In examining Ben Franklin’s 13 highly effective habits, it seems easier to address them in in groups rather than all at once. This group on actively training our minds and body has been extremely beneficial to me–especially on spring break.
Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
This week have been one of peacefulness. Yesterday my girls and I walked a 5k. The first one I’ve ever done. The time: 56:13. This is a disheartening time since I could run 5 miles in that time before I sprained a tendon in my knee, I can’t run anymore. I have found much relaxation and enjoyment helping my daughters and others around me achieve success, even though I can get no good workout in. Since, I can’t run, I’ve gotten a bike and am teaching my 2 youngers daughters to ride their bikes. By avoiding my unavoidable injury, I don’t worry about not running for 3 hours. I instead focus on making a brighter time for my daughters.
It seems many people could decide to focus intently on their injuries, or their failures. Ben Franklin tells us to start focusing instead of the accidental ruination of art, to turn toward other outlets that will be more beneficial for us. In the story above, I can’t run, so I ride my bike. In your story, what is troubling you? Instead of focusing what you can’t do…focus on other things that will give you just ast much joy that you can do and accomplish the same goal. You may open up a whole new experience and be a better person because of it…or come up with a new process for creating your material.
If you run out of supplies, make a quick fix, use another supply. Fix a broken drawing.
I had one teacher who, after I was finished making a pretty accurate charcoal drawing, he had me erase parts of it and start over. He wanted us to get in the habit of not being afraid to drastically change something that is not quite right, to get something exactly right.
We get hung up thinking things are almost perfect and then can’t seem to achieve perfection, because we have accepted “good enough”. We erase single lines and can’t see the full problem until we erase the whole drawing or creation. It is painful. But, if it’s not good, it’s not good. Accept the pain of starting over and finding a new solution to the problem.
We all know nothing is perfect. We can’t be afraid to radically alter the things we know are created good, or are bad. What causes us pain and pleasure are merely feelings. The actions we take on those feelings is what makes us who we are.
Feelings can’t be trusted. Act on reality. Act on the facts. Act on the truth. The quicker we learn that the quicker we can get back in the race.