Living at 100% plus

BAD! Kitty Art Studio
Self talk topic of the day…
Giving life all you have got, yes…every single day.
We learned when we were children that we should always try our best. Yet somewhere between kindergarten and the career world we start cutting corners, saving ourselves and our best work for some other purpose than the one that’s here now.

So how can you get back on track? Take a look at how you approach your work, art, relationships, even those mundane every-day moments, and identify when and why you’re holding something of yourself back. We all do it, and it’s not hard to see why: giving all of your heart is dangerous, terrifying and exhausting. It’s also the only way to reveal the true extent of you talents — to others and to yourself. Don’t let fear stifle your best self.

Saving yourself
Believe it or not, a major obstacle to doing our best is our desire to do be great. We set a certain standard for ourselves, and when we’re overwhelmed, tired or otherwise uninspired, there’s a kind of surrender that takes place. It’s a form of self-protection, and the justification goes something like this: if I only put fifty percent into this project, and everyone picks it apart, well I knew I could do better anyway.

We figure if we never give a hundred percent, we can never completely fail. This mindset manifests in procrastination and half-efforts; it often drives people to give up before they’ve begun. Doing your best makes you vulnerable. If someone detects a flaw in your best work, it hurts — it means they’ve found a flaw in you. But the cost of holding back is far higher.

Remember– you are what you do, not what you privately believe you have the potential to do.

Famous potential failures
The irony here is that the people who have achieved some kind of greatness are the ones who were willing to risk colossal failure. Think Edison shrugged his shoulders after an attempt or two at the light bulb and moved on to something else? What about The Lord of the Rings trilogy? Do you suppose Peter Jackson skimped on effort on his 270 million dollar epic so he would have a ready excuse in the face of criticism? It certainly would have made it easier to brush off a bad review: “No one seems to like it, but for something we threw together, it’ll do.” Not a chance. These people have to commit to themselves (and to others) that they will give each project everything they are, and that their best will be enough. That’s why they’re great, and that’s why they get results.

Getting by
Many people, especially those who are naturally intelligent and who learn quickly, can often get by at half mast. When fifty percent gets it done, it’s easy to save the other half. But even when you’re half-efforts exceed the bar, you’re still cheating yourself. Satisfaction comes when we exceed our own expectations, not simply meet those of others.

Just be your best. Then push yourself a little farther.

You never know
Your greatest successes will always come when you least expect it. If you still need a reason to give all of yourself to each thing you do, remember that you never know who’s watching. Maybe the task at hand doesn’t require much of you, isn’t paying enough or doesn’t have much competition. Who cares? Attack it with everything you have. You’ll be surprised at how many breaks come when someone takes notice of some seemingly unimportant project…that you just happen to be approaching with everything you have.

People are no exception. Treat each person you meet with respect, and always put your best foot forward. If you save your courtesy and your cleverness for someone of importance, you’ll never know what you’re missing. The person who can help you the most may be hiding in plain sight, to say nothing of the solid friendships and lasting relationships you could be missing each time you hold something of yourself back.

Go ahead. Try it. Give all of yourself to each and everything you bother doing. You have nothing to lose but wasted potential, and an opportunity to gain something unexpected with every undertaking.
by A.K. Boyle

I have a new work to share this morning, I will go and take pictures soon and post them for you to see. Now I warn you…I have been on a journey recently…I challenged myself to do 10 canvases that were different from not only each other, but also a departure from my recognized style of work. Ten in a row…this will be number 7, and it is for sure, a departure for me.
So stay tuned and let me know what you think…I am a little nervous about sharing this one…it’s the dark side of Heather. 🙂 Yes, under all the bright, vibrant colors I do have a dark side…but I still feel really good about the why behind the work and like I said…this is my personal challenge to myself, so I am giving 110% to my current life and goals. Also, this will be my first completed work of the New Year. I have completed 7 works to date (almost) in 60 days.
I am on fire!
Here’s to living free and brave…
and at full throttle,


  1. cricketdiane
    February 16, 2008

    Heather –
    What magnificent thoughts and writings – but then who has time to read it. So there you go. If that tree falls in the forest and no one heard the durn thing – did it make a sound or not?

    Someone told me that recently and reminded me that I should be the first to go back and re-read some of the things I write. When I saw this post, it occurred to me that you wrote it a year ago. Would you agree with it now?

    You commented on my post over at wordpress and it is true – the dialogue when we create, may very well originate with us but it isn’t meaningful until being consummated by another person. That doesn’t mean they have to like it, agree with it or give it meaning or anything else. Even if I am the one that views the work later, that counts as having served to communicate something to someone.

    I do create because I believe that two-way dialogue is important and powerful. The other choice is silence and we can always do that later when we’re dead. Ooh that sounded terrible didn’t it?

    There is something to be said for living right here and right now – and in believing that wherever you think you’re going – you are already there. This means someday is today and living full throttle is to experience the right now you’re in without trying to force it into something else. That takes real courage – I’ve just learned to stop pushing to strive and be the who I am right now with everything I have available. Strangely, it makes being remarkable on occasion happen a bit more frequently. And, isn’t that nice!

    Thanks for your comments – Deep Into Creating and Keeping On Going –

    – Cricket diane

  2. badkittyartstudio
    February 17, 2008

    Thank you Cricket Diane for reading this post. Yes, re-reading it a year later things are a little different , but not by much. I’d say it’s a more refined approach now. Wonderful that you brought me back here, I still give 110% to everything, but like you I am no longer pushing so hard, it comes a lot more easy today. I hope you’ll come back and continue to share you wonderful, well thought self with us all, and I for one, am happy to have “found” you. I look forward to learning more from and about you.
    Have a great one,


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