Art is life.

today's ideaRepetitive actions are a necessary part of any art. The ability to do the same thing one more time. As a crafter/artist, I have daily practice and tasks. To do something well, it requires repeating. Athletes do the same when they train. I’m at summer camp right now and tried my hand at needle felting. I had no idea what it was, but I learned. It has everything to do with repetition. Repeating a learned skill over and over until you get the result you want.

There is a lesson here, repeating a learned skill over and over until you get the result you want and then continuing to repeat can be applied to all aspects of life. To life, to love, to work, to business, to art, to relationships. Isn’t that how we approach our worlds? We find what works and do it repeatedly.

Some spend more time on what doesn’t work, and continue to repeat that, that falls in the “Repeatedly doing the same thing and expecting different results” category. If it’s not working, fix it! Go ahead and try it one more time, but tweak it, change it, alter it in some way to avoid the same result.

Life imitates art. Repetitive tasks are what make up art, whether spending time writing, or beaning the bible (long story) or needle felting, or ____________(fill in the blank.)Everything requires repetition of small tasks. The same is true of life, to be successful at business, in relationships, in sports, everything requires repetition of small tasks.

My relationship is successful because I repeatedly do the things that make it so. I do small things for my partner, I tell him I love him, I hold his hand, I listen to him. All small tasks done repeatedly to show how much I care. My business is successful because I do a million small tasks repeatedly. I make posters, I respond to emails, I reach out to competitors, I follow through on every little thing (or try to!). I am a product of repetition. As is art, as is life. Repeat the things that make you a success, remember it is the simple act of doing the things again that move you forward, sometimes just inches at a time, but forward progress is still measurable progress. Celebrate the successes, then get back to work repeating the things that brought you that success.

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Day -212 – Giving 100% for those who show up

100.quoteTough weekend this one, it was a raging success on one hand and a dismal failure on the other.  How do you find the balance between the two?

On the first hand, we had an awesome event, new racers…which translates to new family; new park…which translates to new partners; new spectators…which translates to new fans.  All is good there, it was a small field that took the race course, but, that isn’t new.  We’ve seen small fields before, and because we never give up, they grow.

All the comments we heard were positive, hence, a raging success.

Then there is the other hand, we made a tough decision before the event started to not charge a spectator gate.  That doesn’t happen often, in fact, never, but this was a different situation we are not normally in.

The park is new to the area, it has been 17 years in the making, but it hasn’t officially opened yet, that happens in two weeks.  With that has come some significant opposition to the park, what was once a lawless, riding/dump area, is now a managed recreation area.  No more driving/riding drunk; no more dumping; no more parties, there are now specific hours and an entry fee.  That is not a bad thing.

The 6,000 acres we are using could be beautiful, but the public needs to treat it like the treasure it is.  There seems to be a whole different philosophy about garbage in the coal district than I’m used to, it was disheartening to see whole mountainsides covered in trash…from tires to refrigerators and everything in between.  So, because there is some political turmoil, and we were fielding a small group for the race, we were concerned about the reputation at the park.  I would have hated for anyone to walk away thinking they had been gypped.  I love our style of racing, but we are new to this area, I was worried.  So we did what we could and made the decision to keep it free for spectators, which put us in the hole for the weekend.  That sucks.  Fortunately it isn’t a big hole, we keep our expenses low so we can weather these kinds of storms, but it was disappointing to have an event in the red.  Hence, the dismal failure.

So, really, where do you find the balance?  How do you maintain the positive attitude when you know you need to fuel the truck to make the next event?  How do you keep getting up in the morning, working hard and making everything work like it should?

I will tell you how we do it…we put a smile on and listen to our family, our race family, that tell us we are doing a good job that they appreciate.  It’s not all of them, nor should it be, but it is enough that say we do good, they make it worthwhile.  I appreciate every attaboy we get, not because I have an ego that needs stroked, but because I know that there aren’t a lot of places our racers can go and be treated well.  I always want them to know they are appreciated and respected here.

I learned a lesson a long time ago that has been worth its’ weight in gold to me.  All you can do is host the event, you can’t make people come.  My goal is to give 100% every time, and here is the reason why… because the people who do show up deserve your very best.  It is not their fault that others didn’t make it.  It’s like the rockstar who is disappointed with the 100 fans in the audience, instead of the thousand he expected.  Every one of them deserve to hear him sing his heart out, they showed up, Always give 100%.