Sowing and Reaping

Walking the Tightrope

If you’re like me you probably have a long list of goals you want to accomplish…this week…this year…this lifetime. That plus keeping up with work, family life and laundry and are enough to fill up pretty much all available time, right? I don’t know too many people who have even a nanosecond to sit around and twiddle their thumbs. (I’m not sure how much thumb-twiddling could be attained in a nanosecond, but whatever percentage of one twiddle is possible is likely a feat enviable by all who are as busy as I.)

If you’re a Creative like me (or even just someone who’s project-minded), you strive to just keep your focus. And once you’ve got that golden nugget of inspiration, you put your head down and just go, go, go – cranking out the work, honing your craft or working toward your goal. And that’s a good thing…usually.

Unless the work becomes all about “me.” It’s a delicate balance, really. I have to walk that tightrope between complete inner focus and making time for the others I share this world with. I can’t give all my time away, but I can’t keep it all to myself, either.

You Reap What You Sow

In my own struggle to walk the line, I’ve found that part of maintaining that perfect equilibrium is following one simple principle: sowing and reaping. It’s a Biblical concept (Galatians 6:7 – 10), but far too many people limit it to the financial aspect. I believe sowing and reaping goes much deeper.

It’s a simple idea, really:

Low in funds? Give to help someone that has even less than you do.

Need encouragement? Encourage someone else who is feeling down or who is blind to his own true potential.

Trying to market yourself as a writer? Promote other authors, whether they’re ahead of or behind you in the game.

Hoping to be a successful artist? Support other artists, especially those who need it most. (By the way, there’s a great opportunity for this at www.consortiumokc.com. Support the arts in your community.)

Want to broaden your blog audience? Share and comment on someone else’s blog.

You see where I’m going with this, right?

A Guaranteed Investment

So if you have a need, specifically look for ways you can meet that need in the lives of others.

The bottom line is that it isn’t just about you…or me, for that matter. Forget competition. We Creatives need to stick together. But beyond that, what you sow you will reap. Some people call it karma. What goes around comes around. Call it what you want.

You won’t know when and you won’t know how, but I promise, if you sow your time and energy into someone else’s life, you’ll reap a reward. And if you sow self-absorption (even when it’s disguised as single-minded focus), you’ll reap that, too.

Just think of it as an investment. Any financial guru will tell you investing is a key aspect of having a balanced financial profile. I argue that it’s just as important for an artist…or a blogger…or a stay-at-home mom. When you invest in others, you’re also investing in yourself.

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  1. #1 by Courtney Cantrell on January 20, 2011 - 12:44 pm

    Ahhh, Becca, what a lovely way to remind us to be focused but not self-centered! I’ve struggled with that balance my entire life. I’m glad you mentioned blog commenting and author promoting — because just in the last week, since I’ve made an effort to comment more on others’ blogs, I’ve been seeing a return on my own blog. It’s so very encouraging!

    I wish I could learn to recognize when I’ve let myself slip from focused into self-centered. It’s never until after I’ve gotten out of a “self” phase that I look around and realize, “Oh. That’s what I was doing.” Stupid hindsight, all the time! I need current-sight!

    *sigh* Ah well. Live and learn. I’m off to calculate some thumb-twiddling percentages. 😉

  2. #2 by Becca J. Campbell on January 20, 2011 - 1:53 pm

    I feel the same way, Courtney. Balance is always a struggle, but I guess that what life is about — figuring out how to walk the tightrope.

    I’m so glad you have first-hand proof of the return on investment. That’s great! 🙂

    • #3 by Courtney Cantrell on January 21, 2011 - 11:13 pm

      I’m glad, too — it gives me warm fuzzies. 🙂 However, site hits have dropped off some this week, which I guess was only to be expected. But as we were saying today, if all the people who visited also left comments, that would be incredible! (And maybe a little overwhelming.) 😉

  3. #4 by Andrea L. Waters on January 22, 2011 - 8:29 pm

    I love this post. So true. I believe whole heartedly, that what comes around goes around.

  4. #6 by Kate Kyle on January 23, 2011 - 2:32 am

    Great post, Becca! it’s amazing how this simple principle work and bring fruit.
    ‘Do onto other what you want them to do to you’ 🙂

    • #7 by Becca J. Campbell on January 23, 2011 - 5:36 pm

      So true, Kate! That applies to so many areas of life. Thanks for the comment!

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