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PostPosted: Thu Jun 16, 2011 7:21 pm 
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Aristotle

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:45 pm
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Cheers man, greatly appreciated- I'll PM you about some webshop type stuff soon.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 4:56 pm 
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Get Real Graduate
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Location: Sydney
Hey man

Thanks for posting this up. It's made me realise how much I've been procrastinating what I've been saying I'll do for a long time.

Good luck with everything man.

Btw, if you're ever in need of inspiration there's a great book called "Do the Work" by Steven Pressfield. It's really short, but talks about the real resistance creatives meet, and how to overcome it. Really good. He's also written a book called "The War of Art", except I haven't read it. THought you might be interested.


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 5:05 pm 
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Aristotle

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Thanks LD,
I've read a little about Steven Pressfield, his books have been on my list of things to read. I just finished the book I was reading yesterday, so maybe Pressfield will be next!

Just an update on this challenge. When I started, I set the launch date for my site as mid-July. I now have pretty much everything I wanted built into the site and I'm almost a month ahead of my schedule.

I've still got a few important bits & pieces to learn and implement but all the big pieces are in place.

I'm pretty much down to the meat of the challenge: Start making art on a daily basis.

I will keep my launch deadline as mid-july & use the next month to create new work to put onto the site so that it's full of new stuff when I make it public.

Here's another video that I like on the topic of pursuing what you really like doing- Career Advice from Alan Watts:


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“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”- Rumi


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:07 pm 
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Aristotle

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:45 pm
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Location: Sydney
Hey Dave,
I sat down and read The War of Art by Pressfield, just finished it. Great book, I'd recommend it, even as an inner game pep talk.

There's some really good insights in it which line up with a lot of 'inner game' stuff. Like, for example, he talks about the Hierarchical vs Territorial way of living/working, which is exactly the same as Getting vs Doing.

Most of the book is about what he calls Resistance, which are all the doubts, fears, insecurities, laziness, excuses etc that stop us from following our purpose, whatever it may be. His solution for that is just to 'turn up' every day like you would turn up at a normal job and just do the work- feel the fear & do it anyway.

I guess in order to turn up and do your work everyday you need to make space for it. For me, that has meant cutting out a lot of distractions like most of my social life.

The biggest fear, he says, is Fear of Success, which I definitely relate to. For a long time I have been afraid of actually succeeding- getting to a place where my work is out in the public eye- the real world. The fear is that you will be more successful than you expect, and success will carry you out beyond your edge, where all the stakes are much higher and you will be exposed and vulnerable. The higher you fly, the further you have to fall.

For me, I feel like once I get 'out there' I will surpass my influences. I will go beyond the mould that others have defined and I will be forced either to define myself as a distinct entity, an Individual, or crumble and shrink back to the safety of the herd. I imagine a kind of sonic boom moment where I break through the sound barrier of other people's opinions and I'm now dictating what my art is, rather than conforming to the set ideas.

But what if I break through the sound barrier and I find out I've got nothing to say?

The solution to that is to work from a Doing mentality rather than a Getting mentality. Do it because you love doing it, not because you want approval.

Let success come and go as it will, but don't make it the focus. People will start paying attention when what you are saying catches their attention.

He also talks about something else that I realised a month or two ago- how the over identification with your work stops you from working. When your sense of self is completely bound up with your purpose, you're less inclined to take risks. If you pursue your purpose and you fail, that means You, your Self is a failure- you are identified with that failure.

Failure becomes something you Are.

Although you have to pursue your purpose as the main focus of your life, there actually has to be a distinct separation between your personal value, your sense of Self and the success you have at expressing your purpose.

Who you Are vs what you Do.

If you pursue your purpose as something that you do, something process based rather than goal based, then the value is centred on the actual Doing of it. It is a process which never ends. A finished work of art does not stand alone, it is part of a dialogue that is going on over the course of your life.

A shitty painting can be seen as a horrible failure, something that proves you're really a no talent hack. OR it can be seen as a great step forward in learning what not to do, and therefore strengthening your overall progress.

In order to create, you need to be able to be 'wrong' sometimes. If you fear being wrong, you won't have the guts to try in the first place. So you need to approach your purpose as something that you Do, it is an expression of your Self, something that you are Doing, not something that you Are.

Anyway, good book, thanks for recommending it!

_________________
“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”- Rumi


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 1:00 am 
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Aristotle

Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2010 9:45 pm
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Location: Sydney
I fell into a bitch of a mood tonight.

All my normal shit came up that has stopped me from pursuing this for over 10 years:
- Self doubt
- Fear of other people's opinions
- Worrying about the 'right' thing to do, or what I 'should' do.
etc

I got all moody and frustrated and down on myself.

I just realised that up until this point I had a clear structured plan that allowed me to enter a Flow state.

I had a goal, I worked out what steps to take to get to that goal, I was challenging myself, I could get instant feedback at each step & I was intrinsically motivated.

But once I'd reached that goal, I forgot to set a new bunch of goals & limitations for the actual artwork part of it, which has left me kinda fucking around aimlessly- pushing myself to work everyday, but not working toward anything.

