Maintaining Your Zen (Zen Pencils)

Where does motivation come from?

I often wonder this myself, and I’ve met with different perspectives on the matter throughout my life so far. I fully expect to encounter more examples and perspectives as I go along, but for the purpose of making a point, I’ve outlined some examples below.

Some believe it is something internal which we are all born with, which is bottled up and given out in precise amounts each day, so that if it is squandered, you cannot get it back. Others suggest that motivation comes from healthy living and positive emotions. You will find that some believe that motivation comes out of adversity, that in moments of trial we are given the opportunity to rise to the challenge, and if we reach out for it we will be rewarded for our efforts, a matter of will. There is the biological track which suggests that because we are motivated to basic functions of eating, drinking, and sleeping, our behaviours are dictated by those forces of nature. I’ve also heard people say that motivation is a spiritual matter, which is given to us whether we ask for it or not, but in miraculous ways, providing us the strength we need in moments that we cannot handle life.

We could say there are either internal or external factors that can determine motivation. In the everyday, motivation is the word we use to describe the why of a person.

In the arts in particular, you will hear all sorts of opinion as to why something created is “good” or “bad,” and how to be successful at creativity is no exception to this varied and often heated discussion of opinion. As the old adage goes, opinions are like hearts, we all have them and most of them are overworked.

Just kidding, theres a better one – It’s about the anus. Let’s not lose focus though.

I’ve personally found that routine is essential for maintenance of a goal, dream or accomplishing something large in scope. By building good habits you can be assured that no matter what your level of commitment, in the tedium, this strategy will be helpful.

But when it comes to major shifts of life, that is a completely different matter. In those moments, I would argue that external factors should and do play a role in motivation. Whether they are biological or spiritual is a matter of taste, and we all have our individual journey to take, which is why I am not interested in dictating the course for you. Rather I hope to provide choice from my spot on the internet.

Which is why today’s Wisdom Wednesday is a double feature. I’ve served up part A already by assuring you that your goals are attainable, but how you achieve them is definitely dependant on what stage you are at and the kind of motivation you need. *Hint* A routine never hurt anybody while they were waiting for inspiration to strike.

Part B is a little bit more fun for me, because I get to share a website I look at from time to time, when I want a reminder that success is an ongoing pursuit and a lifestyle, and not a result.

The website I recommend you take a look at is zenpencils.com – Convenient link is here.

Gavin Aung Than has been making cartoons for his website since the end of 2011. He decided to quit his corporate job as a graphic designer and focus on his comics after he realized that he loved reading biographies of people who lived more interesting lives than him and that he wasn’t happy with where he was at. He adapts all sorts of quotes from inspirational sources and combines them with his drawings to produce some really beautiful art.

The kind of art which eventually inspired me to stop focusing my efforts on a corporate career and reorient myself back to my real passions: Being involved in the arts, making art, and collaborating with other artists.

I’m not going to bore you with details of why I like his stuff because I think it demonstrates its value in different ways, unless, of course, I get feedback requesting more information and/or a technical analysis. But I will leave some good example links I personally like right here for you to peruse at your leisure…

Chuck Jones

Marcus Aurelius

Ken Robinson

Robin Williams

Amy Poehler

Shonda Rhimes

Jim Henson

Timothy Ferriss

Jiddu Krishnamurti

But please don’t take my word for it, there are almost 200 comics on that website by this point. All of them carrying a message of hope and practical information about how to achieve in life, especially if you are a creative type.

So what did you think? Did you like the website? Do you want me to share more of these kinds of sources with you? Today’s theories are tomorrows realities, and I’ve shared what I could for now, dear readers. See you soon.

Tim!

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