Or how to redefine the starting point for living the word dedication having self as the starting point
§ Continuing from 530. The Secret Behind Attraction
I looked at this word and found how I have lived dedication in several ways in my life, but a common factor is that all of those things wherein I’ve been most dedicated have been related to doing tasks or activities where there starting point was more about doing it ‘for others’ or to ‘benefit others’ only, and this is a common tendency I’ve seen in people like myself where we tend to shift our focus and attention towards ‘changing the world out there’ or ‘assisting others’ but in all of that, ending up missing out on ourselves, on being the starting point and principle of all living words and being dedicated for ourselves, as ourselves, as the very life that is in us and that exists in equality in everyone else.
An example is how I outlined this word from that blog I wrote on ‘attraction’ and finding words that I could see this person living for himself was – from my perception – living personal dedication wherein he became a sort of ‘expert’ in his creative field even when having a regular 8 hour a day job ‘in the system’ for decades, doing something that didn’t at all relate to his creative side so to speak. He still lived the same dedication to his art, his field of expertise and create himself from that, which has made him a sort of ‘wise man’ from my perspective based on his consistency and diligence to keep himself functional in the system, yet when it comes to his personal creativity, standing very much on his own ‘way’ which is quite a rebellious one to say the least in the context of what he does as art, but here I’m not even focusing on ‘him’ or ‘his art’ but more like the balance this person could create in terms of dedication.
I’ve also been watching some series about designers and I’ve seen how creative people in general have always been a source of inspiration for me. I can be a person that whenever I am hitting a ‘blank’ in some way, I can watch an interview or documentary about a creative person in arts/music and be able to draw these words and aspects that they were able to live through in their lives to get to be who they ‘got to be’ as in being masters in their craft and art, which usually leaves a good set of learning-experiences from these people where surely they weren’t ‘perfect beings,’ but in the spirit of ‘investigating all things and keep what’s good’ – one can always find something very cool to learn from these visionaries, creators, designers, artists which are sort of the people I gravitate towards, but hey it’s not really limited to that, I’ve also found I can learn from any human being when getting to know their story and what they have managed to learn or overcome to live their life.
Seeing other people be dedicated about doing something ‘for themselves’ mirrored back to myself as a potential that I had given up for some years – and still in the process of creating my footing around it – wherein I ‘felt’ I truncated a career for me for some years because of focusing/dedicating myself only on this process in itself and perceiving I could not expand further from that or actually continue ‘creating’ something for myself, something that is entirely for me and existing as my expression – and not only related to say the ‘theory’ and support structure behind this process – but doing something that can stand as the reflection, the outcome, the result of this very personal process expressed into a point of creation that can possibly stand through the test of time as something that expresses/reveals me and can stand as a point of living-testimony of this process at the same time, so both points in one so to speak: self-creation and the living of this process in one.
This point of creation is not only about the creation of a project, a set of works I’d like to do, but it includes my own life where I’ve seen that I have to now shift my dedication to self-dedication as well and balance out that self-commitment not for ‘the process’ in itself and the dedication I’ve created to set this foundation for myself within it, but it does feel – and I’ve been ‘feeling’ this for quite some time now – that it’s time to settle all of this towards the next step, which to me is also very much linked to dedication and the didactics within it – which from my perspective can only be a true-sharing and process of ‘teaching’ if one has also done the process and walked it for oneself.
Along with dedication I also see the words focus and perseverance, because that ‘trinity’ of words is exactly what I require to not give up on very personal projects I’d like to develop for me and my life and at the same time, be able to create an equilibrium in what I’ve mostly been doing for now as the core and movement of this process in itself for the benefit of many more.
Therefore I can source from my own example in this word wherein I can see and recognize I have been quite diligent, dedicated and consistent with responsibilities that I’ve taken on ‘towards others’ or what I’ve defined as a ‘greater purpose’ – for a lack of a better way to explain it – meaning, projects that do not only involve ‘me’ as my own starting point and end of creation, but have mostly been dedicated when it is meant or geared towards a common benefit.
Why has this been so? I have been that kind of people that would also perceive that having a greater purpose would imply giving up personal projects, where I had in a defined or invested myself towards my own self-interest. Arts is one of those, but lately I’ve been realizing the sabotage I created within myself around it where I’ve seen how it really isn’t even about ‘arts’, but how I had created a relationship to arts that instead of redefining it from a starting point of self-interest towards one of self-support and having a career that I can live from, I neglected it by considering I could not resolve my relationship ‘towards art’ and that I should just give it up.
Though I also recognize that when I was formally having my time in art school, I was equally dedicated to both points, Desteni as in taking the time, discipline, effort and application invested on all of the vast material, references, interactions, courses and participation that I truly see it as a ‘second simultaneous career’ of sorts while also being dedicated to university and not just doing it ‘half-assed’ but fully knowing that this is what I wanted to create and be for myself, that I was going to give my best as my creation.
From applying discipline in arts creation, I’ve learned a lot from the discipline, detail, focus and consistency that it takes to create something in ‘old fashioned’ art ways, which seemed like quite a challenge at the beginning of my career where I was more into doing ‘fast art’ type of things, and I ended up challenging myself by taking one of the most rigorous and precise methods of image creation, such as print making learned through apprenticeship in methods that are a couple of centuries old. In essence I pushed some boundaries but I do consider I fell short in this, and I can still pull it through to something that I can genuinely stand as the creator of it myself.
