Jul 28, 2013 12:33PM
By Ana Rincon
If you’re the self-motivated type, don’t read this letter. I’m far from being a slacker, but sometimes I need to give myself a nudge.
This time it was a financial nudge to get creative.In the past I’ve played around with paper collage, painting, and textiles and I identify with being a creative person. But when I looked around my house recently, I noticed there was very little that I had actually made. What I saw, instead, were dozens of books about art and creativity, and many projects started, but not completed. One of those books, actually a magazine called Cloth Paper Scissors, advertised a weekend workshop for mixed media artists not too far from home. I remembered seeing the ad last year, too, and regretted not going.
Normally, I put events like that on my calendar of possibilities, instead of my calendar of commitments. I think, “Oh, wouldn’t that be a nice thing to do,” instead of just doing it. Sometimes little niggling doubts and excuses get in the way. Sometimes I actually intend to go, but unless I’m committed in some way, the day arrives and then drifts away in a fog of emails, chores, paperwork, and other busy-ness.
So, this time I put my money down before I could find an excuse. And because of that commitment, I know I will go. There’s no guarantee that I will enjoy the class, feel like an “artist,” or even come home with anything worth displaying. But at least next year, I can look at the ad again and not regret passing on it.
Another activity I find necessary to commit to is exercise. Planning to exercise isn’t enough for me. I need a schedule of classes that I’m expected to attend, and even better, have prepaid for. It’s not really the money, though, that causes me to act.Scheduling a painter will help me choose a color. A friend waiting for me will get me out the door. Having a print date ensures the magazine will go out on time. It’s the act of committing.
So, if you’re like me, figure out what triggers you to act, and commit to it. If you see an activity in our calendar of events that intrigues you, make the call. See an ad, tip, or recipe that you’d like to act on? Do it now. And when you pick up next month’s Natural Awakenings, you won’t regret passing on it.