The unapologetic, raw, unedited interpretation of living life. Each of us is the artist of our own life, constantly remolding, reworking, and roughing out the details and applying what we've learned to the changing canvas. There are no do-overs, no take backs...just rough cuts that release what lies inside us.

I saw the angel in stone and I carved until I set him free. - Michelangelo

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Drowning in your own Creation - Give it time to breathe

In the process of creating art, the artist has in his mind the reason why he is creating it, he has laid awake thinking about it, planned each shape, line, and structure as a culmination of hours, days, possibly months or years of fine tuning his vision.  All for one day the piece to be on display.  On that day, someone will cast their opinion of the work, masses will join in to dissect every inch of the meticulously crafted masterpiece.  As a young artist, this was my biggest fear - the judgement.  I loved it when someone appreciated my work, but always found it difficult to translate "constructive criticism" into anything other than criticism.

For me, this was not about them being wrong or that they didn't reserve the right to have an opinion.  My mind immediate absorbed their comment and made it incredibly personal.  As I desperately defend my work, my tedious laborious hours, my creative spirit, all of which I considered on the proverbial chopping block.

Do we have these moments as leaders?  We are already bought into our ideas, so motivated by our own spirit of success.  Does this cause us to miss any input along the way?

I know I am guilty.  I recently began acknowledging a stopping point in my projects and selected a few accountability partners.  We talk, I share, then we proceed if the coast is clear.  Without these sessions, I would be so bought into the final project I could not see my way back out of it with clarity.  When you get so deep into your work that you are unable to see it with fresh eyes, you need to get a second opinion.  Be sure they know your purpose, but be wary of "defending" your work.

If you're an artist, how much better is your creative potential when you take a step back and look at the entire picture?  These pauses are planned at strategic breaking points. They do not restrain the creative spirit but rather give it time to breathe and expand, giving the spirit a chance to find better solutions.

How applicable is this to a parent?  A leader?  A spouse?  A friend?
Do you get "bought in" to your own opinion so deeply no one can convince you otherwise?  Who receives those repercussions? 

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