People often think that high-achieving Art or Design students are blessed with a gift: bestowed with a creative talent since birth. You might be surprised to learn that those who excel in high school Art often excel in a wide range of other subjects too – that it is not so much a creative gift that they possess, but rather a practical understanding of how to succeed. Every day thousands of skilful Art students underachieve, while others slowly and steadily inch their achievement levels higher and higher.
Dream of success
Most people spend their days fretting about the past or worrying about the future. They carry around an inner critic that belittles their skill, intellect, appearance, decisions, actions and worth as a person. The human capacity for anticipating the future based on the events of the past has resulted in us dominating the planet; it is also the leading of cause of misery. If you are depressed, worried or anxious, read The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle (Amazon affiliate link). He will remind you that what has already happened has gone and will only ever exist as a memory experienced in your mind now. Similarly, the future is an imaginary concept that can only be considered in this moment: now.
Worry shackles you. It leaves you paralysed with fear. Instead of contemplating negative outcomes – transform your inner critic into an advocate. Treat yourself with the wisdom and kindness that you would show a child, sibling or friend. Imagine an outcome so awesome that your parents, teachers and friends are filled with pride. When you realise that achieving something great is entirely possible, every facet of your brain begins to work together and your feet begin to move towards this goal.
Get enough sleep
80% of the teenage population is estimated to be suffering from a lack of sleep according to a 2006 poll by the American National Sleep Foundation. Even worse, we don’t know it. As sleep deprivation increases, the body adjusts in order to cope and we don’t register the feeling of tiredness – especially if we try to stimulate alertness with caffeine, junk food, artificial lights or digital screens. Average sleep hours are estimated to have decreased by two hours per night over the last fifty years; primarily the direct result of electronic devices disrupting our circadian rhythm – the natural cycles that prompt us to wake and sleep