As a child, I remember when my mom used to paint all kinds of ceramic pots and sculptures. I’ve found the art of pottery to be very interesting, but It never occurred to me how deeply it can relate to success (or failure). During one of my trips to Ocala, FL, I met a local potter at an annual festivity held at the Fort King Historic Site. She’s an incredible human being with a lot of passion and dedication to her art. Just watching her gave me such a new perspective about life itself.
I instantly fell in love with the beautiful strokes of clay, and the movement of the wheel. The subtle way of the clay coming together to form a candlestick, with simple, yet precise, strokes and molding with the hands. It was truly art in the making!
Pottery is a form of ceramics and one of the oldest human inventions. Many pottery vessels that form part of our history, are thought to be dated for longer than we can think possible. There is also a variety of methods used to shape pottery. This local potter uses the potter’s wheel. In a process she mentioned being called ‘throwing’, a ball of clay is placed in the center of the turntable, which she rotated with a stick while using her foot on some form of a pedal to give it speed. I was in awe at such a form of perfection in the art of pottery.
How the Art of Pottery Relates to Success
But what is it about the art of pottery, and how can we benefit from its teachings? First of all, it shows us to be persistent. Take for instance this potter. She was working on the last pot of the day – and usually, the first and last pots are never centered, so she had to make some unexpected adjustments. She adjusted and tried again. Nonetheless, she smiled while quickly picking up the pace, and centering her piece. She stayed focused and removed the pieces getting in the way. She was patient while making these quick, but necessary changes. And never once did the smile on her face became dull!Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. Click To Tweet
Similarities? As artists, we are faced with many obstacles from the very beginning of our projects. When difficulty heads our way, or if we see our project not going to the extent that we want it to, we tend to become less motivated. We find ourselves at a loss of focus, instantly becoming less inspired. And we think we are less capable of achieving our goals.
Success is a Journey of Creating
I learned that the secret lies in the process. Such as the process of molding clay…it’s a matter of constant repetitions. When you’re a beginner at something, you have to repeat the tasks constantly in order to learn. Just like when they made us write our name repeatedly, a thousand times, back in Kindergarten. But for some reason along the way, we lost it. We’ve forgotten how important it is to be beginners, to do our repetitions of practice. However, sometimes we think that our journey has to be about a search for “perfection”. When in reality, perfection lies in the imperfect. Therefore, we are already perfect in our own imperfections, and practice is not a journey of perfection. Our journey? Well, our journey is about creating.
If your goal is to be successful at something, no matter what comes your way, don’t be afraid to fail. Learn from your mistakes and enjoy the journey. Then, pick up the pace, and get rid of what you no longer need. And no matter what happens, or how long the process might take, never, ever, lose your spark. Never lose your smile! We are all capable of achieving our goals. All it takes is a little bit of clay! 😉