Trying new things is part of the essence of going to college, we do it on a daily or weekly basis. With every new experience you learn something new and with every new thing you learn you grow.
Some of us, however, always end up learning and growing more than others. The reason for that is that while some are trying something new and being brave enough to embark on a new venture, others try a new attitude and are brave enough to embrace a new perspective.
I believe attitude to be a skill of success, and perhaps the most important one there is. The way you make yourself feel about things in your everyday life dictates your level of success in your personal or work life. Attitude also controls one very important thing, and that is one’s happiness, without which, everything else is perishable.
Last Saturday I attended a design workshop at the Beach Museum of Art with Anita Lehmann, an artist visiting from Seattle, WA. I had signed up for the workshop 6 weeks in advance and had totally forgotten about it, and when I got the email reminder Saturday morning only one feeling was running through my body: dread.
It was the next morning after a Friday night that ended quite late, and the workshop was from 10 am to 3 pm. I have classes and work every day of the week and I’m always up by 7 am to start preparing for my day and I am usually back in bed by midnight. Every day but Saturday; Saturday is my holy day (No pun intended). On Saturdays I get to sleep in and do lazy activities in my pajamas to help me decompress and recharge, but now I had to spend five hours on my feet bent over trying to draw with tools I’ve never used before in my life.
However, I knew that I was bound to this room at the museum for the next five hours and not attending the workshop would reflect negatively on me as the spots were limited and that means I probably took a spot away from someone who would’ve attended.
Right then and there I decided to change my attitude, the way I’m making myself feel about the workshop. I could’ve gone in there with a straight face and sucked it up until 3:00 PM, or I could’ve put a smile on my face and walked in there and listened to what the instructor had to say and done my best to enjoy the time I’m spending. Either way I would’ve spent the same amount of time and felt the same sore back and feet. So even though I wasn’t entirely excited to begin with, I did my best to be enthused and content with being there.
That design workshop with Lehmann ended up being the most gratifying, enriching, and soulful artistic experience I’ve had in years. I enjoyed it so much that by 3 o’clock I was hoping she’d ask us to draw something else just so I can stay and take in more of the experience. So much so that I could actually write two or three blog posts about this one day.
You might have that dreadful 7:30 AM class that you signed up for because it was the only one left, an assignment that you can’t possibly see the rhyme or reason behind being assigned it, a job that is as boring as the day is long, or student loans that feel like a boulder on your back. Next time thinking about these things brings you down, try instead thinking about the time you’ll have left to do with your day and how healthy and good it is to wake up early, how rewarding it is to get an A in a class by the end of the semester, what you could do with the paycheck you’ll be getting in two weeks, and how if you play your cards right, you can take your student loans out in a few years, one baby step at a time, and you’ll be left with a degree and a college experience for life.