I had the opportunity this week to view Empty Dresses; the art exhibit of Paula Streeter at the Pearson Lakes Art Center in Okoboji, Iowa. Her paintings and drawings of clothing from the 19th century were, in my opinion, exquisite with detail and emotion.
I also listened to a speaker, Gene Marks, who said, “To succeed in business you must always look forward and have plans for the future.” His keynote centered around tax codes, CRM data systems, and other boring topics.
Those two experiences plus knowledge of mental wellness made me think of the connection between seemingly unrelated topics.
As I studied the intricate detail of each painting and read about the various art forms Paula Streeter had mastered, it was apparent, to me, the artist was continually learning, growing, and trying new techniques. I thought she must have started by merely sketching and playing with color and paper types. Like all skills, prior learning is valuable because everything transfers to the next level of competency.
Gene Marks was adamant that a business would fail if the management didn’t plan, lay out, and implement what the company wanted to achieve in one year, two years, etc. Being stuck in the present or the past and not keeping up with change was not good for anyone wanting a profitable, successful business.
The artist and the accountant both knew the value of working smart in the now and at the same time, contemplating what they could and should be doing next. They were both examples of progressive and fresh business models.
The same is true of every living person wanting a mentally healthy attitude. We have all succeeded and failed in our past. Hopefully, we have learned from those experiences. If we get stuck in past disappointments or achievements, we don’t challenge or reach for our potential. We need to decide what we want next in our lives.
Whether we dream small or large, we need to picture where we want to be and what we want to do with the gifts and the unknown time we have left.
If we do something relevant every day toward our desired future, imagine how our goals and dreams could materialize in a month or a year.
I’ve always wanted to develop the artistic side of my Choctaw heritage, so for six months, I am going to read art books, take some classes, and sketch something each day.
How about YOU?
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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