Don’t Believe

Every summer I spend some of my vacation exploring my artistic side. Today I wandered down to the art studio by the river to work on a new project.

Talking to one of the artists in the studio, I mentioned that I had never taken art at school because I wasn’t very talented.  She mentioned to me that her mom, one of the most well-known artists in our area, failed grade nine art. Badly.  Her teacher told her she had no talent. She didn’t take art again until the age of 32.  Below, you can see that she is an incredibly talented artist.

Why do I bring this up? Because we have a great deal of power to influence others’ beliefs about themselves. We need to be careful about the feedback we give. At the same time, we need to help others assess their abilities in a realistic way.

I’m sure that twenty years from now I will meet a former student at homecoming who will tell me about their incredible success, and I’ll be shaking my head, because I was sure that this student would never amount to much. The moral of the story? Feedback is good, but in the end, we’re responsible for our own success. You can’t care too much about what other people think. If you love something, go ahead and do it, no matter what someone else says.


Categories: Creativity, Hard Work, Success

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2 replies »

  1. Or, imagine what happens when you find that student who rushes up to say “thanks” to you for being the one who saw in them something they didn’t see in themselves, which gave them the courage to take bigger risks, and prevail.

    What a great thing to anticipate.

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