If you are an artist trying to create in this current culture and climate you are up against a wave of forces working to shut you down every minute. Everyday.
There are time bandits, or as I have created, The R.D.S. “The Robbers of Dreams and Souls” (new villains in my graphic novel from the Kid in Me). These voices and villains include:
- Distraction in the form of electronic devices including social media
- Distraction with screens including T.V. and computers
- People pleasing and saying yes to everyone
- Procrastination keeping you from creating
- Not mastering your time. No management of your hours and minutes on your calendar
- Buying the lie that multitasking is productive.
- Rationalizing that time off and leisure are due. Excuses.
- Comparison trap
- And the most important: Lies. Lies that come in the form of self-talk including fear and shame.
For me, I grew my business in my twenties when there wasn’t social media and computers. I know, that dates me. But these were some of the most productive years of my life. I wanted to share with you how I regained the focus to have ridiculous outcomes and quality of creative ideas.
- Distraction in the form of electronic devices including social media– My solution: I do email once to twice a day. Say hello to 20-30 hours of newfound time in your life!
- Distraction with screens including T.V. and computers– My solution: Limit TV or movies to weekend evenings. Say hello to 40 more hours of your life.
- People-pleasing and saying yes to everyone. My solution: I have a filter for all my decisions with people and projects: Will this be wasting, spending, or investing of my time? Will this time be a place that uses my unique abilities, invests in people, has eternal significance, and makes me the most revenue in the least amount of time?
- Procrastination keeps you from creating. My solution: Making plans doesn’t count as being “productive”. Plans are not results. You can’t measure intentions in dollars.
- Comparison Trap. My solution: God created you one of a kind. No one will have your calling before you in history or after. Your calling is yours, not anyone else’s. That said, why even bother comparing yourself to others? God compares you to you. You won’t be compared to others at the end of your life; you’ll be judged by the influence you possessed and the potential you had.
- Not mastering your time. No management of your hours and minutes on your calendar. My solution: If you are not time blocking and booking yourself, your wife, your family, and your projects as clients, you’re dead. Whoever owns your calendar owns you. Whoever owns your minutes owns your life. You can’t make memories unless you have minutes. Who owns yours?
- Buying the lie that multitasking is productive. My solution: Focused deep work is by design. You can’t build and launch unless you get things done. Do an experiment and ask,’ When was the last time I was in a flow where time disappeared?
- Rationalizing that time off and leisure are due. Excuses. My solution: How about you reward yourself with time off, a cup of coffee, time on social media, or the satisfaction of checking an item off your list and calendar by finishing something. Nothing tastes better than the accomplishment of your dream. You have 168 hours a week. You can spend them, waste them, or invest them.
- Lies: Nothing is more toxic than believing your own lies. Thoughts are like grooves in a record. Break those old records and replace them with audible declarations of God’s truth and word. The comic strip above shows Noah declaring who he is. If we focus on the lies they have power. You can take back your thoughts and power by declaring the truth of how God sees you as his child. Could there be any better bodyguard? Then, realize the hosts and legions of angels you can call on for support. Jesus himself was tempted and received resistance and interference from the enemy. His strategy and weapon were the spoken words of God. I think I’ll go with what he did. It never fails.
Lastly, my reasons for killing joy robbers go to a whole other level. Mine has an eternal and spiritual component. You see, as a creative, you’ve been given a superpower most will never possess. You get to influence people with hope. My personal belief is that the God-given gift of creativity is to convert my time, talent, and influence to help heal the world with God’s love.
Now watch this…
If the paintings, drawings, products, courses, and books all help make revenue to fund our ministry and help rescue special needs AIDS Orphans and share the gospel with others, do you think the enemy is going to let that just happen?
If my creativity is to be used to heal the world, I am at war with the one who wants to rob, cheat, and steal fruit from happening in my life. His aim is to shut you down to stop producing results.
By getting you thinned out. Burned out. Distracted. Cranky at family. Short-tempered. Worried. Stressed. Then you won’t create. Then you won’t launch. Then you won’t get results. Then you won’t make a sale. Then you can’t give. Then you won’t talk. Then you won’t share on social media. The whole mission goes dark.
The Robber of Dreams and Souls (RDS) win.
This life lesson from the Kid in Me shows this process playing out as Lil’ Noah works to draw and paint his project. But there’s good news…
He understands and declares the truth of his true identity and his mission.
My hope, my friend, is that you can use this image as a reminder to not let the enemy rob your joy. As a child of God, the only thing he is going to try and do is to get you miserable and discouraged. He hopes you quit.
“For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12
The greatest battle you will fight daily is the eight inches in your head between your ears.
Don’t buy into the hype and lies of the R.D.S..
In your corner,
The original drawing of “Joy Robbers” is now available for purchase as well as limited edition canvas wraps and paper prints. First 10 collectors to use code JOYROBBERS at checkout receive 15% off.