Hell yeah, my mood has lifted & I know what I need to do- come up with a challenging & enjoyable set of goals & limitations based on what I want to do.

It's incredible how a simple strategy can change things so quickly.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:50 pm 
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Get Real Graduate
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Man I came up against this today, and shit I'm pushing it for like the third time.

www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/2010/05/1 ... th-haters/

And at some stage we should have a beer, (Concept said you were a Sydney sider), and you should check out the www.thecanvasproject.com.au the guys running it are really young, but they're passionate


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:07 pm 
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Aristotle

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Location: Sydney
That's cool man, I like points 3 & 5:

"Trying to get everyone to like you is a sign of mediocrity".

"If you want to improve, be content to be thought foolish & stupid".

Those are some things that's been on my mind a fair bit. If you wanna get anything interesting done, you've got to be willing to let go of your sense of self-preservation. If you're not being criticised at all it means nobody cares. You're not doing anything new, challenging or interesting.

I think if you are working from a Process basis, rather than an Outcome basis then you need to approach your work from a position where you're there to learn something & challenge yourself. If you've learned something, you win.

From that perspective I don't think external criticism is as important, because you're not doing it for status, you're doing it for personal growth.

At least that's my logical take on it... doesn't stop it from eating my brain sometimes!

I'm always up for a beer & yeah that canvasproject looks very interesting.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 1:45 pm 
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Aristotle

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Location: Sydney
I'm about a week away from the official launch of my site.

The closer it gets, the more resistance I seem to have to push through.

It doesn't matter how much work I do, it's irrelevant to the negative critic in my head who says "It's not good enough."

Boil it down and the resistance isn't about my work, it's about me. The voice says "You're not good enough. You don't deserve success."

Where does that come from?

Anyway, in the midst of this struggle I noticed something yesterday. I looked up from my work and thought "this is optional. I don't have to be here. I could be doing a million other things right now but I'm here doing this:

This is where I want to be."

The truth of that just hit me. Pushing through this struggle is, strangely, where I want to be. I'd rather push on and fail than stop and turn back now.

There's an interesting conflict between fear & ego that goes on. One voice says "I'm not good enough" the other voice says "fuck that, I'm the best there is".

And I think they fuel each other. The desire to be 'the best' gives strength to the fear voice. Because I'm not the best. I'm not as good as I want to be. So fear says "pfft, you're nowhere near as good as you think you are".

But that feeds the ego voice that says "fuck you, I'll prove how good I am, you just watch".

I need to stay in the middle of that struggle long enough to give the 'ego voice' time to prove itself. As I face more fear, I'll develop more power. The cycle between those two voices is probably not going to end any time soon, if ever, but that's where I'll start to really make interesting stuff, through challenging myself beyond my comfort zone... and I know that the 'ego voice' wants to take me WAY beyond my comfort zone... so the fear voice pops up and says "just play it safe" and the cycle continues!


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2011 2:14 pm 
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Jung
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Yeah a similar thing happens to me. I see it as an old thought pattern trying to hang on eg. "I won't succeed, why do I deserve success" etc

Fortunately we now use the yardstick "Am I doing what I absolutely want to do?" and as long as we come back to that, and confirm that we are taking control of the life we want to create, then the old thought pattern becomes less relevant.

When I come back to that question and see that I'm doing what my heart desires, success or failure becomes just a future based concept with no actual present reality.

It's pretty sweet :) It helps remove the self-doubting.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 25, 2011 1:31 am 
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Aristotle

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Well that fucking sucked.

I spent 2 months building my site and despite my doubts and a few unfinished details, I pushed through and honoured my original launch date.

I put a lot of myself into this project, so I got a group of my closest friends and shared what I've done with them.

My worst fear was that it would be met with indifference, and for the first day or two I could see that the majority of that group visited my site. Of that entire group I got a grand total of 1 email of feedback.

I have to be honest, that felt like shit.

Gradually on the days since then a few people have given me encouragement, mostly family or, weirdly, people I don't even know.

I know that people have been checking it out. But it's the silence that fucks with my head.

Am I in Getting with this? Well yeah, I guess I am.

Did I do this for the approval? Part of me was obviously expecting it, and even if I did it for myself, it takes some of the wind out of my sails not to get more of a response.

It would be really awesome if someone (preferably a beautiful woman) threw herself at me as a reward for following my purpose. But actually if that did happen I know exactly what would happen. I'd put my feet up and think "yep, I deserved this, now I can relax". And I would fall so short of my potential.

I thought that once I put it out there, my fears would fade away and I'd realise it was all in my head. But now they're even STRONGER because I've felt that feeling and it was pretty shit.

Mind you, I know I am creating that feeling by trying to get approval.

Well there's nothing to do but persist, put the fear aside and continue following my purpose regardless, so that's my plan. This is what I want to do, this is what I'm going to do. I think I might be able to get some funding for this project and also start making my own income from this soon, so I'm not stopping now.


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