July 17, 2012 by Sarah
My art teacher is always reminding me to take a step back when I paint. It always seems like strange advice – as I always assume better vision would come from being up close to the canvas. But when I do stand back, things immediately become clear. Not only that, but I don’t get caught up in being pedantic. A few small strokes up close may appear meaningless but from a distance they all make sense. Stand up close to a Monet painting and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
I’m starting to realise the same philosophy applies to life. When things get tough, my instinctive reaction is to search for a solution. And if a solution doesn’t immediately come to mind, I try harder and worker longer to force it out of me. Not surprisingly, I’m often left with no solution but a crap load of meaningless frustration instead. I’m slowly learning that the best thing to do when things seem unclear is to walk away and take a break. It may feel uncomfortable and like I’m heading in the wrong direction – but nine times out of ten, taking a step back helps me step forward.