The Secret of Getting Ahead

Serenity

 

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.

The secret of getting started

is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks

into small manageable tasks

and then starting on the first one.

Mark Twain

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Two Ways to Make Your Creative Life Miserable

Walk in Peace and Serenity

 

Unleashing your creativity and finally deciding to do something about it is fun and exciting. However, every artist (regardless of your craft) is vulnerable to taking a dangerous path that leads to disillusionment. Here are two of the easiest ways to do it:

1. Compare yourself with others.

There’s a whole world of difference between having someone’s work as a source of inspiration and enviously looking at someone’s work as a point of unhealthy comparison.

Two things can happen when you start comparing yourself with others. It’s either : 1. You exalt yourself and believe that your work is superior (which is really pathetic) or 2. You get cranky for being “not good enough” and eventually find your way to discouragement (which kills your creativity).

I love the wisdom from the Desiderata: Do not compare yourself with others for you will become vain and bitter. For always there will be greater and lesser person than yourself.

2. Always seek external validation.

Just like how you spend hours refreshing your post on Facebook and Instagram for the sole purpose of checking how many likes and “nice” comments you get, convincing yourself that you are indeed likeable and everyone is really excited to see that duck-face selfie photo with a caption that says “just being me”. (Yes I know that kind of smile you have right now. A lot of us are guilty of it to some extent. Probably not the duck-face selfie.)

I want to make it clear that it’s not wrong to desire for appreciation. That’s part of us and we need something to satisfy our need for love and belonging. But if your core motivation in doing your creative stuff is praise and self-exaltation then I won’t be surprised if you need antidepressants later on. Because there’s no such thing as enough “praise” and “likes”.

Here’s my encouragement:

Do your craft to build meaningful connections and as a way to give back to the world for receiving such great talent and gift.

Always believe that you are good enough. No matter what. Because that’s how you were created in the first place. Remember that there was no one in the past and there will never be someone like you who could do the special things you are doing right now. You are unique, irreplaceable, and beautiful. Don’t let anyone steal that truth in your life.

Lastly, realize that your creative journey is not really all about you. It’s about connection and love.

And when you finally get it, you’ll walk in peace and serenity.

 

Pride and Weakness

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No one enjoys feeling weak, whether it is emotionally, spiritually or physically. There is something within the human spirit that wants to resist the thought of weakness. Many times this is nothing more than our human pride at work. Just as weakness carries a great potential for strength, pride carries an equally great potential for defeat.

Charles Stanley

Gifts

There are times when what we thought as a selfless act we do for other people become something that teaches us the real lessons in life. By going out of our comfort zone, we realize how blessed we are and how much we have. By listening to the stories of others, we are able to celebrate life and the wonderful connections we have with one another. By looking at the lives of others, we learn that we all struggle yet those who kept the faith and the right attitude are the ones who reach the mountaintops. By offering whatever we have, we witness that the very thing we give away comes back as a gift that brings freedom and awesome sense of purpose in our lives. And funnily enough, we gain more than what we have sacrificed.

Kris Ancog

You Know Me

 

You know me

More than I know my name.

You could search my heart

And even see the emptiness

I’d rather not know.

You  have seen my worst,

My filth and my imperfections.

Yet you still picked me up

As though I was a lost precious pearl

Finally found by your mercy.

Why do I question you when I’m hurt

As if your faithfulness is not enough?

Why do I doubt your plans

As if your thoughts are not higher than mine?

Why do I deny your love

And get angry when I’m disciplined?

Why do I forget to trust you

Even if I witnessed you do the impossible?

Your patience brought me to humility

And I am eternally grateful

For your gift of redemption.

I need your grace

More than ever.

Fill me with your spirit.

Complete me with your love.

Make me live your words

That I may shine the light

That gives you glory.

Kris Ancog