Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

Happiness depends on your mindset and attitude. Roy T. Bennet

My son came down to my art studio the other day and was disappointed at my art process. He saw my lightbox for tracing and my reference material. We have an idea that if people are really creative they make things up. I’m painting a church. I didn’t make this church up, I’ve used reference material and I believe most artists use reference material, often even in abstracts. Then we moved on to talking about writing and how there are only a few plots that fit all stories.

In “Save the Cat Writes a Novel” by Jessica Brody based on the books by Blake Snyder there are ten plots.

Whydunnit, detectives, deception, and the dark side.

Rites of passage

Institutionalized, join em, leave em, or take em down.

Superhero, being extraordinary in an ordinary world.

Dude with a problem, surviving the ultimate test.

Fool triumphant, victory of the underdog.

Buddy love, the transformative power of love or friendship.

Out of the bottle, a little bit of magic goes a long way.

Golden Fleece, road trips, quests, and heists.

Monster in the house, more than just a scary story.

There you have it; every story ever told fits into one of those genres. There are also various types of compositions we can use in art. It isn’t originality that makes things great it is how we use what we know in writing, art, or creating anything that gives us our finished product.

What if life is much the same? In a book I’m reading, “A Course in Life” by Joan Gattuso, she asks what channel would we say we have our life tuned to. Are we tuned to the Discovery Channel, Playboy Channel, Suffering Channel, Heartache Channel, Poor Me Channel, Bad News Channel, They Don’t Treat Me Right Channel, Adventure Channel, Family Channel, Creative Channel, Horror, or Happy Channel?

Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. Joshua J. Marine

What if just like TV we turn our life channel to what we want. On TV a walk in the woods on the adventure channel will be different than a walk in the woods on the horror channel. There is enough going on in the world that we can choose to focus on what is good or what is bad. When we interact with people do we remember the slights or the kindness we are shown? Do we look for what is bad, or what is good? Are we positive about the future? Do we focus on injustice?

If we focus on the good we can be called na├»ve, wearing rose-colored glasses, entitled, and that we don’t care enough about the problems others have. We can seem insensitive if we aren’t getting into the pit of despair but when we are all in the pit of despair, who is left to pull anyone out of the pit?

Jim Rohn said, “If we complain about everything and everything isn’t good enough, it’s all we have.” We have whatever circumstances we have in our life; we might not like all the choices before us. If we look at the circumstances, opportunities, and choices in our life like paint on a painter’s palette. What we do with that paint and those choices color the canvas of our lives. Will it be bright and pretty, dark and somber, mostly dark with a few bright spots, mostly light with a few dark spots? will it become something we can’t believe we created?

When we are painting it is intuitive, structured, happy little accidents, and unexpected results as colors play against each other. A good metaphor for life I think. We don’t control every facet of our lives; we don’t know what is coming, but our view on life, our mindset, this we have some control over. Wayne Dyer says, “When we change the way we look at things the things we look at change.”

What channel are we tuning our life to? Is there a better channel to choose? Did it ever cross our mind as Shakespeare says, “There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so?”

However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at. Stephen Hawking

Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. George Bernard Shaw

Mindset is your rudder in the boat of your life. Shan White

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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