Deciding to be an artist isn’t a one-time decision. Somewhere along the line in life you make that formal decision, maybe in college when you decide to be a painting major rather than a business major. But when you graduate, you have to make that decision again, because now the real world looms, debts have mounted, and bills have to be made. Maybe you do decide—you get a day job and you start painting. Time passes—maybe you sell a few things but not so many that you can live by painting—and you have to decide again: should I throw more time at this, more effort, more dreams, more of my life?
And so you decide again—maybe to take some years off while you pursue another career, maybe to rededicate yourself to painting, maybe to add a graphic design business to help with the bills—you make one decision after another, some by default, some consciously, some with a lot of energy behind them, some with only lukewarm energy. You may not even know that you are deciding. But of course you are. We can’t live a single day except in the light of our decisions, including our decision to stay in bed and pull the covers over our head.
There is a felt difference between lukewarm, half-hearted decisions and energetic, mindful, powerful decisions. You may be painting only once in a while because you have made only a lukewarm, half-hearted decision to keep painting rather than an adamant, whole-body decision. Give this some thought today. Do you need to decide all over again, with a lot of power and passion, that you are a working artist? In a way, we have to decide this every single day or else our doubts, defeats, and disappointments start counting for too much. See if you want to stand up today and decide anew. Then decide tomorrow, too; and the next day; and every day!
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