Stop lying to yourself...
There's this great lie I love, ‘artists create spontaneously, are always going out for coffee, drink or do drugs to elicit something amazing when they paint.....on and on.’ You will see this portrayed in movies. You might even go to an artists studio and see them doing some version of that image. But it’s a one-off or the exception to the rule, the exception that makes for good movies but not for a good life. Of course, if you want to be like Basquiat be my guest. ( he did tons of drugs and was a prick to most people, made great art and died at the age of 28 )
When I work hard, practice whatever it is I want to be better at and stick to a balanced life of eating well, working out, creating a calm home and having peaceful downtime all within a fairly strict routine, I flourish. The complete opposite of what most people think artists lives are like.
Routine is extremely important to me. Don't get me wrong, spontaneity is extremely important too. It's the mortar that keeps the building blocks together. But the building blocks are routine, balance and low chaos. Some call it stress but I call it chaos and it can come in many forms.
What do I mean by low chaos? If I eat well I think better, if I work out my body hurts less, if I get enough sleep my mind is sharp, if I manage money well my stress goes down. These are basic life skills but they are the true building blocks of a good life. Think deeper here. If you eat out often the cost is quite high, you get low quality food, and you lose out on that connection to your food. If you don't work out regularly your body hurts and eventually breaks down prematurely but you also have to deal with more aches and pains and injury. If you don't get enough sleep your body can’t heal, your mind can’t rejuvenate and your concentration and ability to think goes out the window. And if you don't know how to manage your money you will always be stressed.
When we can manage these life skills well we flourish in our life. You can meditate all you want but that won't balance your bank account. Saying I just don't have enough time to cook is a lie your telling yourself. A basic meal can be made in less time that it takes to order takeout. Don't believe me? time it. I’m too tired to work out is another lie, working out actually makes you less tired. Not being able to live within your means is the biggest acceptable lie of all….I could go on and on but we all know we need these basic life skills to flourish.
Being happy, content and living to your fullest isn’t rocket science but it is hard work. It’s about constantly looking at the lies we tell ourselves and then correcting them. Finding another then correcting that one. It’s not about being hard on yourself it's about being honest, doing the work and becoming completely responsible for your own life. Completely.
But why is it so hard for us to do some or most of the things we know we need to do? I don't actually have an answer. I just know it's human nature to be fundamentally lazy unless we see a reward that we like. AND in this day and age we want those rewards to be quick and easy. But they aren't…..not even close and never will be, just accept it. There is another way to look at it though….
The reward has to be the journey. You may or may not know this but it's the only way. Don't like working out? There has to be something you DO like, there has to be, you just have to find it. But again it's not that simple, it's cold out, I don't wanna go by myself, insert excuse. The trick is to start liking the path you have chosen. I want to feel better and I know if I sit around watching tv that wont happen, so therefore I wanna like working out. That's where you start. Not im gonna work out 3 times a week whether I like it or not. That's failure in the making. “I wanna feel better, therefore i'm gonna start liking the idea of working out.” That's it! That's the trick. And then when you start liking the idea of working out you go to the next step, i'm gonna start looking for something I like. Then the next step. Break it down into as small as a thought you need to. Break it down, wrap your head around it then when your body goes “ok im good” move on to the next micro step. This sounds ridiculous but what I know is there's no such thing as failure it's just finding the communication breakdown between your body and your mind.
What would happen if you had low stress, no money issues, got enough sleep and felt good physically all the time, or most of the time? What would your life be like? You would have a lot more room for all the things you love, that's what would happen. You can have it all, you really can! Just do the work, find the micro solutions and it will happen.
“Life is simple if we let it be.”
- lisa heinricks