Artistic Courage Is Not Optional

by Mark Doyon on Art and creativity, Identity 9 May, 2012

artistic courageThink for a moment about artistic courage.

We’re all busy, right? We have a lot to tend to every day — family, friends, home, job, volunteering, watching cat videos on YouTube. We barely have a free minute to pursue long-term goals. The good news is our action-packed calendars ground us in routine. And the bad news is… our action-packed calendars ground us in routine.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” And what is that “thing”? It is, for most of us, realizing a dream. To be sure, whenever we dismiss something as “just a dream,” we are explaining why we can’t pursue it. We are making excuses for not doing it.

Doing the thing we think we cannot do is how we learn that nothing, aside from watching a Star Trek marathon without bathroom breaks, is impossible. Sure, doing that thing might be optional today, and it might be optional tomorrow. But next month, next year, whenever we breathe our last?

It’s all that matters.

Are you doing the thing you think you cannot do?

Courage is the mastery — and not the absence — of fear.  Immersing ourselves in a game of Words with Friends, no matter how enthusiastically we pursue it, does not remove the fear of failure from our hearts. On the contrary, fear grows the more we run from it or pretend it doesn’t exist. Our failure to confront it, to dismantle it, only legitimizes it in our minds.

Afraid of the dentist? You know what you have to do.

Think you can’t write? Write. Think you can’t paint? Paint. Think you can’t make records? You get the picture. It’s your call.

Try a little experiment today. Imagine what you might do with the hours ahead if your schedule was suddenly clear. And then cancel your appointments.

Think you can’t do it? You can.

 

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3 Responses to “Artistic Courage Is Not Optional”

  1. Janna says:

    I. LOVE. THIS. Thank you for being courageous, and for taking the time to write these sage words. I’ll be sharing this blog post with my fans and friends. You are a brilliant reflection of living the dream!

  2. jennifer keen says:

    you. are. the. bomb. diddly.

  3. Avery K. Tingle says:

    NICE! subscribed. :-)

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