The Goldilocks Rule: How to Stay Motivated in Life and Business
James Clear is well known for his bestseller ‘Atomic habits’, a goldmine of practical tips on how to replace bad habits with healthier ones and skyrocket not only our efficiency but also our fullfillment. In chapter 19 he talks about The Goldilocks Rule.
This principle states that “humans experience peak motivation when working on tasks that are right on the edge of their current abilities. Not too hard. Not too easy. Just right.”
Think about learning that new language, that new painting tecnique or drawing subject, booking system or whichever task you’re tackling right now. To stay motivated and excited we need to be working at a level that is just slightly outside our grasp. You see it, you can almost taste it, but it’s just a few centimeters away. A bit like playing a videogame where you ALMOST clear that level. “Another one, this time I’ll get you!”.
This way the task is not too hard, which might demotivate you and make you feel inadequate, nor too easy, which will bore you pretty soon.
Dragons are possibly one of the most complicated subjects to draw (well) and also a virtually infinite source of creative solutions. This is because it requires mastering different elements: structure, gesture, anatomy, specific knowledge of style and traditional elements. It’s something that requires a thorough study and disciplined practiced. As I often recommend, one of the best ways to learn is to get to work alongside people that are very good at it, nothing beats direct experience on the field. This tho should be paired with your own practice, mindful practice (aka focused effort). Finding the right material is often what makes the difference between success and failure.
Erik Rieth is the owner and founder of Ghost in the Machine Tattoo and has been tattooing since 1992. With an awareness and respect for tradition Erik continues to evolve his unique contemporary style primarily in Americana and Japanese tattoos.
To help with the learning process Erik has produced a great book, very practical, on the basics of drawing dragons. Distributed worldwide by different suppliers it’s a must have if you are looking for an accessible reference on this topic.