We are not one, we are many. Each of us. (But which one of us is going to show up?) —
I talk a lot about “state” and how much our inner states affect what we do and how well we do it. We all know that when we’re in a tired and irritable state, we’re not apt to take up your journal, not apt to create much art, not apt to feel all that positive about what is possible to us in the future.
But if you are feeling alert and capable, if the sun is shining, if you’re walking with a spring in your step … from that kind of state there is very little you couldn’t do. When we feel great, a whole world of possibilities seems to open up before us. Ideas flourish. Creativity abounds …
A Video Post, by Sebastian Michaels
Video Note: If you run into playback problems, pause the video and let it buffer for twenty seconds before pressing play again. If problem persists, install the latest version of Adobe Flash Player. Also, note that you can hover over the video to pull up the controls, and always feel free to resize this entire window with Cmd (or Ctrl on a PC) and the Plus/Minus keys.
It’s astonishing how much better we perform in our artistic lives if we just have our heads on straight.
It’s also astonishing how much nicer we become. How much more loving to those around us. How much more positive and inspiring in every way.
Learning to control your state (rather than allowing your negative states to control you) is one of the great master skills of living a happy and successful life.
And the way I look at it, each of us has all these different people inside of us … There is the “Glum and Moody” you, but there is also the “Happy and Unstoppable” you. There is the “Flustered and Overwhelmed” you, but there is also the “Calm and Loving and Grateful” you. And there is the “Creative” you. The “Artistic” you.
We tend to morph back and forth among all these different sides of us (which are really just different states we’re in at any given time). But the challenge is this: Wherever we happen to be at any given moment, we start to think that that’s who we ARE and where we will remain … forever.
It helps, when you’re in a glum state, to remind yourself that glum states come and go, and this, too, will pass. They always do.
But you would do even better to come up with some strategies for actively getting yourself out of your disempowering states and into positive states that will support you (and make you not only more productive but also a lot more fun to be around).
Changing your physiology is the fastest fix I think. If you’re feeling low, it works wonders just to stand up and start moving around. Throw back your shoulders, make a big gesture with your arms, laugh. Or go for a brisk walk. Put on some great music. (Nothing sad or moody!) Just walk and breathe deep and make yourself smile. It’s amazing how effective this always is.
Changing your focus is another big lever for shifting your state.
One of your strategies could be to kick back and watch one of the videos in the course. Or maybe your strategy could be to start organizing your photos in Lightroom. Maybe your strategy could be to just grab a favorite book and kick back on the couch for half an hour or to take a 10-minute nap. (It’s astonishing to me how we adults seem to have forgotten the benefits of a well-timed nap or a snack when our blood sugar is out of whack.)
But maybe the best way to change your focus is to ask yourself an empowering question and make yourself answer it.
Feeling moody and defeated? That might change if you sit down with your journal and spend 10 minutes writing out a list of everything you’re grateful for in your life.
Make a list of all your favorite people. Or even all your favorite stuff. (Don’t know about you, but if I’m feeling down, often all I need to do is think about my shelves of books, my chess set, my camera. Or my cats!)
Ask yourself questions like: “What’s awesome in my life? And what’s something awesome I could create?”
As soon as you start focusing on questions like these, it becomes more and more difficult to feel blue.
Another big shift in focus (and the state you are in as a result) comes from simply sitting down and making a clear list of the most important (and exciting) things you want to make happen in the next six months or a year. Just getting that stuff written down is powerful.
And here’s a question that never fails to fire me up: Looking at one of the top objectives I want to accomplish within a year … how might I achieve that objective THIS MONTH? That kind of question electrifies my sense of what is possible and my brain starts to hunt for creative solutions it never would have dreamed up had I allowed it to run its habitual course.
Make it a goal to work up no fewer than half a dozen ways you could shift from a negative defeated disempowered state, where everything seems hopeless … to a positive unstoppable empowered state, where your future is yours to shape in any fashion you like.
Because that’s the truth of it, you know.
So often what we accomplish comes down to what we first believed we could accomplish. And what we believe we can accomplish SO often comes down to our state.
As Henry Ford so wisely put it: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.”
And if you’re not getting what you want (in any area of your life), I’m going to suggest that it’s not that you can’t achieve or accomplish what you want. It’s simply that the wrong ‘YOU’ is showing up for the job. Put the best YOU in charge, and put the limited ‘you’ aside. Step up as your best self and the world will open up before you.
You will be happier. The people around you will be happier. You will become an inspiration to those you love.
And as a fine side benefit, you will also be SO much more likely to create some great art!