The past few months have been a whirlwind! Such an exciting and equally overwhelming time.
I have spent hours, days and weeks of my life working very hard on things that I know will one day matter to those who get to experience them. I know that my efforts are not in vain. I know there is light at the end of a very dark and long tunnel. I just realize it may take a lot longer to see any of it than I had hoped it would.
We live in a world of immediate results.
We, especially in the western world, require instant gratification. There is no room for patience. We want food in the matter of the distance between one drive-thru window to the next. We expect when we call a friend or family member on the phone, they drop everything and answer it. Actually, that isn’t accurate – we don’t have time for phone calls. We text. Then we get angry at the response time if longer than 10 minutes.
We go from one instant gratification moment to the next. Requiring this of everyone and everything and every instance of our daily life.
I am no different.
I work really hard on my videos, for example. I expect when I post one, that seconds later I will get a thumbs up, a comment or a friend will send me a message – WOW! Heather. That was awesome. Well – maybe not seconds but I am hoping for that stuff! Let’s be honest. No one puts their heart and soul into something and then forgets about it as if it never happened. No, they await approval. Acceptance. Immediate vindication that all that work was valid!
I say all this because I am learning a lesson here and I want to be the kind of teacher that shares triumphs and setbacks. I want my students, my friends really, to understand that setbacks are just as important as the triumphs. I want the growth to occur for us all. You can not grow if you don’t have a learning moment and those moments often come when we get knocked back a little.
I am in a knocked back moment.
I expected instant results from a long couple months of hard work.
So I ask myself questions. I refuse to allow it to flood me with despair. I ask myself questions to evaluate and grow. I decided to take you along this process so you do not let despair overwhelm you in any circumstance.
I ask these of myself. In any order. These questions apply to EVERY situation I go through.
Did you give it everything you could have? Often I work really hard on something but realize I probably only gave it half of the effort I should have. Poor preparation can be easily rectified and another shot could be just around the corner. Find the motivation and drive on!
Do you feel the results match your efforts? If I worked really REALLY hard, gave it all I could and still the results were disappointing, then the process must be flawed. Perhaps it required effort from another aspect outside of my ability. Perhaps enlisting another to get involved could be just the thing to get the result expected. Maybe there was an entirely different reason for poor results, weather, location, time of year. Many factors could be wreaking havoc on this plan that are just a bit outside of your control. It’s ok. You do not need to be in control, just adapt accordingly.
Are you disappointed with the results, if so why? Finding the why behind the disappointment can utterly change everything! To be honest, I do not fear failure. I find the word invigorating. It gives me permission to keep trying. I like that – I truly do not like to quit! Often times, that is the reason why this, “Why am I disappointed?” answer means so much! Am I afraid of what others will think of me? Am I disappointing my family? Maybe it was expectations to begin with. Maybe I saw potential in something that wasn’t really there. I am a hopeful person so that happens often. When I look at the WHY I can see it was usually ME that was the issue. In reality, the thing was a success but it wasn’t as BIG as I wanted. If that is the case, then there is victory to celebrate! Celebrate the triumph! Allowing myself a “champagne moment” allows me to feel good about my hard work. That in turn invigorates me to get up the next day to tackle the next phase. Whatever that may look like.
What could you do different now that you know what did and didn’t work? Well – this one is where I always end…and in chatting with my family, friends or even myself, I can come to some sort of … okay! Next time I will….
The bottom line is this…
When I find myself at the end of a line – a line I drew, or that was drawn for me – I always decide if I am going to turn back find another path, or if I am going to STEP OVER THE LINE and begin a new direction.
What does all this mean?
Well, I want to be the kind of teacher that inspires. I want to be a teacher of faith and hope. I want people to understand they do not need to be the best at what they are trying to accomplish but rather I want them to know they need TO BE THE BEST THEM! There is no greater competitor, no greater goal to reach, no greater obstacle to overcome than that of self. The ME I used to be, when I was younger, last year, yesterday or even when I started writing this post, is the ONLY ONE I have to be better than.
That is the kind of teacher I want to be.
As I travel with my family, all over Montana and Idaho and ultimately all over the country, teaching Mixed Media classes, Loose Watercolor classes, PanPastel classes (the class doesn’t matter) I want my students to walk out feeling inspired, knowing they are good enough, they are capable, and I want them to have the confidence in knowing that they were indeed CREATED by the CREATOR to be CREATIVE!
One way or another, that message will get out there. I know I am supposed to share it. I also know, things worth doing take time! Nothing instant about this! This, this endeavor, is worth the wait!
Thank you for listening today and I hope that you found inspiration this post. It was truly written from my heart. I also hope to see you at some point on our journey. If you are interested in helping to spread the word – we have a GoFundMe set up that you can share. In my questions I found that one thing I have been doing wrong is trying really hard to do this all on my own. I know it is something that requires more help than one person can provide. WITH YOUR HELP – we can get this show on the road!
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