Thursday, April 25, 2013

Self Improvement

(The Cheeky Daddy in Heartbeat Magazine)

“Make the most of yourself....for that is all there is of you.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

   I recently had a story published in the Heartbeat Connection Magazine, an eMagazine started by Nicole Flothe that highlights lifestyle and art. I met Nicole through the Internet and have enjoyed what she's done with The story I submitted was about my first art professor, who happened to be my final art professor at graduation. Somewhere in the middle of my degree, he'd grimaced at a piece I'd finished and asked, "When are you going to get pissed off enough to just get better?" 

   Ouch, right? No doubt. The pain didn't last, though. Long before that, my father had taught me to accept constructive criticism as best I could in order to get better in art and other areas in life as well. Though my father's had a hard time following his own advice, it was good advice. Since my professor's comment back in '03, my wounds have healed and his words have given me a boost in several areas of life. As I think about all the different methods to improve one's self, it all starts with the desire to make change. Some people can set a goal and start after it with ease. Others will make a goal, just to watch is wither on the vine. I'm somewhere in between.

   While I want to make myself a better father, husband, and guy, sometimes it can be easier to just plop down on the couch and flip channels. I've gotten better with time (yes,...I'm like a fine wine). These days I can set a goal and incrementally head in that direction. That takes a decision to head in that direction though, and after a day or evening with three kids, it can be tough. While not at every turn, I do reflect on my old professor's words from time to time.  A project or life goal will take root in my head and I might kick the can down the road a bit. I'll hear, "When are you going to get pissed off enough to just get better?", and find myself on the road to self improvement. Since I'm there, care to join me?

(don't I just LOOK goal oriented?)

Don't forget to check out the full story at Heartbeat Connection Magazine, and the Heartbeat blog.  


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