Thing’s I’ve learnt so far

So Yesterday was my birthday and I now I’m a quarter century years old. Thought I should make a post and reflect on some things I’ve learnt on my short time on Earth. These are my views only and may not apply to anyone else so please take with a grain of salt! This post is more advice for myself as much as anyone else too.

Spend more time doing the things you love.
It seems simple, but the reality is that it’s hard to find time to do these things sometimes! Working, social life, recreation, menial tasks & errands always seem to get in the way. Make time for YOU. The guys over at Good Fucking Design Advice make a point of “Do it for your fucking self” – Word. Have ‘Passion Projects’. Projects that are self initiated, and you do them because YOU love them. Not anyone else. Your enthusiasm for your own self motivated projects will also spill over into your other work too. Start Now!

You are what you do. Not the things you own.
It’s easy to get caught up in the material world. Guilty. But owning nice things doesn’t change who you are. Sure it might change others perception of you but does it really mean anything? Think about anyone ever great in history,
whether it be good or bad. You remember them for what they did and how it impacted the world, not what house they lived in, what car they drove, or what shoes they wore.

I’ve been trying to make a conscious effort to not buy things I don’t NEED lately. And the questions I ask myself before buying are ‘Will this help me to advance my skill or learning?’, ‘Do I need this for work?’ and ‘how much will I use this?’.
That being said, sometimes I treat myself sometimes. I’ve started buying art that I like too, just because I think as an artist, you know how hard it is to make a living. And it’s important to support the community (And it’s helped to make some cool friends interested in the same thing)

Don’t be a dick.
Seems obvious really. You can go through life being a dick, but it’s not to anyone’s advantage – except maybe your own. But what’s the point of being alive if you are only looking out for yourself. Respect the people around you! Be nice. I often hear the saying, ‘Nice guys finish last’ or ‘You can’t be nice in business’. Bullshit! Why not? Befriend your clients and they will come back to you. There’s no reason why you can’t be nice and still do okay. Unless you have no soul and are willing to cut people down for your own success.

Set goals.
In no way shape or form am I really successful yet, but I think I’ve made the first steps to where I WANT to be. And I think it’s because of goals. Think about them. And also, I think it’s been really important that I never had a monetary goal/objective. My only aim in life is to make a living doing something that I love. And now I’m the happiest I’ve been. Make a living is subjective – to me it’s not exactly about being super rich, just enough to survive and be comfortable while loving what I do day to day – Think about it, the average human spends 22% of their life working. It’s pretty hard to think that you could be unhappy at work for a quarter of your life. So dream big!

Don’t be afraid of failure.
Heard it a million times before? It’s true. It’s almost been exactly a year since I started working for myself. Before I resigned from a full time position, I battled with myself for weeks / months on end toying with the idea. I could’ve done it a lot earlier, but why not? I was scared of failing. Don’t listen to people who will tell you that you can’t do it.
In reality, the fear of failure, is much scarier than the actual failing part. In reality, if you don’t succeed, you won’t die (unless your passion is sticking your head into a shark’s mouth or something). And as soon as you remember that failing does not mean death then the world is not such a scary place. I told my parents ‘I’m going to try my hand at going freelance, I’m not sure how it will go, so if I fail and don’t make anything, is it okay if I come back here’ And I think that took the edge off making the plunge. Sure, I have my quiet and busy periods, and it’s not an easy life not knowing when you’ll next get paid. But it’s the most fulfilled and happiest I’ve ever been.

Value your friends.
When you’re young you want to have a lot of friends, but as you get older you value the closer friendships you do have a lot more. Remember when you had 10,000,000 myspace friends? Then you grew older and had 500 facebook friends. Then you realised that it still sucks and you didn’t need facebook at all in the first place. Your real friends know how to get in touch with you.
Surround yourself with positive people and people that have similar & different interests to you. Don’t be around people that will bring you down and make you have less self worth. We don’t have enough time here on earth for that.

Anyway, that’s all folks. There might be more which I’ll add later If I think of anything else.

Thanks if you read that!

In other news, I decided to start on a birthday self portrait. It’s actually a bit of a joke (I’m not THAT self absorbed) I’ve been learning to paint while I haven’t been working on client jobs, and following online tutorials. So thought I’d try do this self portrait to try painting in a more classical style.

Here’s some progress on the underpainting. Hopefully when it’s done I’ll frame it in an obnoxious gold frame.

7 Responses to “Thing’s I’ve learnt so far”

  1. Kesha says:

    Nice words of wisdom sam!

  2. Sam says:

    Thanks Kesha! :)

  3. Ashlee says:

    What an inspiration. Nice Sam! Keep up the good work!!

  4. Abdullah says:

    True words of wisdom there Sam!

  5. Tharina says:

    You beauty!! I wanna HUG you right now!!! :)

  6. Allison says:

    Happy birthday Sam! This was beautiful and inspiring – especially the “set goals” part for me. Incredible painting, too!

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