I’ve always been told that attitude counts for everything. It’s not necessarily about what happens, but how you handle what happens that matters most.
Life isn’t meant to be an easy venture, and the sooner we can accept that hardships are just part and parcel, the more aware we can become and consequently, the more we can take and learn from each difficulty we face.
Andrei Tarkovsky once said:
“Some sort of pressure must exist; the artist exists because the world is not perfect. Art would be useless if the world were perfect, as man wouldn’t look for harmony but would simply live in it. Art is born out of an ill-designed world.”
The best art is born in conflict. That’s a fact. Internal or external, art is because people feel a struggle and want to voice that struggle; they want to vent.
More and more, I’m trying to adopt this ‘hardship’ mantra in my life. Nothing should be easy. Everything should be earned.
I watched an interview with Hugh Jackman, and he said when he was prepping for the movie ‘Wolverine’, he would wake up before his family did and take a cold shower. He said it made him want to scream but he couldn’t because he would wake up his family, and he took that pent-up rage onto set with him everyday.
For me, cold showers aren’t to build anger, however. They’re a way to promote self-control, which is something lost in today’s society. Putting yourself through optional ‘hardship’ like a cold shower lets you build a strong mindset built on perseverance and determination, skills that are translatable in your work.
Especially in these winter months, it’s easier to afford yourself the lazy task of lying in bed too long. Nobody wants to wake up in the dark and step into the cold morning to exert themselves. But it’s mantras like this that build courage and gumption, which you can bring into your writing.
If you can go for a run in the cold, wet dark. You can write a book, for sure.
Everyone always says that honesty is the best policy, yet we rarely follow that mantra when faced with confrontation. Instead, we distort and dumb down the truth to avoid a little hardship.
Outspokenness isn’t a bad trait. Nobody is liked by everybody, and rightly so. Keeping true to yourself in your life is the best thing you can do for promoting truth in your work.
With this said, there are ways of speaking the truth. Assuming that respect is in place, the truth is a very powerful tool.
More and more, I’m trying to push these mantras into my everyday life. Life shouldn’t be easy, and we should all be looking for ways to grow and develop, and that means testing untested waters and taking brave steps forward. And trust me, it’ll help your writing, more so than any amount of reading will.