All in Motivation

Passion, Stewardship, and Status Quo

I think a big part of the journey of being an artist is taking responsibility for the stewardship of that thing inside us — whatever it is — that makes us want to create art. According to Merriam Webster online, stewardship refers to “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” What would it be like to carefully and responsibly manage what feels most true, essential, and valuable to you? It’s an interesting question. There is often tension between what we feel inside and what appears to be expected of us. Resolving that tension — or, more realistically, dancing with that tension — can be tricky. But it is in the midst of that dance that creativity and agency flourish.

The Art of Celebrating Small Victories (Or: How Not to Fail in Advance)

The art of celebrating small victories lies, to paraphrase the great Kenny Rogers, in knowing when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em. Sometimes we intend to celebrate small victories but get gluttonous about improving. Something goes well and we think, “Maybe, if I keep going, I can improve even more.”

It can be good to push on, sure. But pushing on can, for some of us, lead to a feeling of never really achieving anything. Consider this: Have you ever had an experience where you achieved something that felt meaningful or significant to you and told someone — perhaps a friend or a parent or a teacher — and they said "Congratulations!” but then immediately pointed out the thing that you haven’t achieved yet? Instead of feeling great about the thing you just accomplished, you end up feeling like you failed in advance at the next thing.