12 Step Program
We need to start looking after this planet as there is no Planet B. Here are my notes from a talk I gave to the students here at La Meridiana School of Ceramics. I heard this talk from a podcaster at the North Carolina Potters Conference. I adapted it to suit what has been my path.
My 12 step program1
to a creative life.
1. No Plan B- if clay is your creative path then don't for one minute entertain doing something else. I think this is the mind set of most small business owners. They don't see failure as an option. Many fail again and again.
2. Be dumb as a bag of hammers. I've always maintained I have a strong back and a weak mind.
3. Don't ask permission- my parents were horrified at my decision to be a potter. I was old enough not to have to ask their permission.
4. Put your own mask on first. This is what the flight attendant tells you. You can't look after your family if you are not well- self care always, sleep, mental health, good nutrition
5. Be the emperor- the story of the emperor strutting around with no clothes. The lesson there is confidence. Sometimes you have to show confidence even when you're not feeling it. Have you ever lead a wood firing group????
6..Allow yourself to suck
-focusing on perfection can detract from growing through experimentation.
7. Learn to lose- "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face- Iron Mike Tyson"
Sometimes it's divorce, financial disaster, health issues. Learn how to get back into the ring.
8. Like people that like you. Surround yourself with creative people that like you.
We attract who we are!
9. Sometimes snakes kill, sometimes chocolate kills.
I knew snake bites could kill but I never knew chocolate could kill a dog. What is good for me is not maybe good for you. Learning this as a teacher has been difficult but so very valuable.
10. Rope a dope- Mohammed Ali knew he was going to get killed my George Foreman if he went punch for punch. He adapted the rope a dope strategy to win. (Laying on the ropes and taking all the punches to the body and protecting his face. Then when Foreman was exhausted- BOOM!
We as potters in 2019 have many options to win. They are not the same for all. I have always maintained good potters have a production problem and not a marketing problem. Good pots have always sold and always will.
11.Live your life generously - this one is courtesy of my potter Uncle Jimmie. He lived it and passed it on to me. I pass it on to you.
12. Have fun! Once I said to my daughter Robin "Robin I know life is not all about having fun! She replied "No Dad, life is about having fun!!!!