Pick one enjoyable hobby. Something you’ve always wanted to better at — it could be writing or drawing or photography or programming. It could be anything you think would be fantastic to experience deeper.
Realize that right now, you becoming proficient at that hobby doesn’t have a shot in hell. The track you’re on right now, you will forever be the person that exclaims at a stunning sketch of a sunset over pine trees in Northwest Washington, “That is fucking gorgeous,” rather than being the creator of such a drawing. It is not because the passion is not there — it’s not because you don’t have the discipline. It’s because you don’t have time, obviously. It sincerely is not your fault you’re not a remotely decent photographer right now because you’ve been caught up in life. In working, socializing, university.
Truly, to fit anything else in would be madness.
And yet you binge-watched the new season of Game of Thrones this past weekend. Unwinding, of course. After a long week of working and school you’re entitled to a little hangover-enduced “I’m-going-to-eat-fourteen-donuts-and-drink-a-quart-of-minimum-pulp-radioactive-colored-orange-juice-and-see-medieval-sex”–fest.
Just recognize that with that path, you will never create anything beautiful.
There is another option, however. That option is to pick one habit, one discipline, one soul-refreshing hobby, and say, “I am going to do this every day at eight am.” And then you do that thing. Every day. At eight am. And whatever you create is honestly atrocious. Like, really, really, bad. And you must fight the urge to create a bonfire that night purely for the disposal of that one innocent sketch.
But, undeterred, return the next day. Sketch again. Rome wasn’t built in a day, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, something about mountains and keeping your eyes on your feet.
So sketch again. Sketch until you stop getting excited over sketching and you stop telling people you do it; it is just something done. Obviously, you sketch every day. It is a part of you. You do not feel right if you don’t sketch every day.
And then one day you create something and you leave it out on the counter and some friends come over. And your friends exclaim that it is a really fucking good sketch. You kind of knew, but it’s still nice to hear. And you feel pride. Because so much work went into that making that one sketch. It is the culmination of hundreds of sketches.
And that is how you create something beautiful.