Inspiration Vs Perspiration
(By Paul Chong)
A scene of beauty could be an inspiration for an artist or writer
On our Sydney/New Zealand cruise in December 2008, I saw a TV documentary on Alexandra Nechita – one of the most famous artists alive today. That’s quite an honour for one who was then just 12 years old. The story of Alexandra’s journey to where she is today takes on a storybook aura, starting at age four when her parents noticed Alexandra’s abstract and Picasso-like styles with four-eyed, two-faced figures. She saw Pablo Picasso’s work for the first time at the Los Angeles County Museum, where Alexandra’s first art exhibit came on April 1, 1994, when she was only eight years old, in a community library. Whoopi Goldberg may have explained Alexandra the best in just one sentence: ‘The thumbprint of the Great One is on her.”
There are many other child art prodigies like Nechita, but the profound thing about her when asked how she did it, she said,“I saw visions . . .” Now, would you call that divine inspiration? The age-old famous story of Thomas Edition, the greatest American inventor ever, had this to say: ”1% inspiration & 99% perspiration” on his success.
What constitutes inspiration? It’s defined as the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something. It can come from anywhere – a person, an event, an environment, but essentially, if you believe, from God. Your mindset must be such as trained or equipped to be receptive, able to discern, seize & act upon the opportunistic insight without any tint of doubt & delay. It’s found to be most evident & powerful when the recipient has a deep rooted desire or is frustrated by tragic attempts of failure or similar.
In all these, there’s inherently a mix of the element of perspiration, which at the end of the day contribute proportionally more to the question of success. Inspiration is that little iota trigger shot that sets on the motivation. Ultimately, what ensue will need the interactive play of persistence, perseverance, tenacity, courage to bring on the final positive result.
Perspiration hence is the process of sweating it out. As life does not come by in a bed of roses, there will be thorns that prick causing pain & ache. In the field of human endeavour, the mind has to remain focussed & at peace & harmony with your thoughts and emotion. Any thought of seeking publicity or longing for the trappings of success will mean distraction more than motivation.
In the final analysis, nothing worth achieving come by in an easy way. Former Senator George Mitchell, the newly appointed US Envoy for the Middle East peace negotiation, is acclaimed for his negotiation skills in the peace settlement of Northern Ireland where the historic bombing & killing nearly broke his vast patience. He attributed his success to having the ability to outlast the 700 failures in the negotiation.
Yes, success will demand that special “Second Effort” as put forth by Vince Lombardi, the famous coach of Green Bay Packers.
A Chinese by Descent
An Australian by Consent
Wednesday, 4 February 2009