Saturday, October 10, 2009

The Joy of Routines

OK, I hear you, "Routines are boring."  Routines may seem boring, but once they are established, they simply work in the background and serve you.

A routine can help you to operate more efficiently, provide focus, make overwhelming tasks more manageable or even give you permission to carve out some quality studio time or "you time."  Routines are a tool that, when used appropriately, can help you to live the life that you know in your heart of hearts is best for you. 

Having a routine can help free up your mind to think about what is important to you.  If you are always thinking about the hundreds of things that "need" to be done, that is a clue that your mind is running you.  Wouldn't it be a better idea for you to be in charge of what your mind thinks?   I used to think this was impossible, but have learned to use a number of tools that help me to do just that.  Today I just want to focus on the discipline of a routine.

As a simple illustration, I no longer have to think, “Its time to brush my teeth…I have to remember to brush my teeth…If I don’t brush my teeth I might get cavities,” etc.  My mind is not cluttered with it on my incessant “to do list.”  Neither do I think I am boring because I have this as a routine.  I just brush my teeth at certain times of the day.  It is a routine I established a long time ago and it works in the background to keep me from having my teeth drilled and filled.  I’d say that serves me pretty well.

Many an artistic person believes that if they follow a routine, that will quash their creativity.  They see themselves as interesting; spontaneous; free-and-easy, light-and-breezy; creative.  Often times these are code words for unfocused, chaotic, and without direction.

Of course, I can speak about this with authority, as it is one of the things I have allowed to keep me from my art.  I have unwittingly either created or attracted chaos into my life, but saw it as some other code word.  To the right is a picture I made on the first computer I ever owned- It is hanging above my desk as a friendly reminder.  I should probably have it tattooed to the inside of my eyelids, though that might be a bit much.

How could I realistically expect to __________ (fill in the blank) if I think I am being creative, but am really being chaotic; if I think I have “many interests,” but actually have too many pans in the fire- a jack of all trades, but master of none?

With an established routine, my mind is more free to create.  I am now creating my next body of work.  The exercise of establishing a routine may give you just the reality check that motivates you to consider making a change.  It may even lead you to more joy.  See my post, “10 Steps to Establishing a Routine ” tomorrow.   These steps work for me, add or delete steps as needed.

More about routines next week. I'll also give you a sneek peek at the painting I am working on.

Writing about routines brings up this question:
“What if there aren’t enough hours in the day?”  That is a topic for another day.

Your thoughts? Click ‘comments’ below to post.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Miserable New York Film Festival

According to A.O. Scott of the New York Times, the New York Film Festival is a miserable place to be this year. That is, of course, unless you enjoy, as Scott puts it, "sadism, guilt, violence and despair, a panorama of pessimism notable for its exhausting rigor and relentless consistency." See complete 10/6/09 article at nytimes-wallowinginmisery.

This is no surprise for followers of Socionomics. The basic premise is that populations have a mass psychology. They herd and move from mass optimism to mass pessimism and back again in general unison. It is posited that the financial markets record this objectively with the buying and selling of financial wares. That is, the financial markets are determined by social mood. Not that social mood is determined by the financial markets.

The theory can be put to practical use:  if one can gauge what the herd is doing, one can plan what to do next in relation to it.  For example, my daughter is reading "Twilight," novel series by Stephenie Meyer.  When she told me it is about vampires, I said, "This author will do very well if she continues to write along this theme," based on my belief that humankind has entered a phase of mass pessimism. In my opinion, there is some validity to the mass psychology argument and I have seen, first hand, its predictive value in the stock market. For more on this see Elliott Wave International
The New York Film Festival should do very well.

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