So we go in with eyes wide open and hearts wide open, prepared for the worse. We know we are opening ourselves up for a world of criticism. Going public always ensures that. And as we know, no one is judged for doing bad, only good.

Most people simply run when the criticism comes, when the naysayers speak out, when the murmurs start. Expect them. They will come. They should come. And when they do come, you will be in great company! You are not alone.

But it may feel like it at times. Push through. Grit and determination alone lead to the prize of a self-realized life. Most people can not take the vulnerability and the challenge. Truthfully this level of challenge has the potential to crush your soul.

But what we forget is that even more so doing nothing can as well. If we don’t face the necessary challenges of our callings with faith and dignity we can be assured that we will slowly melt away into a sub-new life existence. Not worth it.

The opportunity cost of not doing what we need to do is huge. It is the difference between a life well-lived and a life not-lived. We have to start dreaming up that life. We literally have to start imaging what that life looks like.

How do we define success? That is the only question relevant to our pursuit. How and why everyone else may do it is interesting but not pertinent. How do we define success and start imagining that end being realized? What does it look like?

I have known the power of this personally for some time. I have heard about such things as “the secret” or the power of daily habits and all that. I know the importance of imagination and envisioning our life. Still I struggle with doing it.

As artists we are wonderful at self-sabotage. We almost think it’s a necessary part of our process. We begin to fuel our own worst enemy thinking it is making us better. It is not. It is actually keeping us from the very things we are longing for.

But in the end it is not about self-fulfillment for the artist. It is about self-discovery. It is realizing what has been put inside you by the divine since before the world was even made. The choice to be an artist is not one made lightly.

It is not a career choice made out of convenience. Surely some “fell” into the art world (in whatever field) by coincidence and chance discovery that they had a knack. But the longterm continual commitment to producing work is so much more.

It requires ultimately saying “no” to so many other things, things we may even like or appreciate greatly - good things we even want to help with. Some may overlap and make sense but some will not be something we can pour ourselves into.

BUT, as an artist, we can certainly illuminate the same problems we otherwise would directly help, in our given fields. We know that everything that is illuminated becomes a light. We can be the very thing that inspires someone else to take action!

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