Monday, May 11, 2020

Love, Art and Overcoming Fear

“Would you like me to give you a formula for success? It’s quite simple, really: Double your rate of failure. You are thinking of failure as the enemy of success. But it isn’t at all. You can be discouraged by failure or you can learn from it, so go ahead and make mistakes. Make all you can. Because remember that’s where you will find success.”– Thomas J. Watson
May 11, 2020
Greetings to those reading this post. It's been a while. I've been self-isolating. 😁
In the midst of the greatest challenge of our lifetimes, all of us have been impacted. There is no playbook for what we are facing. People are getting sick, too many are dying and the global economy has been shaken badly. And yet, in the midst of all of this, we are finding ways to survive, cope and even be happy. If this time has allowed you to get closer to your family, spend time doing art or another hobby, that is truly a blessing. If you are worried about work, a roof over your head or a loved ones health, I feel for you.
No one knows with any certainty how long this will last or what the ultimate impact may be to our lives, but when you strip away all of the control we pretend to maintain to convince ourselves there is some security in this world, we learn there really isn't any. Life has always been tenuous. It's always day-to-day and it's never been anything else. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it should be that every day is precious. Every moment we are here is precious and we should embrace it with our full beings. 
The human soul wasn't meant to live in fear, but fear is the great enemy of love, and it is very easy to get lost in that fear. Love on the other hand is hard. Love requires courage, vulnerability and humility. We aren't taught to love by our society, we are taught to fear. Politicians use fear, media uses fear, mass marketing uses fear. Fear surrounds us. We are afraid to lose our jobs, afraid our relationships will fail, afraid of each other, afraid of failure. We are susceptible to fear because we've been conditioned to fear.
I think love is the antidote for fear. If we are lucky we take our medicine and we evolve. Few of us may master this, and all of us are on a journey, so I don't judge folks whose lives are controlled by fear, because I live with fear as well. I know the struggle isn't an easy one.
I remember my Mom issuing a challenge to us kids when we were old enough to understand it. She said, take 24 hours of your life and count up all the things you do out of fear. Then take the next 24 hours and count up all the things you do out of love. Then spend the rest of your life replacing those fears with love.
A profound lesson and one that is so hard to achieve. I know because I've tried, for a long time, and I'm still trying.
I think love is also about failure, and not fearing failure. As the quote by Thomas Watson says, we have to embrace failure and accept the lessons it brings to us. And that brings me full circle back to art. Anything I ever learned, really learned about drawing and painting, came from failing many times before I succeeded.

1 comment:

  1. Wish I had been as wise as your Mom. Just this past weekend Had a talk with oldest son about art. He told me the he quit his art because he was afraid of failing. Now he's a football coach. Thought provoking post and wonderful paintings. Glad I came to visit.