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A still life painting with the elements of communion.

A still life painting with the elements of communion.

 Taking the attitude that we are learning and experimenting helps take some of the pressure that we put upon ourselves away.  If we consider learning a “win” then we are encouraged.  If we are perfectionistic in our expectations then we will certainly become discouraged when our efforts don’t measure up.  Personal progress is a reason to propel us on to bigger and greater things. 

Along with experimenting and learning, nothing takes the place of hard work.  Sure, we want to “work smarter” and feel that there is good value for our efforts.  No one wants to feel like they are “wasting time.”  But nothing takes the place of plain old determined, dare I say disciplined, hard work. 

A line from Proverbs says,

“Ants – they aren’t strong, but they store up food all summer.” (30:25)

A lesson from the lowly ant is that they keep on going.  They work and work and it pays off for them.  There is great value and dignity in hard work.  There is no short-cut for producing fine paintings than the equation time+effort+learning from mistakes = greatly improved work.

Consider this from the greatest artist of all time:

The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.  

  – Michelangelo

Michelangelo Buonarroti

Michelangelo Buonarroti (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And from a popular, prolific and accomplished artist during my lifetime:

I’ll never have enough time to paint all the pictures I’d like to. 

   – Norman Rockwell

The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwel...

The Problem We All Live With by Norman Rockwell, depicting Bridges as she goes to school (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Motivation is what gets everything started.  We have many dreams in our heads of great things we would like to do and feats we think we would like to accomplish.  Yet without motivation those perhaps noble thoughts simply do not materialize.  There has to be a stronger, higher and deeper reason to motivate us to pursue better outcomes.

Consider this from Michelangelo:

Many believe – and I believe – that I have been designated for this work by God. In spite of my old age, I do not want to give it up; I work out of love for God and I put all my hope in Him.

This was the motivation for Michelangelo to achieve the greatest art mankind would ever produce.

What will be your stronger, higher and deeper reason to motivate you?

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