Many people struggle with finding time for self-development. We tend to postpone things and focus on daydreaming, making plans or just earning money to survive. We constantly feed ourselves with unrealistic visions of the future and beautiful but empty promises. In her famous book “The Artist’s Way”, Julia Cameron said that we often resist what we the most need. Why is it so hard to focus on what is crucial and simply take actions? Conscious and creative self-development seems to be the biggest life challenge for the majority.
Text and picture by Joanna Wróblewska
What is your dream profession? What would you do in life if you could choose whatever would come to your mind? Have you already found a true passion that makes you feel both happy and fulfilled? These are questions that everybody should ask themselves before making important life choices. You may feel confused, uncomfortable and angry while thinking about the answers.
Maybe you are not in the right place? Maybe you feel like you loose time and money for something that you do not even like to do? The frustration grows fast, and suddenly you start to blame everybody and everything, but not yourself. Well, do not be surprised. It is a common thing. It is normal. Maybe it is time to challenge yourself and take the responsibility for how you live? Transform the anger and frustration into a positive energy that will force a big change in your life. You need to be strong and consequent, but it will all pay off.
Being able to make a big change at once is rare, but moving step-by-step towards a goal is always possible. You can have a day job and photograph on weekends or work in an advertising agency and subscribe for a painting class in the evenings. It might sound a bit surrealistic, it can put you in doubts, but this is the only way to avoid frustration and make a change. After all, it is you who makes an investment and it is you who decides if your actions are right or need to be adjusted. In the end, you can only regret the actions not taken.
There are a couple of things that are essential for self-development. A good starting point, a permission to make mistakes and a supportive group of people around you will be very helpful. Those three important factors will undoubtedly influence your self-esteem and help you to find the right path.
Start in a right place
Some people do not know what they would like to do in life. They will probably never learn without trying things out. Others precisely know what is their dreamed profession, but they have never attempted to do it. Whoever you are, SAE might be a good place to start. The school offers not only full-time but also part-time programs. On top of that, there are many short-term courses that you could take and decide whether you like the thing you study or not.
While teaching at SAE, I saw many people starting something and not finishing. I was always wondering: is it okay to give up? Should students walk away without obtaining a degree? Now I think that it is always worth trying. If something does not work for you, drop it. If you feel that it works, stay and master video, animation, gaming or designing skills with the help of the best coordinators and teachers. Learn and take from them as much as you can! They are here for you to support your self-development and show you the opportunities. The choice is always yours.
Experiment and fail
It is important to allow yourself to fail. Did you pick the wrong course? Would you like to study digital journalism instead of web design? Or maybe you happened to be a natural born VJ while still studying animation? Remember that you are in the process, and one decision will lead you to another. Learn from your mistakes, because they are necessary to find the right direction.
Mastering a skill is challenging, so give yourself some space to learn from others, copy, imitate and have fun. I am not supporting plagiarism, of course, but even old masters were copying artworks by their teachers. Finding your style will take time, maybe even a lifetime. Honestly quote other artists and avoid cheating. At some point, you will find your unique language. At SAE you have a big chance of getting the right support: ask questions, be active and use the time given to you during and after class. Teachers love students who are enthusiastic and engaged in what they do!
Be social, appreciate the community
For a starting creative, it is essential to be surrounded by the right people. What I like about SAE is that you are among other artists and professionals who care about your self-development. Being a part of SAE is like being a part of a big creative family that supports its teachers and students. Use this chance to socialize, find friends, make contacts and meet professionals who can help you in realizing your dreams in the future.
Remember that nowadays around 80% of jobs come from networking. People prefer to hire professionals that they already know (or were recommended to them by friends or colleagues). Surprisingly, this is how the job market works so you should probably accept this fact and take the advantage of being a part of the SAE international community. It is a privilege that not everybody gets. By being active, helpful and engaged, you increase the chance of being hired in the future!
Believe in yourself and make whatever you need to realize your dreams. NNobody will promise you that you become famous, but it does matter that you feel fulfilled and happy. Unleash your creativity and start the life adventure at the SAE Institute! It is the right place for creatives.