"Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality." ~ Earl Nightingale
I’m sure you’ve also heard the quote by Emerson that "Life is a journey, not a destination." Emerson wanted us to take a moment and realize that life is not about the end product or goal but about today…about the present moment. Each experience we have in life builds on the previous experience.
We all strive to be a master of our art, of our life, and of our careers. To be a master we must learn to love the journey of repeating and practicing skill sets even though this can be boring, tedious and annoying.
It’s the process of life, the process of making art, the process of cooking a meal, etc where the joy, the love, the lesson and the growth towards mastery can occur. There are nuggets in the journey and the process that you can’t get if you skip right to the end.
Focusing on the product can lead to boredom, resistance, impatience, and overall dissatisfaction with how fast you are getting there. When you give up the attachment and focus on the journey, the product or end result takes care of itself.
Take for example, sawing out shapes out of metal. Maybe you find it monotonous and dull to have to saw out your shapes. You’d like to just have them done! However, you’ve got this great idea for earrings where the outside frame is going to be a certain shape which can only be done via sawing.
4 Ways You Can Enjoy the Process of Getting to Your Goal:
- Systemize your Process
When you set up systems or the mechanics of practice, so that it becomes efficient, effortless and expected, you take out the resistance involved in repetition.
Commit to spending 15 minutes, 3 times a week when you are in the studio sawing out those shapes. You won’t allow yourself the opportunity to do anything else in the studio until you’ve done this. You set it up so you can walk in, turn on the lights, sit down at your bench and saw out the shapes. There is no set up time involved, no procrastinating at the computer first, and no diversions.
- Make it Efficient
Make sure you’ve got a good supply of blades on hand. Organize them so you have them available in handy dividers for each thickness or gauge of metal. Set them out so they are handy and ready to be used.
Get a good saw frame you will enjoy using. Have a comfortable chair at the right height with a great lighting. No excuses. Don’t try saving money on cheap saw blades or an economy saw frame. Get equipment that will economize on your time and patience!
- Reward Yourself
Celebrate and savor the journey of accomplishment as you become a master of sawing. Instead of mindlessly sawing out the shapes, breaking blades, and becoming frustrated, acknowledge how you are making an effort to practice this skill set, that you are learning to gently grip the saw, you are gaining ground with a smooth and effortless sawing action, and you are sawing out shapes faster and faster with each journey.
Getting into the journey, making it a zen-like experience, may provide you with ideas for future pieces you would have never had, had you not been present during the experience.
- Check Judgement at the Door
When you walk into your studio, you escort judgement and criticism to the door. It doesn’t cross the threshold of your sacred space. If you break 10 blades, that’s okay. It’s not about how fast you get to the goal or how perfectly you go there.
Go easy on yourself. Give yourself credit for practicing, performing repetition on a skill, and having the courage to make that journey to mastery.
When you take the time to reflect on the journey you learn more about the process. It’s about setting up systems, making the practice a habit, being present for the process and committing to becoming a master at that skill.