Looking back on 2016 and seeing what I accomplished last year, I realize that all of my successes last year were due to challenging assumptions I had about myself. So this year, I’m doing it again. One belief about myself that I am challenging is my long held assumptions about my artistic ability.
My whole life, I’ve been a very analytical, algorithmic person. In college I majored in biology. My hobby-turned-profession is web development, which I use to build and maintain a website where I teach science and logic. Simply put, STEM has been my entire life. This year, I am finally going to embrace art and design.
It is the type of goal that is really hard to measure with some well-defined endpoint, which has been a cornerstone of the goal tracking system that worked so well for me last year. But maybe that is fitting. I might never reach the same skill level as some of the top designers out there, but that’s fine. Perhaps the greatest benefit of art is precisely that there is no endpoint.
If you really think about it, art has a certain kind of Zen to it. How do you master a subject with no definition of what “mastery” actually means? Which, interestingly, is a metaphor for success. Like art, success has no endpoint, so it becomes a lifelong endeavor. But by making it a lifelong pursuit, you remove the upper limit that prevents most people from reaching the highest skill levels. So to reach mastery in art or success in life requires one to acknowledge the fact that there is no mastery. In other words, to break through your limits, you have to realize that those limits never existed.