Discipline, in the sense of having set boundaries in time, behavior, or quality is fine. It is the Yang of the tao of creative productivity. We need this to give us something to push against and to aim for. It gives a particular shape to something where indecision, lack of clarity, and sometimes chaos live.

Yin is the softer force. Softer force…hmm…that seems contradictory. It is but it makes sense and it is a reality.

Dedication is the attraction (as I define it, at least) that keeps us coming back. It is the glue that binds us to some finite collection of objects, places, people, process, and ideas. It is the great point of fascination, hope, and curiosity that captures our thoughts, dreams, and heart.

Dedication is hard to quantify, examine, or compare. It’s part of the world of wishes, desires, needs, and the province of the unconscious.

Dedication makes procrastination less powerful and far, far less relevant. Dedication increases resilience, that strange force that allows us to get up after “failure”, “hopelessness,” and “helplessness” and loss to stumble again into the studio, to the desk, the work bench, the easel, pen, to the business, and instrument when we aren’t sure what to do next. It is the place we had to be despite a 1000 reasons not to show up.

Dedication carries with it responsibility. A responsibility that at a minimum, demands that we must be jugglers. Juggling ideas, processes, an instrument of our creativity, understandings, and more.

Dedication is yin-like in that it signals our love for what we do, who we are, what we want to offer from our creativity.

If hard to quantify, examine, and compare dedication is all of that, perhaps other, hard to see and hard to trust yin soft/powerful forces have a chance, too. Optimism, trust in one’s ability, the future, self-worth, courage, and confidence begin this list.

Yin is darkness in its full range. In darkness is where much of our work is done. In our minds, invisible to everyone, and sometimes invisible to ourselves. Working quietly, frequently alone for long stretches. And our end products that sometime get to migrate the long shadows from completion to the light of public attention.

Getting to Dedication…how-to-do-it….comes in a later post.

One thought on “Dedication not Discipline

  1. Thank you for this article. Found it enlightening. Trying to follow my creative path and overcome the obstacles. Looking forward to your future articles.

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