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The private lives of keeners

In jos

The private lives of keeners

Mesaj  Admin la data de Vin Mai 15, 2009 9:35 am

April 24, 2009

Yesterday, Sara McManigle of Luverne, ND, asked: "How does an artist maintain the energy levels, motivation, and passion to realize her dreams? As hard as I try, I still get bogged down by others' condescension, the financial aspects, and time management. How do you keep the fire burning when you're so fizzled out?"

Thanks, Sara. Artists need to be self-sustaining, private, "follow-your-bliss" islands unto themselves. Self-directed and independent, they make their own fizz. But artists need to realize that there are more than a few ways to become enthusiastic and motivated. One size does not fit all. Not surprisingly, artists with obsessive-compulsive tendencies and an addiction to work appear to be the keeners.

One way to understand motivation is to look at the symbols represented by the things we do. A passion for kayaking, for example, might represent a desire for freedom or escape. That of dancing, for romance and love. Among other things, painting can represent a desire to re-order the universe or simply to fill the beauty gap. Nothing wrong with those. These passions, whether intrinsic or learned, are integral parts of our natures and need to be honoured. When we begin to understand our symbols, we can get on with the more mechanistic of the ploys--head down, focus, shutout or postponement of impedimenta, pump priming, multitasking and the wisdom of time-management.

Furthermore, amateurs have a wisdom that professionals know not of. One can learn from amateurs. Successful self-motivators at any level are able to regularly return to their beginner-minds and rekindle earlier enthusiasms. Never underestimate your inner kid.

Artists also need to be aware of their personal blockers--people, places and things--and be prepared to substitute positive over negative. Without trashing the wonderful mothers of our world, a frequently reported situation is the demanding, impossible-to-please mother who derails daughters and sons. Oh yeah, dads can do it to you too. Critical, failed, or bitter themselves, they are the kernel of a rolling, generational snowball that is difficult to stop. Stealthily and unwittingly a keen edge becomes dull and jaded. Artists so afflicted need to give thought to re-sharpening with alternate role models.

Best regards,


PS: "If you can give your child only one gift, let it be enthusiasm." (Bruce Barton)

Esoterica: From my perspective, every situation, every human being, is unique. While the loving input of true friends is certainly valuable, more than anything, each artist needs to work out private ploys that beat back the unique bugaboos. I appreciate this is not always easy, as circumstances can run powerful interference. But if I didn't know it can be done, is being done, and will be done, I wouldn't be tapping on this laptop. The word is "character." Character is built, not granted.


Current clickback: Keep moving offers a selection of reader responses and live comments on the business of building enthusiasm and better work habits through action and movement.

Read this letter online. And help Sara McManigle figure out how she might put more fizz into her creative life. Illustrated comments can also be made at

Facebook: Michelle Moore, 20, who manages our free links, thought my face would be okay for Facebook. She put the letter there too. Now she's done it again for Twitter.

Sara McManigle is at

If a friend of yours is trying to subscribe to the Twice-Weekly letter via Constant Contact, please let them know that as well as subscribing they must confirm their subscription by replying to the email they will be receiving from Constant Contact. This is to prevent it going to people who really don't want it.

Featured Responses: Alternative to the instant Live Comments, Featured Responses are illustrated and edited for content. If you would like to submit your own for possible inclusion, please do so. Just click 'reply' on this letter or write to


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Data de înscriere : 21/11/2008
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