the ever shifting pinnacle
This idea kept me awake last night and I had to get up and write it down. Pinnacles and striving ... I've had the whole goal setting concept pounded into me (like, I'm pretty sure, most everyone else) for ... well, forever. The notion of how can you get anywhere if you don't know where you want to go? It got me to thinking about how my goals and aspirations have shifted through the years.
Lord knows, my goals have been in a constant state of flux, pretty much from Day 1. Early on in my jewelry days (mid-'90's), I was obsessed with Ornament Magazine and the ACC shows. I wanted to be on the cover of Ornament and have a feature article about my work. I wanted to be accepted (key word here accepted) into an ACC show. I subscribed to both Ornament and American Craft and hoarded all the issues. A regular morning ritual was to pull out three issues and flip through them over morning tea ... get the juices flowing. Looking back, I guess it was inspirational, but now I'm not so sure. I don't know, I guess they did help me visualize what was possible and expand my world view. I haven't subscribed to either publication for years and I gave away all my back issues.
Then a more recent obsession has been the desire to hawk my wares at wholesale fashion-oriented shows, like Designers & Agents or Atelier Designers or the accessories specific ones like JCK or Accessories the Show and a slew of others ... it's never ending. I wanted my work to be sold in Barney's and Urban Zen and Robin Richman ... well, I still think that would be pretty cool. However, as of right now, I'm not so sure about keeping up the mondo wholesale thing.
But, in a certain sector of the population (especially followers of Danielle LaPorte) the whole concept of goal setting is changing. I've been reading and hearing about other ways of approaching the business of being a "solo-preneur" without those annoying goal setting pressures. The focus is on being present, being open, following my heart/gut inclinations and, bottom line, being myself. Don't pine for that elusive, ever shifting pinnacle. It's absence and very nature creates a constant sense of lack ... I'm almost there, almost - almost - almost ... I can just about smell it and touch it and if I only do ... something, find some unknown magical key to unlock that last little niggling bit, I'll be there ... I'll reach that delicious, formerly unattainable goal.
Thing is, as I was laying awake last night I realized I've met a bunch of my goals and that annoying pining for the magical key lingers. My work has been sold in major museum stores, I have a pretty decent global following and regularly sell pieces for very respectable sums. I've collaborated with clothing designers and, in the last week have had one of my pieces on TV for God and everybody to see and will continue for the duration of Project Runway All Stars season 4.
Now backing up a bit ... not long before moving, I had hooked up with a potential sales rep and was looking forward to venturing into new territories with my work. And some may recall, for the last couple of years, I've been nattering on about "finding a new way to do business." I pursued the idea that I was going to discover some innovative, clever way to do business. Update that to, my rep and I were going to blaze new trails and wouldn't that be amazing and awe inspiring. But in reality, it just felt like a lot of pressure and what's taking so long and why hadn't I figured it out, with hints of being substandard and subtle notes of that must mean I'm only average and lack luster and uninspired ... blech.
Ah, but once again, the pinnacle shifted. The rep thing is not going to happen, which as it turns out, is just fine and the absolute right thing. And, about the same time that dissolved (just in the past couple of days), it occurred to me ... I don't have to come up with anything new and innovative. I don't have to prove anything to anyone or impress the world with how clever I am. The only thing I need to do is piece together a model that works for me ... just me. All I have to do is make what I'm inspired to make, stay true to my aesthetic and business ethics and stay open for opportunities to cross my path.
I don't have to be in the active pursuit of anything. The pinnacle no longer needs to shift ... the pinnacle is not a fixed goal ... it is a river of energy and abundance, fluid and unending.
l i g a - kvk