There are 3 key elements in your life that you should take care about when trying to grow complete, better and stronger. And those are your mind, your body and your spirit. Each of them can be either very strong (supporting you strongly) or weak (standing in the way of your success). Please read this carefuly as it can vastly improve your productivity. Consider this article just as an introduction to this issue, I will make more detailed article about each of these elements. I also invite you to do some investigation on your own as I’m defnitely not the first one to talk about this stuff.
Lets start with the usual number 1 enemy of success:
I think of the mind as a supercomputer, in the book Psycho-cybernetics written by Maxwell Maltz it is well explained how the mind actually works. I like to think about it as a tool that will make anything happen. It doesn’t care about the quality of the input, it takes what you give it and it tries to make the best of it. If you feed your mind with good information and positive thoughts it will serve you well and will help you to become successfull and productive artist. If you consume bad or wrong information and will fill your conscious and subconscious mind with negative thoughts, self doubt and other junk it will bring you depression and missery. Be very mindful of what you put into your mind and be very mindful of what you are thinking on regular basis, for as Earl Nightingale said „You become what you think about“. Observe the information you consume and observe your thoughts, are they helping you or are they standing in your way? Is your mind a supporter or is it saboteur? Is your mind calm or is it racing all the time? Mind makes good servant but terrible terrible boss. Watch yourself for symptoms like stress, being distracted easily and often, not being able to focus, feeling anxious and fearful, not being able to recieve critique or communicate effectively with others.
The mind has all sort of tricks, the most common is travelling through time, robbing you off of the present moment. It draws situations from the past and makes you feel regrets and anger or it gives you anxiety when thinking about the future that will never come. Do you keep thinking about all the mistakes you made in your career? Or are you constantly taking your work home and are you worrying about your current tasks during your free time? Can’t sleep? Confront your mind, explore it, meditate. More on this topic soon.
Moving to the usually neglected, but very very important part of you:
I bet you already heard it all – from sayings like body is your temple all the way to the popular quotes like body is only a vehicle for the brain. There are also scientific papers saying that the body is actually the subconscious mind, which is all very interesting but since I’m not a scientist or a shaman I can’t really tell you any eternal truths about the body.. What I can share with you though is my personal experience and the perspective that I have.
For me, at this point of my life I see the body as perhaps the most important thing and please don’t get me wrong – I’m not talking about building muscle or trying to score with women. I’m much more concerned about the digestion, hydration and energy management. Eating healthy is not only good for physical health but it is crucial for the mental health, nobody will fool me into thinking you can feel good when your body is screaming in pain. How do I know it’s screaming in pain? Well lets just think about it, if all animals have been eating organic food and drinking water for THOUSANDS of years, do you really think that your digestive system is going to be happy when you switch to genetically modified and preserved food? You might be used to it, but trust me, you will be better off without all the things you might be addicted to. I invite you to try out the Paleo diet for 14 days (that’s basically fruit, vegetables, nuts, fish, meat and water – the diet our ancestors had since the very beginnings of mankind, check out my wifes website for more details on this) and see for yourself the freedom your body and mind will experience.
The human body handles energy according to a set list of priorities and since the main objective is to keep you alive, most of your energy will go into digesting the food you eat in order to meet this objective. Common sense dictates that the less energy your body needs to spend on digestion the more will be left for you and your creative work. Not only your „motor“ will not need to fight the bad fuel, but it will be able to benefit from the new racing fuel you will give it
Nothing in nature is for free and certainly not energy. Often quoted Newton’s first law says it all: „An object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force“. This means that your body can’t just give you more energy unless you do something for it. Do you want more energy? Then ask for it. How? Exercise. Walk, dance, do whatever you like, there is no need to bench press 100 kg, start with whatever activity you like or whatever you find the easiest to do, go for a walk in the morning and that is really enough, your body will react accordingly. Your body is efficient survival mechanism so if you put stress on it it will try to survive, it will give you enough resources to manage the situation but usually not more than you asked for. If you want more energy just ask for it. Your body doesn’t care whether you are couch potate or a sprinter but one thing is for sure, couch potato body won’t have the energy to run sprints and sprinter body wouldn’t know what to do with so much energy just lying on the couch, do you see what I’m talking about?
Hydrating your body and flushing away toxins with enough water is a good idea too.
Brace yourself, the voodoo stuff is coming:
Spirit, soul, god, your higher self, source energy, call it whatever you want, something is out there and in you as well. I don’t believe in heaven, hell, or angelic creatures, I’m not taking part in any religion but I do believe that all of us have something trully special inside. The way I understand this crucial element is essential for every action I take and every decision I make. I feel like there is a guiding energy in you that has immense power but has so soft voice/vibration that most of the people don’t really notice it and therefore can’t access it. Being an artist you actually have a very good advantage because you feel the urgue to create and express, you actually get in touch with this energy otherwise you would not be able to do your job. But many artists never realize how to really handle this element. All this energy wants is to love and express itself at it’s fullest but body and mind usually get in the way. You can think about it as a seed that’s inside you and you need to care for it, you need to prevent fear, anxiety, bad food and negative enviroment from blocking the growth of this seed. Creative block, boredom, feeling of being lost, feeling of being alone or not being able to express yourself are the symptoms of the spirit being supressed.
A very practical way how to let your spirit grow and express itself, or how to get closer to your higher self is to do the thing everybody is talking about – do what you love. Simple sentence that so many people get wrong. Why? Well people missunderstand love and pleasure (I love drawing vs I love eating donuts and playing videogames). The difference between these two might not seem obvious at first but let me try to explain. Things you love you will do eventhough they can cause you pain instead of pleasure. If you trully love someone, you will let them go if they don’t love you back. You didn’t do it because you felt pleasure while deciding, you did it because you loved them. The decision came from a place of love. Now a bit less dramatic example – it gives you pleasure to eat a donut, but it’s not love, it’s just pleasure, there is no devotion or caring for that donut and as far as I’m concerned no one is really in love with the idea of being un healthy, so the only thing eating a donut can give you is plain pleasure. The oposite would be loving to eat organic food and being healthy. Not only it can give you pleasure when you eat the good food, but because you love being healthy so much you can also take the pain of exercise for example (and eventually fall in love with the exercise as well).
I guess the main difference is in the big picture or the final result you get, do you want to do this thing because it just gives you pleasure or are you in LOVE with the final result. Are you in love with the idea of being superb artist or are you in love with the idea of being a couch potato? Look where the pleasure leads you to see what is love and what is just plain pleasure.
Drinking alcohol is pleasure. Smoking cigarettes is pleasure. Drinking soft drinks is pleasure. Sleeping really late is pleasure. Watching TV and playing videogames for many hours is pleasure. Watching funny youtube videos is pleasure.
Drawing is love. Creating music is love. Studying is love. Eathing healthy is love. Exercising is love.
Just read those again and think about the body and the mind, how are the activities effecting these two and how would these two effect your spirit.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should deprive yourself from all the pleasure and live a boring life doing only the „good stuff“. It’s totally up to you how much time and energy you want to spend doing whatever you want. I just think it’s a good idea to at least think about this and consider it while designing the life you will love.
Be honest with yourself, what area of your life are you neglecting, is it your mind, your body or your spirit? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box below, let’s bring some attention to this issue.