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Robert Genn ~ Twice Weekly Letter: "Sunny Side Up"

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Evelyn McCorristin Peters: Robert Genn ~ Twice Weekly Letter: "Sunny Side Up"

Evelyn McCorristin Peters

Fine art for everyone


Robert Genn ~ Twice Weekly Letter: "Sunny Side Up"

I tend to be an overly optimistic person. For the most part I think this is a great thing, but I realize I sometimes really get on people's nerves. My family has always called me their "Polyanna." Recently they found a letter I wrote to Santa when I was seven. I ended saying that what I really wanted was for everyone to have a Merry Christmas. When rereading it before the holiday, my family all uniformly groaned at that point. My sister (who is not overly optimistic, a bit sarcastic, although with a great sense of humor), said she was surprised I didn't put "and world peace." (all references in this post have links to explore!)

I'm sure many of you know about the 140hours art auctions generated on Twitter by @140hours. I believe this is an awesome program! It promotes artists in an exciting way and gives to charities. I "retweet" like mad during this event trying to support my fellow artists. I tweeted to @MagZoxBrownArt, artist Margaret Zox Brown, that I found her success inspirational. She tweeted back the following comment: "It's all in the mind you know. You think it, believe it, feel it and so it is! Really." I stopped and thought, she is absolutely right. I guess that's why I keep plugging along hoping for the best!

Robert Genn's current "twice weekly letter" hit on this very same subject so I thought I would post it here. We all need reminders sometimes to keep our chins up, especially when it's freezing outside, even here in Southwest Florida!

Sunny side up

January 12, 2010

Dear Evelyn,

Our attitudes determine our accomplishments. Recent emails about shared studio spaces, male-female dynamics, creative progress etc., showed us those who see the glass half empty and those who see it half full. Could it be, we wondered, that the half-empty folks were destined to have emptier and emptier glasses, while the half-full folks were bound to have fuller and fuller ones?

Could there be truth in such a simple and timeworn concept?

Maybe it's the time of year--dark days in the Northern Hemisphere (right now our Down Under subscribers are generally upbeat). Anyway, a lot of negativity is out there. Okay, so maybe it's tough being an artist, but maybe we need to delude ourselves that it isn't tough at all--like it's a joy, a privilege, an opportunity to enrich those around us, and a lot of fun to boot.

Psychologists tell us we tend to believe what we say, especially when we chant it over and over. It doesn't seem to matter how unlikely the stuff is either--actions following words is one of the hazards of speaking, writing and thinking.

Here in the dark days of winter are a few words that might just keep your sunny side up:

Have a decent ego; cultivate self-esteem and individualism.
Keep an open mind; there's more than one way to do things.
Focus on your processes; that's where the joy comes in.
Be kind; it never hurts to give to others, even praise.
Be innocent; have a childlike--not childish--approach.
Be thankful, even for the smallest of blessings.
Be a perpetual student--be curious and seeking.
Filter your priorities--and don't suffer fools.
Be creative. It's the highest form of life.
Honour and respect time; it's the main gift.
Be optimistic; the opposite holds no charms.
Develop good habits--they will develop you.
Be thrifty--waste not, want not.
Work to please yourself.
Be hard to please.

Best regards,


PS: "Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words. Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviours. Keep your behaviours positive, because your behaviours become your habits. Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values. Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny." (Mahatma Gandhi)

Esoterica: A note regarding the clickbacks: We treasure all our mail. Very often, depending on which one of us is looking after it, we assemble the clickbacks from the first 50 or so letters that come in each time. We try for a range of opinion, new angles, fresh insights. Other times we're dealing with conventional wisdom. Further, many excellent letters are too late for inclusion. As you may have noticed, we sometimes add these to the live comments. Wisdom and humour are always appreciated. Recently, an anonymous subscriber reminded us: "People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it."



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