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This Is What Will Happen When You Start Practicing Chinese Calligraphy

This Is What Will Happen When You Start Practicing Chinese Calligraphy

Confucius regarded calligraphy as one of the six arts that any real gentlemen should possess.

Moreover, some people now disregard the importance of calligraphy as an integral part of the modern Chinese language. Others say it is merely a practice for old men. But this is unfair and unwise. Calligraphy, although considered to be dated in some circles, is about much more than simply passing the time.

There is no doubt that calligraphy is not easy. Non-native Chinese speakers will undoubtedly find it particularly challenging. After all, it is not just about the writing. The ink, the paper, the brushes and the mood all play an important role. Rather than being a simple exercise in ancient writing, practicing calligraphy today is, as Confucius says, an art form.

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Here are three things that will happen to you when you begin practicing Chinese calligraphy.

You Will Learn Patience

If you think that you know what it means to be patient then you have never tried to write in Chinese calligraphy.

Patience and perseverance are two of the most important aspects of learning calligraphy. This is because Chinese calligraphy is incredibly detail oriented. Even a stroke that moves in only slightly the wrong way can ruin an entire piece of work.

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Thus, when you are practicing calligraphy, you must be patient. Calligraphy is not an art to be rushed. In fact, it is one of the most relaxing things that you can practice. But in order for it to be relaxing, you have to be patient. When drawing calligraphy, mistakes are not an error. Mistakes are part of the journey.

You Will Become More Focused

Calligraphy requires a huge amount of focus. It is a very detail oriented practice. It requires all of your mind to engage with your drawings.

But this focus does not just require concentration on the task at hand. This is only half of the battle. Your focus must be restrained yet positive. It must be free of any negative thoughts in order for you to create a beautiful character.

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Your focus is your intention in Chinese calligraphy. If you go into it focused on mastering it for any reason other than to improve your body and mind, you will often find that you will lose your concentration, become frustrated and ultimately fail at the task.

You Will Understand the Beauty of Subtlety

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Many modern people only find things to be beautiful which are obviously attractive. Supermodels, the clean lines of modern design and exuberant sunsets all fit this description for most people. This is why many animators looking for a college for animators, seek out calligraphy as a way of supplementing their drawing skills.

But beauty is not just in the overall picture. In Chinese calligraphy, beauty can be found in only the tiniest details of the character. It might be the smallest brush stroke in one part of the character that makes it completely unique and beautiful.

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When you practice calligraphy, you will learn how to recognize beauty in not only the big things but the tiniest details as well. This outlook will change the way you view yourself and the world around you. Chinese calligraphy can transform your world into a beautiful place without you ever having to leave your home.

Chinese calligraphy is not a hobby. It is also not a practice only for sages or old men. Everyone can benefit from learning and practicing Chinese calligraphy, even if you don’t know Chinese.

Some people say that Chinese calligraphists enjoy the gift of a long life. But in order to enjoy a long life, you need to understand patience, focus and beauty. Without these things, life is ordinary and boring. But with Chinese calligraphy, your entire world can change.

Featured photo credit: Axel Rouvin via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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