Commitment, Discipline & Persistence: The Unpopular Truth about Achieving Creative Goals

Hi and welcome back to another week on the Chrissie Murphy Designs blog. On Tuesday, I ticked off one of my first major milestones, I reached 1000 views on my blog. I guess those blogs that have been around for a while and are doing really well, probably think that’s nothing, but to me it’s everything!

Commitment Discipline and Persistence: The unpopular truth about achieving creative goals
Floral gem tile coloured with Prismacolor Premier Coloured pencils on a Strathmore Artist Tile

At the start of this year I committed to developing my blog, I want it to be an extension of what I feel God has called me to do as an artist. The biggest commitment I made to myself, was one of being consistent. So in other words, when I say I’m going to release a blog post every Thursday, I make sure I do it! And already I have encountered weeks where it’s been exceptionally difficult to do that, but so far (God willing), I’ve been able to maintain that commitment.

Having said that, I believe that commitment goes nowhere without discipline and persistence. All three have to work together if you want to see results. You can commit to all the plans in the world, but unless you’re disciplined in practice and persistent to see your plans through, nothing will come to fruition.  I know these aren’t popular topics, but today I want to talk about being disciplined and persistent with your art.

Quote by Chrissie Murphy Designs
“Commitment goes nowhere without discipline and persistence.”

Looking discipline in the face is hard. It wants you to “toughen up”, “take the narrow road” and “walk the straight line”, it doesn’t care about your “buts” and “if only’s”. Discipline means business! It’s calling you to a higher place, it wants to bring out the best in you, at any cost! That’s what it does, that’s what its purpose is.

Where your art and craft is concerned, discipline might want you to draw, or practice calligraphy or paint, every single day. It might want you to begin reading books or start studying techniques, every single day. It might want you to start collecting things, or to begin recording your progress, every single day. It might want you to search and find other artists to socialise and network with to build relationships, every single day. I think you’re getting my point, discipline wants you to step up.

But here’s the thing, it never forces itself upon you. Discipline is something you have to decide for yourself. I can’t make the decision for you, your friend can’t either, this is one decision you’re gonna have to make for yourself.

Commitment Discipline and Persistence: The unpopular truth about achieving creative goals
Work in Progress of my floral gem tile

But I am your friend and I do want to help, so I’m going to point you towards some examples of discipline paying off for other artists.   These stories should fire you up, they’ll encourage you and give you a vision of what you can achieve when you put discipline into practice.

  1. Read the story of Jonathan Luczycki, an young man who committed himself to achieving his dream of being a successful artist. Through discipline, where he painted everyday, he saw his dream come to fruition in a pretty big way.
  2. Read the stories of Mozart, Picasso and Kobe Bryant, and see how all of these people put in at least 10 years of deliberate practice (discipline) before they ever saw any reward for their efforts. Look at where these people are placed in history today.
  3. Lastly, read the story of Alexander McKenzie, a 5 times finalist of the Archibald Prize for portraiture in the ArtGallery of New South Wales, among his other achievements. He attributes his success in art, to a life of discipline.

I’m not sure if you noticed as you read these stories, but there’s been one other thing that’s been really prominent…

It’s persistence, it’s about never giving up.

Commitment Discipline and Persistence: The unpopular truth about achieving creative goals
Some more work in progress of my floral gem tile

One of my favourite bible verses is found in Psalm 30:5b, it says,

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

This verse speaks to me about having hope, when things get tough. We can face difficult times, times when we hit the pillow crying, but this verse gives me hope, that at some point, joy is coming.

Being disciplined with art and craft is not easy either. It requires persistence, and yes, there are many times where you wonder whether things are really worth it. It’s so easy to get caught up in a defeated attitude, believing that being disciplined is just too hard. And you know what, you’re not wrong, it is a long and tough road. And yep, I’m hearing you, you feel like you’re all alone and your friends just don’t understand. I totally get it.

BUT…. if you persist and you get to the end, it is soooo worth it because joy is coming! Reward is coming! Satisfaction is coming! You’ve just got to hang in there, you can do it. Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.

Commitment, Discipline and Persistence - The Unpopular Truth about Achieving Creative goals
Commitment, Discipline and Persistence – The Unpopular Truth about Achieving Creative Goals

I’m committed to this blog, to blogging every Thursday. I’m disciplined, in that I have developed processes to help me bring my commitment to fruition each week. But persistence… well if I’m honest, persistence is yet to be tested.  I firmly believe that joy, reward and satisfaction is coming if I persist, so I’m going to take things one week at a time, one foot in front of the other, living out what I feel I’ve been called to do. I am persisting.

But what about you? Where are you at with commitment, discipline and persistence? What are you working towards? If you have a clear goal in mind, and you’re struggling to see progress, is discipline or persistence the component that’s missing?  When all three things work together, you will see your goal come to fruition…it just takes time…. so hang in there my friend.  In the meantime, let me tell you a little secret…. if you want the heads up on things before the rest of the world, if you’re after the latest news, shop discounts and the odd freebie or two, you’ve gotta sign up to my email list.  It’s the monthly email you don’t want to miss.

Until next week, connect with the Creator, let Him inspire you, His magnificence and beauty is everywhere, even in art and craft.

Bless you

Chrissie xx


3 thoughts on “Commitment, Discipline & Persistence: The Unpopular Truth about Achieving Creative Goals

  1. Great advice Chrissie. I’ve had so much going on lately that today is the first day/week I feel like I’m back on track. It definitely “hurts” when you lose that routine, but when you get back into it not only does it help your work but everything else falls into place as well – housework, cooking, etc. Sadly one thing that has come at a price is that I’ve had to give up a lot of my social life to commit myself. Time seems to be the honey pot to it all. But I have no regrets. Great post.

    1. Thank you so much. I totally agree about time. It’s where everything is at and time really is precious. I’m finding myself making more and more deliberate decisions about how I use my time. I try not to waste any of it, although I still have my days where some are better than others. And yes routine is the key! I’m glad to hear you’re feeling like your back on track. Woohoo, I’m excited for what you’re up to next. I’m loving your journey xx

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