Some 45 days back I had taken up a challenge - 30 days 30 paintings. Well let me first tell you that no one had coaxed me into this “so-called” herculean task of painting every single day for 30 days at a stretch and there was absolutely no strict rule to paint on days when I was sick.
I’ll tell you why I took it up in the first place. Amidst the tight schedule there is seldom a free time to learn new things, even though you badly want to do it. I too wanted to learn a few painting/sketching techniques and was falling short of time. Then I started maintaining targets but I would soon be too lazy to abide by them. It was then that I decided that I needed a little more push and probably setting up an expectation where people knew about my targets and there were questions around it and that I would feel the pressure to deliver, would help. I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to do it, but the day I started this challenge and when people asked me what it was about and why do I have to do it, was when I was determined like never before.
How do you think it helped me?
Oh I can tell you 8 different ways in which it has helped me.
Enthusiasm level maintained even on the days when I was low or not too keen to work till late.
The experience of being able to finish a part of the project each day and the complete project at the end, was a bliss.
The virtue of discipline.
I got a journal ready by the end of the challenge and it’s a rich reference material now (a collection of 30 paintings and approximately 10 rough sketches).
I practiced every day without fail and towards the end of the challenge it literally took me some 15-20 minutes to finish off an artwork.
During the challenge even though I was confident that no matter what I will be able to complete it, I would often panic towards the end of the day if I was running late. But each time I sailed through. So now I know that no-matter how strict my schedule remains I will still manage to do whatever I have to. This is confidence.
I improved at the skill of color combination. The techniques I used now are superior to the ones that I used earlier, and this is a product of constant practice and dedication and “the 30-days-challenge” has played a significant role in this.
Jugaad - When you have 7 hours commitment somewhere, an urgent project running simultaneously, there is no electricity at home and no power back-up, it is not unlikely that you’d freak out. Is it? The best way to handle situations like this is “Jugaad”.. You can sit in the basement and still work, you can sit at your neighbours place, you can work under the street light (if it’s safe in your area), you can sit in a cafe, library, anywhere. So, I learnt that if I really wanted to do something, I would be able to figure it out - “Jugaad”. Remember - How will always be figured out if you know what and why.
I strongly believe that challenging yourself to push a little over and above your comfort zone is an effective way to groom yourself. After all these little steps pave the way to a brighter future.
Do let me know if this was helpful. For feedback, queries and discussion feel free to write to me at “firstname.lastname@example.org”.