While I think everyone can be an artist to some extent, we know most people are not. Many who are still will fail inspire as many people as they could. This isn't due to a lack of dreams. From my observations, it's because the work is difficult and they have learned another way to cope.
On the path to real art, there's no way around the work. Though we want to believe that talent and lucky breaks will make our experience easy, they almost certainly will not.
Now we all have heard those successful people who tell how things fell in place for them. If they're actually being honest, we have to be impressed by their stories only for the fact that they are so rare. Most artists can tell of toil, effort and cost required to craft their art.
We must not hold on to those few counterexamples as signs that getting it right means the going will be smooth. It's like winning the lottery. Somehow it happens to a few, but most who play just lose a ton of money hoping for luck to come. Believe the lie of easy success and you'll soon see challenges as a sign you're off course.
Instead, those challenges and obstacles could well be the mile markers on your path to fulfillment.
When it comes to teaching, I reject any methods or approach that promises an easier road. Good teaching that inspires and transforms lives is difficult work that will cost a great deal.
We all had dreams in our heads of the great teachers we wanted to be and those dreams still matter. Only real work can turn them into anything close to reality. It's through that work that we make lessons and we make learning happen, but it is also through those struggles that we ourselves are being made.
That is painful.
And it can hurt when we give everything, yet feel it didn't make a difference. It's hard to give up time and feel we missing out on those things our colleagues are enjoying.
But I want to encourage you that there is strength in becoming the person you were meant to be. I don't hear many people talk about this, but I have found it to be true. It can be energizing.
For me it is a spiritual matter and I have to call it as I see it. It's God's leading. When I can trust that I'm on track in the way I should go, I find the hope and strength necessary to press on.
I'm doing a challenge this month to post on one of my blogs every day. It's in preparation for my conference session, The Way of the Google Drive. Be sure to follow me on Twitter or on either blog to keep up with the "thoughts and tools to inspire".
Click here to see all the posts from this blog with the tag The Way of the Google Drive.