Make It Happen – Like Santa

Whenever you find yourself trying to wiggle out of a commitment, remember the story of Rudolph.

Katherine Tyrell
©2010 Katherine Tyrrell, Giant Red Nosed Reindeer Outside Covent Garden Market. Pen and ink and colored pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook, 8 x 10 inches.

It would have been easy for Santa to stay home at the North Pole when the big blizzard hit on Christmas Eve. Picture him: feet up, boots off, sitting by the fireplace sipping eggnog.

But he had an appointment to keep. People were depending on him.

Santa recognized the solution to his dilemma when Rudolph’s nose lit up. Rudolph could help guide his sleigh through the blizzard.

Santa made Christmas happen despite the bad weather.

How Can You Say Yes?

A couple of weeks ago, I found myself wanting to work on a Saturday afternoon rather than driving a few hours roundtrip to an artist open studio.

I was thinking of all of the excuses I could make in order to stay home: I don’t feel well (lie), I have too much work to do (as if it’s ever done), my husband is sick (true, but he didn’t need me) . . .

How could I back out? These were two artists who have supported me in so many ways. I knew I’d hate myself for missing the event I had committed to.

I was getting ill just imagining myself having to verbalize any one of these excuses. After all, I wrote a book about making no excuses.

Then a voice in my head (thank heavens for these blessings) shook me back to reality.

“Instead of making excuses as to why you can’t go, why don’t you figure out how you can go?”

The answer: Audio files!

I had a backlog of interviews and podcasts I had downloaded and needed to listen to. I could attend the open house and feel like I was getting work done.

I synced my iPod, caught up with my listening in the car, and had a wonderful time at the open studio.
Santa would be proud.

Instead of making excuses, ask yourself: “How can I make this happen?”

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18 thoughts on “Make It Happen – Like Santa”

  1. What a great question, Alyson! Actually, it’s the right question. I was working on my last Christmas portrait and feeling distracted by other responsibilities. I went ahead and downloaded podcasts which fed my mind positive messages. I also got an “are you done” text from my friend Pam whom I’d asked to hold me accountable. I show my client the final today AND get paid . Yippee!

    1. Toni: That’s awesome! You are one of the most positive people I know – always making it happen.

    1. Katherine: The image is linked to that URL as you requested. Unfortunately, my blog doesn’t support links in captions. None of my credit lines have links in them.
      I have added a link below the caption. I hope it meets with your approval.

    2. Thanks for the new footnote Alyson.
      How weird to be able to insert captions but not have the scope to insert html links. I use them all the time on blogger re credits for artwork and hence assumed you could do the same! 🙂

    3. Katherine: It frustrated the heck out of me when I first started using WordPress. I think it’s a WP thing, but it could be my Thesis theme.

  2. I love that green reindeer! I went to London in my 20’s and these lovely sketches brought back wonderful memories. This is very inspiring. Thanks!

  3. I don’t attend many open studios, but when I do , I always come away with good data.
    My colleagues Ed Dwight and Ramon Kelley are very diligent workers. I enjoy their open studio events. I learn a lot. I journal about my visits.
    Oh yeah, these artists have very successful careers.
    Bob Ragland

  4. Thanks for the “How can I make this happen” question. I’ve addressed this many times in the past week … with a portrait that was refusing to come together (it has now) and in yesterday’s trip to the Phillips Collection for some recharging of my inspiration batteries. I was loading myself down with excuses and realized they just weren’t going to cut it. Anyway, great post. I love Katherine’s Giant Red-Nosed Reindeer.

  5. Your newsletter came at just the right time for me – desperately in need of an attitude adjustment. I was informed yesterday that my inlaws are coming tomorrow and will be here for a week. I know my situation has nothing to do with art but everything to do with honoring relationships and I appreciate your encouragement.

  6. Hi Alyson,
    This is a bit like the hero exercise I give my students — they look at past “failures” and see how they were heroes in those situations — it’s reframing. And there couldn’t be a better time for this message. Okay — I will make it happen, it, and it, and it — because there’s always a lot of it to make happen. You are an inspiration. If my dog does her Jingle Bells song video, I’ll send it to you. We will make it happen!!!!
    XO Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and thank you for all of the inspiration all through the year. You are the best. You do make it happen.

  7. Linda Summers Posey

    Perfect message for me. The same thing happened to me yesterday. I was making excusses about not going to a fellow artist’s open studio — and I finally talked myself into going. This man has done a lot for me, and I wanted to show him my support — attendance was sparse, and he appreciated my showing up and hand delivering his holiday card (with a print of one of my paintings on it). I also found the opportunity to ask him for a letter of reference for a mentorship program I’m applying for, and he graciously agreed. Plus I made some good contacts while I was there. I’d have missed all of that if I’d given in to my excuses. THANKS for all your great advice in your blog and your book! Happy holidays and happy creating — Linda

  8. *but I don’t get it? Who did the sculpture of the reindeer? Who is the sculptor? What is it made of? How come no dimensions? Must get in touch with this sculptor & tell him or her that she or he needs Art Biz Coach’s help!

    1. I looked for it, too, Sari, but I think the gardening staff at the garden did it – therefore, no artist by name. At least that’s what I gathered in a quick search.
      So, the reindeer is a topiary, though I’m not sure what the plant is that they used to fill it.

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