... have I been this disciplined in anything. I've tried and failed to build discipline in so many things over the years. My art, my ...

Never in My Life...

... have I been this disciplined in anything. I've tried and failed to build discipline in so many things over the years. My art, my guitar, drag racing, bowling, fishing, graphic design, business...etc. It's been so difficult to maintain focus between procrastination tendencies and fear of being judged by others that often times my attempts to build daily habits are over well before they even start. I'm writing this because I wanted to share a proud moment with you. One that I hope may inspire you to take action in your life and gain you a joy like you've never experienced.

I don't often display vulnerability because it can be considered a weakness in my business. However, the emotional nature of a journey like I've been on for just the past year cannot be ignored either. 

For the last year I've endeavored to do one thing every single day. Draw anything related to Fantasy art and become a better artist through the process. First I thought I'd come up with clever and unique story concepts and then illustrate them. It wasn't long until frustration settled in. I couldn't draw any of the things in my mind. (at least not to a level I was happy with)

I hated drawing because I was terrible and didn't see any growth happening! Add the words of one of my professors ringing out in my head over and over every time I sat down to draw: "Your anatomy sucks, your perspective is piss poor, and if you bring me anything you've drawn I can tear it to shreds in a matter of seconds! There is no way in hell you should be graduating with a degree." ... 

I'm gonna let that sink in for a moment...

Now try living with that thought every day for over 12 years and still trying to get better at art only to feel like you'll never measure up. I'm not trying to gain pity or sympathy, just simply setting the stage. Those words gave me fuel, and it took a long time for them to start burning, last year, I put my foot down. I'd been a professional in the gaming and independent product industry for over 5 years despite my inability to draw with correct proportion, perspective, or rendering skills.

I worked every day, and some days I wanted to give up. There were moments I felt I was actually regressing. Somedays I'd say wait, I drew better 3 days ago, what's happening? It was scary and I realized those were the days I had to work the hardest. I'm nowhere near where I want to be with my skill, but today I hit level 3 on Quickposes.com, a site dedicated to structured gesture and figure drawing practice. It takes 70 hours to get that certificate and they only count 30 minutes per 24 hour period. To break that down:

To reach Level 3 (70h)

  • 30 mins / day - 140 days
  • 20 mins / day - 210 days (a challenge a day)
  • 10 mins / day - 420 days

So, OK... BIG deal! Why should you care? You should care, because YOU have the same capacity to do whatever it is that's burning in your soul. That thing you've given up on time and again. That thing that makes you sweat and fills you with excitement every time you think about how great it would be if you could do it. It's part of the growth cycle, and it shouldn't scare you. It should motivate you. The thing that you have bad days with and hate, if only briefly. Every bad day you encounter means you're one day closer to an awesome one where you are so invigorated that you can't think of anything else. 

Whatever you do, pick something you love and really want to be great at, then spend about 30 minutes a day working on it. It won't be long until that 30 minutes turns into 70 hours or more, but you gotta start! They say it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert at just about anything. Clock's ticking. So, What are you going to become great at?

(This was originally posted on my LinkedIn)