“The greater danger is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that it is too low and we reach it.”


Just recently we had some discussion of New Year’s Resolutions. One of mine had to do with achieving some body sculpting goals. To accomplish that, I put myself on training regimen, but very soon, I noticed, “Well, I’ve done this before, and I’ve never achieved the kind of results I’m after. What’s it gonna take? What’s it really gonna take?”

So I started doing some research. I began with the knowledge that though I’ve been a jock pretty much my whole life, maybe, just maybe I did not know just exactly how to get “ripped,” and sure enough, I found that I had more than a thing or two to learn about reducing fat while increasing muscle. In fact, it was on a little motivational excerpt from one of my resources that I got the above quote.

It occurred to me that exercise and diet where aspects of a greater approach to achieving life goals. I kept noticing that the testimonials of people who achieved body building goals were reflections of the kind of patter one hears on the subject of ambition and success with any goal.

So first, I really put a crisp, clean, clearly defined goal there. A high goal. A tough goal: one I’ve never achieved since my youth (and that was because my body was still growing).

Then, magically, the things I needed to do began to happen.

First, I recognized my own ignorance and the doors of knowledge opened.

Second, I recognized my own weakness and recruited some help in the form of trainers. (I’ll share my resources with anyone interested.)

Third, I put my new knowledge in action. Though my fat measuring calipers have not arrived in the mail, after two weeks, I can clearly see results in the mirror. The muscle is building up nicely, and the fat is melting away.

And what does this have to do with art?


I am curious about two things: How do you motivate yourself and how do you motivate other?

For example, the supreme frustration in teaching art for me was a lack of ambition on the part of students. I’d love to hear how you have succeeded at getting others to aim higher. I’d love to hear how you do it yourself.