For a long time I had a recurring fear that I had forgotten to feed my pet. The feeling wasn’t nice - although I actually didn’t have pets since I was a kid, somehow this idea of discovering your pet after a while without any food was quite prevailing.
Maybe it was part of the guilt I was feeling because I sold my best friend Rex to another boy in hopes that my mom will buy me a bigger dog… Of course, she wouldn’t and she didn’t and maybe Rex was better off in the home where his best friend didn’t want to exchange him into something fancier and bigger.
So people who have pets will understand this. When a new pet comes to their home, they suddenly are faced with the new responsibility to feed and take care of him. And at first the habit to do this isn’t there. You have to build it up over time.
What happens when you don’t give food to your pet? Well, if it’s a dog, he starts to follow you everywhere, looks into your eyes and makes those yelping sounds.
It’s similar with creativity. When you first set out to create a painting, a musical piece, a novel, a business or whatever, the burden to continue suddenly follows you everywhere you go. With every passing day you invest more and more of your time and energy into this new endeavor and you start feeling guilty when you’re not practicing it.
The feeling of guilt is always hard to bear so the solution to this is simply to continue to create for a couple of months or so until the new habit will be forged. If you don’t skip a day and practice your art for 66 days in a row, after that you will start to miss it and you won’t have to force yourself to do it.
It will a be part of your daily routine.
For me the same thing is happening right now, because I’m on Day 3 of my 0 to 10 pull-up challenge. Every morning or afternoon or whenever I have to remember to do my set of exercises otherwise a feeling of guilt of not practicing will follow me all day long. Despite my many failed attempts in the past, this time I’m determined to see it through. It feels different this time maybe because I’m writing about it in public. This is how I get public accountability.
If you haven’t started practicing your own challenge, I hope you will do it soon.