Monday Motivator: Your Brain Didn’t Evolve to Make You Happy

“…your brain didn’t evolve to make you happy. Happiness is not its purpose. Its only goal is to keep you alive as long as possible, to survive. Anything that pushes against that very small comfort zone will automatically be suspected as dangerous.

“The brain is prone to interpret change as dangerous because all it knows is that, up until now, whatever you’re doing is working and is keeping you alive, so changing that path is not desirable. … This is why changing habits is so difficult …

“As you move through life, keep your eyes open. Be curious, be hungry, be excited. … Use fear as a means to guide you, and translate the fear and anxiety associated with change into excitement and curiosity.”

Miranda Meeks, “Always Keep Your Eyes Open“, Muddy Colors

There’s no doubt it’s frustrating to find yourself again doing the very thing you’ve been trying not to do when painting or drawing, whether it’s getting absorbed by small details when you’re trying to work in a loose and expressive style (and I’m thinking here of a friend who draws architecture with such ease) or doing gestural marks when you’d intended to be controlled (and I’m thinking here of myself). As with so many things in art, the answer lies in practice and persistence, much as we might wish that it would just happen now.

Monsieur P big pencil

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