Category Archives: Humility

The Gift of Being a Beginner

When I was a little kid, I drew all the time. I was good at it and completely un-self conscious. Like a lot of people who draw naturally, I just “drew what I saw.”

I loved MAD magazine and dreamed that one day I would draw comics and cartoons.

The I got older and lost interest in art. Partly because it wasn’t encouraged in the schools I attended and partly because I got a lot more interested in getting people to like me and doing everything perfectly (in my mind there was a strong positive correlation).

Now, 40+ years later, I want to draw again. I love using images to tell stories and explain stuff and I’m tired of spending so much time looking for images on the internet when it would be so much easier to just create what I have in mind.

So I’ve picked up the book, “You Can Draw in 30 Days” by Mark Kistler and I’ve committed to spending at least 20 minutes each day to my art work. I like the book because Mark Kistler is good at teaching important fundamentals using simple lessons. I feel like I’ve learned a lot in less than a week.

Here are drawings I did based on two lessons in the book:

[Drawing in 30 Days] 07.28.15 Lesson 6 Bonus Robot   [Drawing in 30 Days] 07.28.15 Lesson 5 Bonus Treashar

Being a beginner requires me to cultivate patience, self-compassion, and to keep my sense of humor.

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Asking for Help is Hard



There’s story I like that illustrates my style when it comes to asking for help.

There are three workers on a river.

The best worker asks for assistance the moment he notices the current getting faster and waves growing larger.

“There’s a waterfall up ahead. I’ll need some help.”

The average worker asks for assistance when he actually sees the waterfall up ahead and observes branches and other floating objects disappearing over the edge of the fall.

“”I see a waterfall, I need help!”

The very worst worker asks for assistance as his boat is going over the waterfall.

“Heeelp meee! Arghhh!”

I like to imagine myself as the best worker. The one who is proactive. The one who chooses an ounce of prevention over a pound of cure.

But the truth is, I’m usually the worst worker. I only ask for help after I’ve tried (unsuccessfully) a dozen or more ways of trying to do it by myself.

And then, only when I’m going over the edge and see the rocks coming up fast do I finally have the willingness to reach out and ask for help.

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