Believe it or not, a large part of becoming a better artist is incorporating skills into other areas of your life, one that make those areas more efficient, allowing you to focus your creative energy on making work, and the marketing of said work.
That means that health matters! It is essential to build good habits to maintain your greatest resource, which is in fact you, dear readers! By honing your diet, getting your sleep, caring for your mental state, and also your spirits, you’re on the road to success.
Today’s wisdom comes from James J. Lachard (real name John James Brown), an English writer who served in the military, worked as an editor, and then at a greeting card company before joining World Vision in the 1960’s. He never published the short story titled, An Interview with God, which the excerpt below is from, because it was rejected by publishers at the time, but I think it’s quite relevant for us today and I’m glad it escaped onto the internet, and will serve as an anchor for the rest of this post.
What surprises you most about mankind?
That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up,
and then long to be children again.
That they lose their health to make money and then lose their
money to restore health.
That by thinking anxiously about the future, they forget the present, and
live neither for the present nor for the future.
That they live as if they will never die, and die as if they had never lived.
– James J. Lachard
Whether you’re a monotheist, polytheist, henotheist or atheist, we can all recognize the value of those words in the quote above, dear readers. It’s important to take care of your health so that you can do the things you’re passionate to do. Which leads to a question I’ve continuously asked and pursued for the better part of my late teens and throughout my life since I started down the road of adulthood and career.
How the hell do you put everything you’ve got into your career if you also need to manage your health, your finances, and your relationships too?
Well we are definitely going to explore that question today, and down the road too! In future Wisdom Wednesday posts, of course! But for now let’s focus on one specific area to highlight the incredible acrobatics at stake here.
Let’s consider your diet. Diet is incredibly important to maintaining your energy levels.
I’ve been saying this for years, but if I could figure out a way to avoid food preparation and meal planning, I would be so much more productive at my art. Especially considering how hard it is to motivate yourself to do anything after a long day of work at a day job.
Supposedly you have to choose. Eat well and pay the bills or eat poorly and make your art. The reality is that neither leads towards fulfillment.
But that’s why today’s book, The 4-Hour Chef, just might be genius. A friend of mine recently recommended it to me, because I was talking with him about the incredible burden associated with building multiple businesses, holding a day job, having a relationship/family/friends, and fitting in the basics of health.
Designed as both a “cookbook” for people who don’t cook and also manual for accelerated learning of any subject, Tim Ferris’ The 4-Hour Chef provides you with 14 key meals to serve as a foundation in your culinary tool belt and get you spending less time on thinking about what to eat and more time on other things.
Is it perfect? Well no, because it does seem to cater to a certain kind of diet, which might not work for those who are vegan or vegetarian, but the concept of teaching you how to navigate a kitchen is what’s crucial here. And it’s not entirely a cookbook, it also is about 20% self-improvement on the subject of learning (explained via his DiSSS and CaFe principles), but learning to love learning is another part of it.
Give it a try. I think you’ll like it. Otherwise, I’ll see you tomorrow for something timely dear readers! Please comment! Please subscribe!