I love the story of Tigger in The House at Pooh Corner.
When he arrives in The Hundred Acre Wood Tigger thinks he likes everything. Acorns are his favourite food, he’s absolutely sure about it (until he tries them). He confidently tells everyone that he loves to climb trees, completely loves climbing them (until he realises he’s scared of heights). Then there’s honey, Tigger is positive that honey is his favourite food (Pooh Bear is delighted when Tigger discovers, surprise, surprise, that it isn’t).
You can’t really like or do everything
Of course poor Tigger didn’t really know what he liked, and he might have been better off admitting that and then using his energy to find out what he did like. Eventually he does discover that he loves Roo’s “strengthening medicine” and all is well.
Then Tigger looked up at the ceiling, and closed his eyes, and his tongue went round and round his chops, in case he had left any outside, and a peaceful smile came over his face and he said, “So that’s what Tiggers like!”
To his credit once he had discovered what Tiggers really like he stuck with it (much to little Roo’s amusement).
It’s easy to give up or change direction
I find it very interesting that unlike Tigger, it is often the people that are absolutely convinced that they have found “just the thing” for them, whether that’s a favourite food like Tigger, or (what I’m interested in here) a creative project or path, that are the very same ones that are dismissing it a matter of weeks (or even days) later in favour of something else.
When I was teaching, students would often come running with their latest great idea (often they really were great ideas), they would work on it for a while, carried along by the initial enthusiasm, and then mostly they would give up and move on to another (often perfectly good idea). The cycle would go on. And on.
The successful students though were the ones that stuck with their initial idea. They continued beyond the initial enthusiasm, dealt with the challenges and problems that arose, dug deeper and developed their idea far beyond what they had initially been able to conceive.
A theory that any path will lead to creative fulfilment
I have a theory that it doesn’t really matter what creative path you decide to follow, rather it is the action of following one that is important. By remaining steadfast to an idea or a creative discipline you’ll go on a journey that will open up possibilities and opportunities far beyond what you can see when you take your first few steps. Conversely, if all you ever do is take lots of first steps you will never experience any depth or richness in your creative pursuits.
What could you remain steadfast to?
Is there a project or creative discipline that you could practice remaining steadfast to for at least six months? Why not try an experiment and see how much deeper you go with your creative endeavour if you do.
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