Finally updating this neglected blog, have been focusing on other things as of late. Since the break, I’ve been able to take an actual vacation and visit family in Ohio. It’s been over 3 years since I’ve been home. After the vacation, I’ve been working on getting the print store open. Almost complete with all my necessary tasks to launch the store, if everything goes according to plan I’ll be launching November 22nd. Other than that, I’ve been getting back into art training and expanding into some non-art related skill sets, which leads me to the topic of what I wanted to discuss for this blog post, learning and building skills.
Over the past few years I’ve made a focus to find ways of doing things more efficiently and to be flexible in my thinking, to grow mentally, physically, and spiritually. It was during this time when I slowed down with focusing most of my energy into art and decided to give myself more of a balance and to look at life more broadly. During this time I decided to look at my habits, my time management, planning and everything for that matter. Three major things that I’ve found that has been the most important factor in my growth in general. First would be mindset, second would be journal/note taking and reflection and lastly building recommend book lists (both fiction and non-fiction).
I say mindset first as this dictates how you see and experience the world. We now know through many years of research in child development and psychology that having the proper mindset is central to developing new skills, relationships, parenting and learning in general. Highly recommend the book “Mindset the New Psychology of Success” by Carols S. Dweck, PHD. Over on the brainpickings.com blog, Maria Popova writes a great overview on growth vs fixed mindsets.
Another great book that touches on the same aspect of learning and developing skills is Robert Greene’s book “Mastery”. Highly recommend, Greene gives a whole new view on how we develop “Mastery” in a discipline or the mixtures of disciplines to innovate and come up with new mixtures of skills. Green follows and researches many different experts in their chosen fields. Shows the actual patterns and process of what it means to develop and grow. Here is a great little overview of the book at:
Additionally the last few books I highly recommend on Meta learning/skill development are:
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
The 4- hour workweek by Timothy Ferriss
The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin
Drive: The Surprising Truth about What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
Daily Rituals: How Artist Work by Mason Currey
As you can see with the book lists, I’ve gotten into the habit on expanding lists, especially if you’re focusing on a specific line of research or skill acquisition. I’ve heard that it helps not to read more than one non-fiction book at a time, manly for retention of ideas and concepts. This goes hand and hand with my number 2 factor of growth in note taking/journaling/reflection as the process of physically writing down helps with remembering then simply typing or trying to mentally remember something. The process of organizing my ideas down, my to do’s, schedules is having the structure laid out for me. Also this forces me to really find out where my time goes, what my priorities are etc. Also makes me more accountable on my daily actives and goals. Time to cut this post short for now but hopefully some of these resources will be helpful for anyone trying to grow and expand their learning and habits.
Thanks for reading and look forward to some new art posts and store news shortly.