10 Quotes from 10 Artists that will 10x your Self-Motivation
Writers, painters, musicians, photographers — those who have succeeded in these creative arenas offer us lessons in self-motivation unlike those we might learn or be exposed to in other fields.
This post gathers together ten different quotes from ten different creative artists, each of which we feel contains within it the remarkable power to motivate and inspire.
After each quote is an “interpretation” of a kind, a humble attempt to enunciate a practical understanding of how one might implement and act upon the wisdom on offer. The quotes were chosen specifically in hopes of having special resonance for students.
“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.” — Vincent Van Gogh
The quickest and surest way to overcome your doubts is to accomplish that which you think you can’t do. For the student, this means taking the course you don’t feel prepared for, which means first preparing for it. The ultimate lesson here is that achievement is a process which eventually produces demonstrable evidence of your achievement.
“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” — Willie Nelson
Focusing on what you don’t have is regressive; it sets you back. Focusing on what you do have is almost by definition propulsive; it moves you forward. And no student begins with nothing.
“The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness.” — Joan Miro
To create work of lasting value means reconciling spontaneity and craft, passion and deliberation, exuberance and meticulousness. You must give yourself permission to have boundless, electric dreams, even as you train yourself to act with rigor and precision.
“There is nothing worse than a sharp image of a fuzzy concept.” — Ansel Adams
No amount of technical ability can correct for a poor idea. You must treat your mind with respect, and allow it the time it needs to think through what you intend to do, see it all from all angles, explore all possibilities, so that what eventually comes into focus will indeed be worth seeing.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.” — Mark Twain
Failed attempts can be corrected for, retried, improved upon. Missed opportunities do not allow for this. When in doubt, if the opportunity presents itself, try. By committing an act of some kind, any kind, you bring something into existence. Accordingly, it can be worked with. A missed opportunity remains an empty space forever, and nothing can ever be done with it.
“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.” — Georgia O’Keeffe
Learning is in and of itself inherently an act of success; it is in fact an enactment of success.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”—Maya Angelou
As we now understand from what neuroscience has shown us about our brains, all meaningful learning involves emotion.
“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”—Pablo Picasso
To engage in the act of working, to be working, is to gift yourself the guarantee of actionable inspiration.
“If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” — Toni Morrison
Do not allow yourself to pass up the opportunity to acknowledge a moment when you have wished for something that wasn’t there — this can be the beginning of your future. This can be the emotional origin story of what will one day become a viable and rewarding career.
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”—Dr Suess
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. Because no one says it better than Dr. Suess!
This post was written by Christopher Watkins, Senior Writer, Udacity