So many years ago I was inspired by the display of drawings hanging in the hall of my high school, perfectly shaded, carefully drawn. What was it about realism that struck me and captured my attention? Why not abstract? Why not line drawing, loose, flowing, blurred? Because to me that level of mastery was a challenge, it was hard and it was going to take work to obtain it. And I like that kind of a thing. I'm also inspired by others who chase a similar path and give what they learn to the world.
"The greatest gift you have to give is that of your own self-transformation"
Eddie VanHalen, Nile Rodgers, Dave Grohl, Nina Simone, Tina Turner, Miles Davis, Blondie, the list goes on and on and on. What do they all have in common? They worked their asses off toward mastery. I watched, glued to MTV as a kid in the 80s and 90s. I couldn't get enough of it. I watched Eddie VanHalen shred on that guitar, Tina Turner sing her heart out and was a bit older when I discovered Nina Simone. A classically trained pianist who took mastery and turned it into something else, true genius. Then there's Nile Rodgers, he said he was just constantly working. They were all just constantly working and those who are still with us still are! And they give it to us, they give their mastery, they inspire and they change the world. I'm inspired to share a gift in that way too.
"Start small and start immediately." -Cal Newport
There's another type of mastery that I geeked out on in the 90s..... the world of mountaineering. I honestly can't tell you why, but I was totally fascinated by people who did this! Whether it was the exploration of possibility in Nepal and expeditions or the images I would sometimes see of climbers gracing the cover of National Geographic magazine. (I'm a mountaineer now too, a very low average one, but I get a kick out of it and like to pretend I'm one of the cool ones!). There was just something to these people that intrigued me. They kept showing up in the most extreme of environments, again and again and again. You've got to be climbing a lot to be climbing at that level.
I think what it boils down to is dedication, almost to a religious level. So I too challenged myself years ago. What can I do with this, how far can I take it, where will it go, how will it unfold? Can I be the Eddie VanHalen of drawing? I don't know, maybe. There's only one way to find out and that's to sit at the drawing board, every day. And yes, I am at my drawing board every day except for those times when I am recovering from a mountaineering trip. Then I'm just too tired. I love showing up and giving it a go. I love how it all unfolds, the growth that comes with it, the learning, and yes, the mastery. And the give, I too want to give it to the world.
I love that you are here today and thanks for the read. Be well and keep chasing your dreams.
That's me, wanting to be cool. ;)