Insights from the Pavement: Look at what you’ve done


Finding what we’re passionate about comes easy for some.  Creating music, painting a portrait or taking a beautiful photograph seems simply to be in some people’s blood.  For those of us who are blessed to have that kind of talent, it’s a marvel even to sit in their presence and watch them work.

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For most of us, however, finding, exploring and possibly mastering a specific craft seems a bit harder to reach.  The apex of our efforts, then, becomes realizing a goal that we may have set for ourselves to one day get to a point of mastery within our interests that drives us to continually do better.  And as we chip away at the rough outer edges of the product that will eventually be our life’s work, many of us experience extreme moments of satisfaction along the way.

On the other hand, while it seems nearly impossible to imagine, there are so many of us who simply pass right by this experience of self-gratitude and just keep working – never becoming aware of the amazing accomplishments that we’ve created along the way.

Having a creative outlet is important.  Dedicating ourselves to one or more items in this life rewards us in many ways.  But if we never turn around to gaze over the ground we’ve covered in our endeavors, these amazing accomplishments fall by the wayside to the one person who they should matter to the most – ourselves.

When we get busy creating something in our lives that others will enjoy and benefit from, keep in mind that if we don’t also enjoy the fruits of our labors, we may be little more than slaves to our own craft.  And eventually, under these conditions, our craft will fail and ultimately our engagement in this lifestyle will seem as pointless as the efforts that were never appreciated along the way.

When we find ourselves at a pausing-point in our work, we should always take the opportunity to look at what we’ve done and smile quietly to ourselves at the brilliant new thing that we’ve given back to the world that has sustained us.  It is important that we don’t become callous, prideful or an overindulgent in self-advocacy.  But if we are involved in our activities because our efforts were truly inspired from a place within us, our gratitude will never fail to fill us with a sense of unending humility.

And that, alone, is worth a lifetime of work.

Do you agree or disagree?  Tell me in the comments.

Follow me on twitter: @cyleodonnell

If you like this photo, check out the Canada album it was taken from in 2005 HERE.

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7 thoughts on “Insights from the Pavement: Look at what you’ve done

  1. Hi Cyle! I agree with the points mentioned but what stood out me was the final sentence. I also believe when you are passionate about your craft and it comes from a place deep within us, there is an unending feeling of humility.

    • I like to think that the difference between a lifelong craft and a fleeting interest is passion. No less humble are those who appreciate their own passions.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. “When we find ourselves at a pausing-point in our work, we should always take the opportunity to look at what we’ve done and smile quietly to ourselves at the brilliant new thing that we’ve given back to the world that has sustained us.”

    I definitely agree. This self – focused appreciation had been a recurring theme in conversations lately, and here it is again. Having spent the last year finally getting to know and learning to appreciate my self, I can honestly say that I’m a more balanced person as a result. And with a firm foundation of self awareness and appreciation, I’m more equipped to give authentically back to the world, without danger of losing myself in the process.

    Great post!

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