“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and sorry I could not travel both” – Robert Frost
Ever felt lost? Confused? Unsure of what the path should you choose ahead or which road should you take? You’re not alone.
We try reading books, digesting articles, and seeking advice from others when making a decision. But oftentimes we get even more confused, especially when the advice we get is contradictory.
I hope this story can bring some clarity:
There was once a painter who painted beautiful portraits. His works was talked about throughout the city and was the study of many aspiring artist-to-be.
One day, an arts student was sent to interview this painter. The arts student was a straight A’s student in her class, and has long studied and analyzed works of many revered artist. She was excited to know about the techniques of painting from this old master.
So on she went to the interview, with smart questions on lines, curves, colors, and visual representations for this painter. Upon meeting him, she asked him all these questions and he reflected on the patiently, and then he asked her this question:
“How does a lion hunt?” he asked.
“Excuse me?” she replied. What does this have to do with creating good art? She thought.
“How does a lion hunt?” he repeated.
Having read about animal biology, she answered “A lion hunts at night and stalks their prey, as they are not entirely fast runners. They use their razor sharp teeth and big paws to stop and suffocate their prey”
The painter thought about her response for a minute, and said:
“The truth is, a lion can learn all he can about hunting, but in the end, it’s instinct that gets the prey. A lion does not study the best time to hunt, it just knows. Years of training and trusting its nature has made the lion one of the best hunters, and even then, it does not always gets its prey.”
“It is the same with painting. It is good to study past and current works. When I paint, I use my wisdom, not my knowledge. Believe it or not, those two are very different things. Just like the lion, instinct takes time, failures, and a deep understanding of oneself”
Sometimes, the best decisions we make are the ones that come from within.