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Monday, September 12, 2011

Katsushika Hokusai

"I have been in love with painting ever since I became conscious of it at the age of six.  I drew some pictures I thought fairly good when I was fifty, but really nothing I did before the age of seventy was of any value at all.  At seventy-three I have at last caught every aspect of nature — birds, fish, animals, insects, trees, grasses, all.  When I am eighty I shall have developed still further, and I will really master the secrets of art at ninety.  When I reach a hundred my work will be truly sublime, and my final goal will be attained around the age of one hundred and ten, when every line and dot I draw will be imbued with life.

Japanese Artist
1760 - 1849

Humility — a trait many creative leaders do not possess, yet a behavior we all should cultivate.  In fact, the lack of humility has caused the down fall of many creative leaders.  They start believing what their admirers say and acting in accordance with what is said.  In the words of my childhood:  they grow too big for their britches.  They begin to believe their own press.

Learn to cultivate the trait of humility.  None of us are perfect.  We all make mistakes — both in our personal lives and our artistic creations.  It takes a lifetime to become a master and even then we may not achieve that designation.  Be thankful for what you have been given and seek to be humble.

Great Wave of Kanagawa

Sometimes we become so caught up in the day to day activities of living that we forget how short life is. We are here today and gone tomorrow.  In the eons of time, we live for only a second.  That fact alone should make us humble.  And if you look at our place in the universe, we shrink even more.  Practice humility.