The Cycle Never Ends

~1,500 words.

Germination → Assimilation → Completion

The cycle never ends. Germination evolves from the completion phase of a prior cycle. If we look at our own life cycle, germination is the seed of life, assimilation life itself, and completion the end of our time in this world.

If you have never thought of yourself as an artist, try. You are both the artist and the art. The world in which you live is your canvas.

Artists create for the sake of creating.

Many of us live with the notion that there's something we have to do. A purpose for why we exist. Some specific result to obtain. Born to fulfill some purpose, we may spend our entire life seeking what it is, never sure. But to view life from an artist's perspective, your life exists for creation of the art itself. As artists, our only task is to create art. It's the process of creating art (our life) that gives life meaning. A creator doesn't get attached to the creation, but rather assimilates the creative process unto itself. Imagine the freedom of living without the burden!

You are not just a project to be completed. You are not here to do, you are here to be.

Can you create simply for the sake of creation? Releasing any expectation of anything beyond the creation itself?

Sidebar: When I go to yoga, I have a much better class when I focus on the flow rather than the outcome of a particular pose. Focusing on the outcome doesn't help me, focusing on the practice does. Being critical of the result is additional tension which can negatively impact our performance.

Do you create with expectation of outcomes outside your control?

Artists who create expecting the world to embrace their art are setting themselves up for disappointment. While you can control your effort, you will never control the outcome. Sometimes the world will embrace your creation, often it won't. Musicians may write hundreds of songs before the world hooks to one. Writers write thousands of words that are never read. Speakers think millions of thoughts never spoken. Your purpose is to discover creations that others embrace. When people love what you do, they love who you are for doing it.

Never let the opinions of others define your decisions when creating. It's futile to gauge your worth based on the opinions of others, which you can never live up to, because opinions change like the weather. You can't hit a moving target. Whether it's a painting, song, story, or life, avoid attachment to the outcome.

Signs of progress

Assimilation occurs when the skills we learn become an extension of ourselves. Often invisible to us while it's occurring, the more we practice, the more we assimilate. It follows the germination phase.

Because it's usually hidden from us, it's easy to abandon too soon. But the longer we stick with our practice, eventually, the evidence will become visible.

Some signs that assimilation is occurring include discomfort, frustration, and disappointment. Failing is not seen as a setback, but rather the path to success.

Given the resistance that we have to pain, assimilation is the most difficult phase of creation.

It's where most people get stuck. Living from a reactive-responsive orientation, we'll be likely to give up. We'll justify reasons to give up. We will avoid short-term pain, but suffer long term consequences.

We tend to notice assimilation more so during life transitions. The change of a job, the downturn of a business, the move to a new town, or when we experience a loss. Instead of being reactive to the situation, try to view it as a part of the creative process in the artwork of your life. Your life is your greatest creation. Do you love your creation? Having a creation you love begins with loving the creator.

Anticipate that you will go through periods of extreme discomfort as you assimilate into your future. From the creator orientation, you'll recognize these as nothing more than opportunities for growth. Failure is a sign of progress. Hang it with pride.

The creation process will unfold in it's own time. In our 'have it now, pay for it later' culture, it feels frustratingly slow. Frustration itself is a sign of the process. You might think time is wasted, that it's inefficient, but it's an essential part of the process.

The TER Triangle: Results stem from the amount of time & experience one puts into any endeavor.

It shows up as trial and error, as experimentation. When you are constantly inventing and discovering, you are bound to take a few missteps. From the creator orientation, there are no mistakes. Any result is possible, it's just a matter of time and experience.

Failing is Progress

There is no failure in trying, there is only failure in giving up.

The fortune of failure is that it reveals what the truth of what we can do to improve. Truth is good. Avoid failure and you fail to improve.

Through the assimilation phase, you will discover that failure is always positive. The only way we can improve is to recognize that there's always room for improvement. Failure is a key aspect of the TER Triangle.

True improvement stems from admitting we know less, a willingness to ask for help, and open to new lessons (or relearning). Creators accept there will always be something new to discover. Hidden in learning is self-discovery. When something new needs to be assimilated to achieve our desired outcome, new lessons to learn will be offered and we will be tested.

Before we come to understand balance, we must know what it means to fall.

Strength comes from being tested. The greater the adversity you face, the stronger you become. When life becomes more than you think can bear, remember it's only another test, and you will emerge stronger. Life will never give us more than we can handle.

Failure is how we learn. Knowledge cannot be assimilated until it is tested through trial and error. Whether we fail or succeed, we assimilate essential knowledge. Failure is becoming one with new knowledge. Knowledge is a concept, wisdom is the skill. Be grateful for the tests, for they provide the ability to transfer knowledge into wisdom.

What if you woke up tomorrow and your prime objective was to fail as many times as you could?

Structural Tension

By design, tension is part of the structure. As we move through the cycle, recognizing the gap between where you are and where you want to be is the start of structural tension. The closer you get to the outcome you seek, the deeper you go into the assimilation phase, and the more difficult the tests become.

To fully assimilate your current step, you must move to the next, even when you feel inadequately prepared for it (and you will).

Trust yourself like never before and you will know more than you did before. Never forget failing is naturally part of the process. Those who achieved more than you have come to understand this. Your failures need not weigh you down, instead see them as a source of your strength (because they are). Those on the path rarely feel like fakes or imposters. Trust that you know more than they you did before and life will never give you more than you can handle. The lessons we learn as a result of moving ahead will prepare us for the steps that follow.

Progress demands an acceptance of failure. The only limit to our progress is to the extent of how much we are willing to fail. A common thread among the greatest achievers is that they often lose big before they win big. How much are you willing to risk to realize your dream? How far are you willing to go? Live out loud and express who you are without hesitation. The world will love you for it.

You are better than you know. Much better.

Ignore the little voice inside your head telling you otherwise. It may have been needed at one time, but you've been keeping it around for far too long.

As a society, we must strive to eliminate the shame we impose of failure.

There is no shame in failing. Failing means you tried. The only shame should be in not trying, not failing. Our true potential will never be realized without a fair amount of failure.

Our hesitation to step beyond where we are now stems from failing to recognize how far we've already come.

Critiki Feedback

BRIAN: Drop in Yopa Ironman video - a story of failure. The extent that people go to to avoid failure.

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