I'm here to tell you the fire went out because you did not feed it. The spark is still there and it is never too late. If you have the desire, you can find the time to light that fire! You need to do this. You will be happier and more successful in your job and your relationships if you pursue you passions. They are not silly distractions, they are what make you, you. We need our passions. Feeding your passions will feed your soul.
Pablo Piccaso said "Art washes from the soul the dust of every day life." Doesn't that sound like something you want to do after a hard day? After having a client yell at you, or dealing with cranky teenager or cleaning the kitty litter, don't we need a way to wash off the dust of the day? Our passions can do this. Whatever your passion - music, drawing, cooking, knitting, electronics - that's your art.
We all know that art can help with stress relief. Just look at the popularity of the adult coloring books. The benefits of art go beyond stress relief. Creating art can help manage and even heal chronic illness. Creating art also helps with our physiological resilience. We call that grit and it's very important to success in careers and education.
The Harmony Project in Los Angeles noticed that kids attending their program had a High School graduation rate of 93% percent in spite of a neighborhood rates of 50% or less. Psychologists decided to take a closer look at this phenomenon and discovered that music actually changes our neurophysiological makeup and helps us with language skills. That's right, these kids' brains grew! Our passions can do a lot more than help us unwind after a hard day, they can help us be more successful in the other facets of our lives.
We know music and art is good for the brain and soul. That is why we insist it is taught in school. Then we leave school and most adults stop incorporating art into their lives. Think back to what you once felt passionate about and let's bring that into your day-to-day.
Five suggestions for reigniting your fire:
1. Read about successful artists. Individuals come to their art in many different ways. There is no one set path. It can be very inspiring to read and know that you don't have to go to art school to be an artist or have a degree in English to be writer.
2. Take a class. There are so many options for classes. Michael's craft store regularly offers classes in painting, knitting, jewelry making and cake decorating. Local community colleges and arts centers are another option. You can even take online music or writing courses. You will surprise yourself and see that you still have a lot of talent.
3. Set aside time for practice. You need a schedule. First thing in the morning works for me, but you might be a night owl. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld keeps a calendar handy and puts a mark for every day he writes. Once he gets going on a streak, he doesn't want to break that steak.
4. Share. Whether you post drawings on Facebook or music on YouTube, share your art. The positive feedback will help you keep going when you feel like giving up. Art is meant to be appreciated.
5. Recognize Saboteurs. As you start exploring your passion, you are going to find naysayers. You will also encounter individuals that are not as direct at the naysayers. I call them saboteurs. They are subtle. You will find them offering unsolicited advice. You'll know you just had an encounter with a saboteur when you find yourself walking away full of questions and doubt. Recognize that they are a saboteur. Don't waste time trying to figure out why they would sabotage you. Don't argue with them. If you lie with pigs, you get dirty and the pig is just as happy as before your visit! Just smile and say thanks. Then put every word they said out of your brain.
I know some adults are reading this and have successfully kept their passions alive. Passions like DJ'ing, public speaking, drawing, music and photography. I'd love to hear in the comments your tips for keeping the fire burning and what it has meant to you.