The musings of a landscape painter, art teacher, and art history lover
So many well meaning people will try to kill your dreams. Don't let self-doubt and critics keep you from fulfilling your life's purpose. The Impressionists persevered despite their critics and created some of the most beautiful paintings in the world. Here's how you do it!
Never let someone else define your imagination no matter how well meaning they are! We all have experienced someone trying to tell us how we should live or what we should believe in. There are lots of reasons for this. Maybe they think they know better than you, or maybe they don't want you to make the same mistakes they did. On the other hand, maybe their dreams have not come true and therefor they cannot believe in yours. People who are negative and do not support your imagination are not necessarily smarter; perhaps they are simply followers and want you to be one as well. The problem is, that no matter how well meaning, these critics do not have the right to live your life, and if you are not careful, they can kill your dreams. Lead the way and remove negative people from your life!
The Buddha once said, "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills." That's pretty strong language from the Buddha. When you are trying pursue a dream or work with your imagination, you must do so with confidence and support. There is a difference between people giving you advice in support of your dream and people attempting to deny your dream. You must guard against the latter.
Artists have always had to face critics. The Impressionist painters that we so love today and celebrate in our museums, were once ridiculed by the public. The French government was actively opposed to their new type of painting, and they were denied entry into the important Salon exhibitions that were necessary for an artist to make a living. Yet, they banded together, taking courage from one another and pursued their dreams anyway. Imagine if they had listened to their critics and given up. Monet would have been a grocer like his father and the world would never have known the beauty of his water lilies. Can you imagine a world without Degas' ballerinas or Renoir's portraits?
Remember, you are what you imagine yourself to be, and everything we have now was once only imagined. No one can dream your dream for you. It is yours alone and you have the right to pursue it. Turn your critics off, including your inner critic, which can be the worst kind. I firmly believe that we are all on this planet with our own gifts and our own purpose. Sometimes you just have to believe in yourself and go for it! Be like the impressionists and paint the world with your own colors.
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Author: Bruce Black
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