Babauta, “The Art of Effortless Decision Making“, Zen Habits

The fear of making the first mark on a pristine piece of paper. The fear of ruining a drawing/painting with what you do next. The fear of overworking it. The fear of declaring it finished when it might not be. The fear that you can’t remix that perfect colour you’ve almost used up. The fear that failing to resolve your current painting means that you never will again, ever. The fear of wasting your time because you’re never going to get there.

The joy of making the first mark on a pristine piece of paper, because it means you’ve made a start.

The joy of ruining a drawing/painting with what you do next, because the worst has now happened and you get to find out what you do next. Note: tearing it up is not the solution until several weeks later when you’re able to view it more dispassionately.

The joy of overworking it, because if you always stop at the same point you will never find out what else might happen.

The joy that you can’t remix that perfect colour you’ve almost used up, because it makes you spend time colour mixing and getting to know the personalities of your colours better. After all, it was created with the colours you’ve got to hand, so it’s in there somewhere.

The joy of declaring it finished when it might not be, because it’s a statement of belief in yourself and something you like as it is. “You are perfect just as you are.”

The joy that failing to resolve your current painting means that you never will again, ever, because if it’s an impossible task to achieve, then whatever you do achieve is enough for today. Who knows what might happen artistically tomorrow.

The joy of wasting your time because you’re never going to get there, because it’s your life, you are allowed to choose how you spend your time, and what’s better than something you enjoy doing. Every unsuccessful or unresolved painting is achieving more than the person who’s still stuck merely wishing they could paint and draw.

Sunflowers, Vincent van Gogh, 1890, pencil on paper, 13.4 cm x 8.5 cm. Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (Vincent van Gogh Foundation)

4 Replies to “Monday Motivator: Choose What Your Heart Wants”

  1. I tell myself that there is no painting on earth exactly like this one, right now at this point in time… and when I add more paint and marks, there is no painting like this new one… repeat. I paint for myself and what I like… and learn along the way. (it doesn’t always prevent frustration, but it helps most the time 🙂

  2. Marion I needed to read this today! And I thank you for your insights. I appreciate you and your art!

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