Ruckus

The pressure, intent and passion for honing and creating pulsates through the veins of every creative mind. Jane Hirshfield painted a picture of what practice look and feels like when she said:

“Violinists practicing scales and dancers repeating the same movements over decades are not simply warming up or mechanically training their muscles. They are learning how to attend unswervingly, moment by moment, to themselves and their art; learning to come into steady presence, free from the distractions of interest or boredom.”

– Jane Hirshfield

The artists life is that of unswerving attendance. Only through genuine prescence can one articluate what it is to be alive. Repetition is not the practice, it is a symptom of dedication and focus; of the resistance of interest or boredom.

My sister got two kittens today. Their warm, fluffy little bodies are each about the size of my hand; which makes our living room practically a jungle.

(They’re kind of cute)

As I watched them explore and play, I was amazed by the way the interacted with their new environment. They approached new items with a gentle caution; careful not to jump from a platform too high, or run into anything moving quickly. But once they had decided to engage with a something new, they executed with a bold fearlessness I came to admire.

Naive and stupid as they may be, we each might have something to learn from their approach: take time to take stock; but commit, and commit unrelenting.

Sometimes it’s scary; sometimes that’s the point.

The only sure thing is that you’ll never find the bliss if you don’t.

Your gut has your back.

Jump.

We get motivation from tasks and activites which offer us the clearest sense of progress. Unfortunately, the activites we should be doing aren’t always the activities which provide the clearest sense of progress.

This dissonance can cause us trouble.

Sifting through those 92 unread emails might feel like productivity as the number slowly dwindles, but there’s a good chance that we’d be ignoring some important work in the process.

It isn’t enough to work efficiently. If we want to do great work, we need to be focussed as well as efficient. Every working moment is self-investment. Invest wisely.

There is a fine line between an impressive interview and an obnoxious one; your credentials become irrelevant rather swiftly if your potential employer thinks you’re an ass.

Modesty comes at no cost, and respect is an investment which always pays dividends.

In an interview, the best chance you have at success is being the genuine best person for the job.

And when we’re not the best applicant for one role, the only sensible course of action is to become the best applicant for the next.

COVID-19 has forced many folks to reinvent their core business, which has been especially challenging for live performance artists and theatre makers.

How do you distill the ambiance of a theatre into something digestible on screen, without the budget of The Royal Shakespeare Company? Whose shows you can (and should) watch online, by the way.

It’s prime time to find a local artist you wish to support and subscribe to them on their platform of choice, but it’s also time for artists to reimagine the wheel.

The rules are changing and in all chaos lives opportunity.

It’s up to us to sieze it.

Don’t be fooled by second chances; there’s no guarantee that your second attempt will be any more fruitful than your first.

For one, you might have grown complacent; you think you know what to expect, but are you really more prepared than the first time around? That depends on how well you’ve learned.

Our focus should not be on success. It should be on how we could have prevented our last failure.

Failure is to be embraced, not overcome.

How might your last failure inform your next attempt?

It’s okay to feel exhausted at the moment. Many of us are. Ironically, lots of people finally have the time to start the projects they’ve been dreaming about, and none of the energy required to develop any momentum.

I’m in that camp too.

Tomorrow, if you’re in that camp with me, let’s find an hour to dedicate solely to the project we most want to align ourselves with.

An hour with no distractions, no excuses and no procrastination.

It’s likely that we’re going to have a lot more time on our hands over the next six months.

A single hour tomorrow, no more and no less, might just be the push we need to get the ball rolling.

It starts with us asking ourselves where we are.

Then we consider why we’re there.

Followed by us asking, “Where could we be?”

We consider how we could get there.

We act (hopefully).

We analyse whether or not we’re getting there.

Then we ask ourselves where we are…

“All finite play is play against itself.”

James P Carse

To play to win is to play with the hope that the game will be completed (and that you will emerge victorious.

But our likelihood of winning finite games is dependant upon how adept we are at playing infinite ones.

There’s no point winning a game in such dramatic fashion that your competitors will be unable to play again.

It isn’t worth fighting so hard that you injure a valuable training partner in the same way it isn’t worth hoarding so much that your neighbour cannot afford to play games with or alongside you.

While some competition keeps games lively, competitiveness at its extreme is counterproductive to play.

Strive to play for the sake of play. And, if you must seek victory, do so with a humility, respect and honour which ensures your play, and the pay of others, will carry on.