Personally, I want a nice house, a huge income, a car and a motorcycle, be famous for my works (my articles here and all the books I will soon write), have a nice and loving family who are skilled enough to spar with me, be skilled and healthy enough to spar on even terms with my family, enrich lives and leave a legacy, and more. So far, I have NONE of those (as of Dec. 26, 2016).
Like most people, I dream of becoming “successful.” You probably have similar dreams as I do (except for the whole “martial arts and sparring with the family” part), but like me, you likely don’t have everything you desire as of now. So what should we do to earn what we want? There are many ways to be successful in life, but there is one CRUCIAL starting point for all of them. We need to remember what that is and learn to use it to our advantage.
How I Create Art
Before we begin, let me show you how I create digital art.
Starting with a blank canvas, I first imagine the picture that I want to draw. When I get an idea, I roughly sketch it in blue, draw the lineart over it, and then I add the flats layer, colors, background, shadows, highlights, and the final details. When the image is done, I sign it and post it in my galleries. If I spot some errors in the final product, I correct them and update my post with the better version.
*Note: This is fanart of Rachel from Seven Knights.
While the lines, colors, concept, technique, and brush stroke are all different for every piece I create, they always have a common starting point beyond the empty canvas: the mental image of the artwork.
Where most people find nothing on a blank canvas, the artist sees the completed painting. Whether it’s a field of flowers, a dark city scene, a woman looking at the viewer, a pair of lovers, warriors engaged in a fatal duel, or anything else, the finished artwork is first born within the artist’s mind. When I draw, I don’t randomly scribble on the canvas hoping to “make something good.” I sketch and paint according to the image I have in mind, and it’s painted one brush stroke at a time until it’s finally completed. Easy and simple images are finished in a few hours, while the more complex pieces take much longer.
“Success” is created in the same way.
You start with what you have (a “blank canvas” called your current situation), SEE what you want to achieve, and THEN you work to make it happen. You have to visualize the things you want BEFORE you can make them reality.
If you want to have a house, you don’t randomly pile rocks and hope that they’d form a mansion with a veranda and a rooftop swimming pool. You first visualize the kind of home you want and then you work on the blueprints and construction. If you want to build a profitable business, you don’t just flail around the floor or talk to random strangers. You first imagine the business you want to start, the products you want to sell, the way the business should be managed, and everything else before you actually start building it and talk to potential investors, clients, and customers.
Clear Vision = More Opportunities
Second, you’ll notice mistakes and you’ll be able to correct them. When drawing portraits, you’ll notice when the eyes or other parts are distorted or the character isn’t facing the way you envisioned and thus you’ll be able to fix those mistakes. When you’re thinking of a business and you see that employees are not happy, customers aren’t coming in, or profits aren’t enough, you’ll be able to correct it until your business runs the way you think it should run.
Third, the more you work on your vision, the better you become. “Practice makes perfect” doesn’t just apply to drawing and sports. It applies to just about every skill in existence, like reading financial statements, investing in stocks, investing in rental real estate, forex trading, managing a business, marketing, leadership and management, good health, and more. You’ll likely have many failures at first, but as you keep going and keep improving, you’ll greatly improve your chances of winning.
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t — you’re right.” – Henry Ford
Success starts from a Thought
Napoleon Hill said that “whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Conversely, to achieve what you want, you need to conceive it in your mind first. The final result starts from the THOUGHT of that desired result.
It’s said that unsuccessful people see what is and think that’s all they’ll ever get. That’s why they keep doing what they’ve always done and why they keep getting what they’ve always gotten. Successful people see what COULD be, and they work to make it reality. If you want to become successful, you must look beyond everything you have now and see all the possibilities that you can achieve.
Your life is like a canvas, and you can make it as beautiful as you want it to be OR BETTER.
“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.” – Nido Qubein