I believe the ability to focus on what’s working, the positive is a skill, rather than just an attitude. I am certain that by concentrating on it as a skill, it is easier to learn and master. Perhaps once it becomes second nature and you really start to feel its success then it will become an attitude for life.
People who focus on what’s working progress faster than people who concentrate on what isn’t. Success leads to more success. In as much that failure can lead to more failures.
A really good metaphor for this is driving a rally car down a forest road. There are two types of drivers. There are the ones that focus on missing the trees and the ones that focus on the path (road) they are heading on. It’s the ones with their attention fixed firmly on the clear path ahead that are more successful and are able to drive faster. The person that concentrated on missing the trees is more likely to hit them and will drive slower. True.
It’s the same with skiing. It’s a visualisation trick. You imagine the perfect line. You focus on the right turns at exactly the right spot. You shut out the dangerous rocks, cliffs and trees and don’t even think of them. When you do that you end up skiing the perfect line.
Thd other skiier whom worries about hitting that rock. Who continues to think to themselves ‘I have to miss that rock’, well unfortunately they end up hitting it.
Your brain isn’t very good with the words ‘dont’, ‘miss’, ‘avoid’ and other such negatives. It only hears ‘rock’ or ‘tree’ and guides you towards them.
It’s a real skill to learn and practice.
I can tell you from a lifetime of experience that this works for your creative endeavours as well. Concentrating on what works and your successes is better than thinking about what doesn’t work.
Case in point, don’t spend time unpacking and deconstructing your artistic failures. This is time waisted. Seriously. Don’t seek out constructive criticism of an image that doesn’t work for you. Dump it and move on as quickly as possible.
Instead, study and unpack the creative artworks you think are successful. Work out why they work. Seek out opinions of others as to why they work. As long as they have the skills to stay positive.
Figuring out what works is akin to choosing and concentrating on your successful path ahead.
Believe me it is a skill that can be learnt and one that will ultimately lead you to success. If you choose the path of what to avoid by examining your failures you will crash into these obstacles more often and you may not ever get there. If you do you will be battered and sore.
Instead work on your skills of concentration on the positive. Concentrate on your successes. Think about why you like things How they work.
Lastly, if you have created a piece that is only half successful, then think about the half that works and why. Forget the rest.
Leura gums on the escarpment in the mist. I ache for days of thick mist. Photograph and text copyright © Len Metcalf 2018
Artist | Writer | Photographer | Educator | Adventurer