This time I want to direct the word dedication to do what I can create for and as myself, for the first time without expecting or needing a ‘reference’ for me to keep going or to stop sabotaging me from continuing with a project based on the perception that this is ‘self-interest’ or ‘no one else is benefitting from this that I do.’
Here I have to instead remind myself that being a creator is about who we are within anything and everything that we do – no matter if it is building up a business from scratch, opening up a new field of knowledge and information that is supportive for humanity, being a visual artist, a writer, a set of parents that truly see themselves and their children as their ultimate works of art and live according to that, a person that can step up from very difficult living conditions and create a way through in life, people that overcome the worst kind of outcomes or consequences in their lives and find the strength to reinvent themselves and succeed in what they do…
Well, in essence I could expand the list to many examples, and that is also a good indication of how through this process one learns to see the potential, the process of ‘overcoming’ difficulties, but also the kind of self-mastery that emerges with living words like dedication, consistency, perseverance and focus to be someone that can understand the level of capacity and responsibility we have as creators, because that’s ultimately what our lives are really about from my perspective and current understanding: seeing directly through our thoughts, words and deeds who we are as creator, created and creation and live in/as our own creation, which yes can go both ways of completely acknowledging and using our creative abilities for the best of our potential or completely ignoring it all and diminishing or squandering our opportunity to genuinely live.
I definitely want to embody the word dedication not only towards something I can do ‘for others’ but also in my own life because that’s where I am aware I have been ‘slacking’ and lacking-me in essence to be and do something for myself, as myself, besides formal ‘process work’ and that’s also why one can get to feel ‘frustrated’ or in a ‘halt’ of sorts if one stops seeing oneself as a creator not only in a direction of ‘providing support’ but to first and foremost support oneself, create oneself and get to tap into the enjoyment and satisfaction of living that in a particular activity, field, line of work or projects where we can also expand, learn from and grow into, without in my case having to fall into the absolutism of only doing ‘one thing,’ because that’s limited for sure, we can be and do so much more if I step out of my two-dimensional view on my life.
Dedication also sounds a bit to me like the-deed-actions, the actual doings that we can place our time, effort, focus and perseverance on in order to see who we really are as creators, to learn to be consistent in doing something that I might see ‘no point’ in doing after some time and rather get to complete it, get to walk through it to its end to then have the real say as the creator of it and see who I was within the whole creative process, and ultimately assess how supportive or beneficial it was or wasn’t.
The key point for me here is to precisely not give up ‘half way’ in it, but be able to see something through until I get to complete it and then be able to have the ‘creator’s say’ on whether this is something that I can use and pursue any further or not, which is something that can only be assessed once something is finished, completed or achieved.
Of course this is in terms of self-honesty, meaning I have tended to hear a lot of my own thoughts of why I should quit doing something, so I have to be quite aware to not ‘quit’ on something based on reactions or having ‘second thoughts’ but only stop if there’s something that is genuinely consequential or compromising in reality– that’s a practical assessment – but in terms of experiencing a resistance, that’s where I have to live the word dedication and actually get to do and see the completion of something I set myself to do that I might initially think ‘it’s only for my own benefit’ or even pleasure. Ultimately this will be reflected on who I become as a creator in doing so, and that’s how we can eventually see where our efforts, consistency and perseverance is directed to and get to know our ‘wood’ as creators.
And this is also something I’ve only recently come to understand when it comes to ‘it’s about who you are within what you do’ – where instead of me judging the actual activity/work/creative process and outcome of it, I can see how I can test my creative abilities in whatever I get to do and work on. This is also in consideration of living in a world where we won’t only do ‘what we like,’ but we certainly get to test our preference-limitations through having all kinds of ways and jobs to make a living regardless of a ‘preference’ – yet even in those situations where we’ve felt most ‘compromised,’ we get to learn more about ourselves, the kind of person that we can develop ourselves to be within it all, the words that we can learn to live in those situations and contexts – all of that is certainly a place where we can live dedication for and as ourselves, as a quality to develop within ourselves, regardless of the outcome or ‘final product’ of something.
Therefore I see this word dedication is linked to action, to creation, to the consistency, the perseverance and focus I can put on doing something and ‘seeing it through’ which is what in my life has given me quite a sense of satisfaction, not because of ‘accomplishing’ something necessarily, but because of proving myself to be able to be and live to be much more than what I initially thought I could do or be in my life.
So, dedication, as ‘hard work’ as it may sound, it also comes with the inevitable fruits as a result of our input and output on a day to day living, and this is then where it stops being only something one has to be constantly ‘working on’ or ‘giving our time to’ but, we can change the equation to seeing how we are truly growing, learning about ourselves in order to be empowered and start creating, start directing, start and so continue paving the way through in what we want to stand as and live as in our lives.
Being dedicated to oneself as life can be the key to ‘see this life through’ with self-honor and self-respect and there’s only one way that one can predict this kind of outcome or future, which is by living self-honor and self-respect on a daily basis, living that dedication to be better in our lives and consequently affect others’ lives through that. The simple shift in this equation for myself is entirely having myself as the starting point, seeing every day as an opportunity to challenge myself, no matter ‘what’ I do but always remember it’s about ‘who I am’ in what I do that defines my truth and so what we make of ourselves in our lives, our ‘destiny’ or outcome of our self-creative process.
So, I’ll keep an eye on this word from here on and walk the next phase of using this quality that I’ve seen in me in certain ways or aspects and now use it to see who am I as this word if I see it’s not within something I see is benefitting ‘others’ directly, but is existing only as myself, for myself, which is quite a field to explore in my personal life.
Thanks for reading.
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