Saturday, January 26, 2013

Reevaluating My Motivation

Over the past several weeks I have been finding myself questioning all of this "pursuing a career" stuff.  I've never been a career minded person to begin with (having a job was a means to an end, that being supporting my family) so I just thought I was having a case of cold feet, experiencing the fear and uncertainty of a new venture.  Tonight, though, I am wondering if the motivation I have been using to keep me working has been bothering me because it grinds against the way I am made and what I believe.  Maybe my not being a "career person" is just who I am.

When I speak of a career person, I mean the idea that I am only doing this or that job because there is a carrot called money dangling in my face and I am really wanting that carrot.  This makes me uncomfortable spiritually.  I acknowledge that I need money, we all do, but if I claim faith in in God, do I not trust that he will provide for me, so striving with only avarice in my heart denies that faith.  But if I work at my job, what ever it might be with an eye on being a blessing to others and trust God to care for my physical needs, I work with a motivation that is more nourishing to my soul.

Creating art has been seen a as a soulful pursuit, not a money making scheme.  If artists made art and people fell over themselves to buy it, it would be seen as a money making scheme.  Having said that, I know there are a handful of artists, who are famous and adored by millions, whether visual artist, musicians or writers, and they are multi-millionairs, but they are a rarefied group.  What about the rest of us?  What about me?  I would like to make a living from my art, but I never have.  I have never really tried.  But I have also never made art with the idea of being a blessing.

What would happen if I did?

So maybe I need a New Year's Resolution for the end of January (it's never too late to make a resolution to change for the better).  I am resolving to change my focus and motivation.  I am resolving to make my priority to be and bring a blessing to those who experience my creations.  I did not make myself to be an artist.  These talents have just happened to me and the joy they give me has caused me to work at my skills.  I am going to work at being a blessing.

Jesus said if someone makes you walk a mile, walk two with them.  If someone takes your coat, give him your shirt too.  Why should I look at my talent as something to horde?  God has given me this gift without any strings attached.  He has given it to me freely to use how ever I please, even for my own gain.  What if I give my talent away as freely as it has been given to me?  I know, there are going be to those who say, NO!  you will cheapen it for the rest of us!  I understand and I don't want to do that, but the greatest artists, those who have made really amazing stuff that has come down to us through the ages made it out of love... love of making beauty, love of entertaining and teaching people, love of the divine.  Money is nice, but it is not everything.  And for those who believe that God is good and that he provides for even those who do not love him, there is no need to fear.  I know sounds Polly Annaish but I believe this.

I want to give to others.  I want to make people smile and to be encouraged.  I want to create beauty.  I want to make that which will point to the God who has made us and loves all of humanity.  I want to be his instrument.

(I want to add that I had just started reading a book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur - How to Publish a Book, by Guy Kawasaki and Shawn Welch when this hit me with such clarity.  I am going to read the rest of it, interested in following their advice, but with a different motive.  Thanks for the book, guys).

Thank you for reading my thoughts.  I am not really writing to persuade anyone but myself and you have a right to your opinion and your own motivations.  It is none of my business what your motive might be, but I am intrigued by your thoughts on the matter because I want to understand others.  So, please feel free to share your comments on this post. I appreciate that you stopped by to read it!