5 Things To Do After Graduating or Finishing a Major Project

by | Oct 26, 2018

The desire for upward personal growth can be a powerful catalyst for creating necessary change.

As human beings, we are always wanting. Although we can be content with what we have in our lives, there will always be a part of us that is constantly reaching for something new, different, or additional. This yearning for more can be a good or bad thing, depending on how you balance, utilize, and direct it. The trick is to direct our ambition in productive and positive ways. For example, the desire for upward personal growth can be a powerful catalyst for creating necessary change, achieving goals and becoming our best selves. However, sometimes the hardest part of being engrained with this urge to grow is knowing where to put all that energy. If we don’t know where to direct it, it can fester inside of us and be used as fuel for a game of “let-me-compare-myself-to-my-expectations” in which we always seem to fall short.

Now that this article has turned into a brief analysis of human nature and the meaning of life, let’s look at how this all applies to directing and acting. When we set a goal and work towards it, we find fulfillment and purpose. All that energy stemming from our need to grow must be directed. When we achieve that goal, though we feel warm and fuzzy for a second afterward, we are often back to square one. And if we don’t direct all that aforementioned energy to a positive place ASAP, we will likely be unhappy, because we’re accustomed to using it in a way that makes us fulfilled.

As Artists We Are Crazy!

In the arts, we are constantly setting career goals, working towards, and then fulfilling them. We don’t just get a job at an office and then work there for twenty years. Rather, we are constantly on the hunt for a new project, and as soon as something ends we are looking again. Is it fair to say that, in this industry, sometimes the hardest part of working towards a goal is actually achieving it? Because then you have no idea what the hell you’re doing afterward? Well, we thought that was a valid point. So here at CallBoard, we’ve compiled a set of steps to help you determine where you’re going now that you’ve got to where you are. Say that five times fast or something.

Determine What’s Most Important to You

This is probably the most significant first thing you could do when it comes to goal setting and determining where you want to go next in your artistic life. You need to examine your priorities and what you would be willing to sacrifice. Are you trying to save money and pay off debt, or are you ok with living as a starving artist right now? Do you want to be selective in the type of work you’re doing, or do you just want to be working? How much time do you want to devote to friends, a significant other, or family? Realistically, how many hours a day or in a week could you devote to what you want to be doing? Having a clear understanding of what you’re able to give to your goals will be fundamental in helping you clearly set them.

Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day

When it comes to goal setting, it’s ok to start with things that are small scale. We’re not saying you need to curtail your dreams, the exact opposite of that, in fact. All we’re saying is that you sometimes have to start small, and that means probably not planning on IMMEDIATELY ascending into world fame tomorrow. If you have a big goal like that, break it down into steps you can achieve. Trust your intuition when it comes to finding that fine line between pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and throwing yourself into something you’re not ready for, whether that be physically, emotionally, or mentally. Finding small ways to work towards what you want allows you to refocus that positive energy and helps you slowly build your career into something great.

Make a Plan (Even if it changes)

Sometimes in order to determine if a direction is right, we have to start moving. You could attempt to go to the grocery store, and get frustrated because you find yourself lost after taking a wrong turn. However, you now know how NOT to get to the grocery store, and you have more information than you did previously, which in turn will make getting there in the future easier. Additionally, you would have zero information at all if you’d never left the house. Ok it’s not a perfect analogy, but the point is, make a plan and start driving. Don’t get so caught up in attempting to figure out if it’s really what you want to do, or if it’s the surest way to success. You can figure that out as you go along, and if it doesn’t work, you can change it! But at least you’ll be moving forward.

Evaluate the why

In setting goals with acting and directing, as well as working to achieve them, it’s advantageous to keep in mind why that goal is important to you. This practice has two major benefits: a) it gives you fuel and inspiration to keep working at that goal, even when things get hard, and b) it helps you remember why that goal is so significant, even if other people don’t support or understand it. Remembering why you’re doing (or trying to do) something is helpful because if you’re not finding immediate success, it still gives you purpose. As you are trying to determine your direction generally, think about why you want to set these goals and put art out into the world. This will ground you and help you remember that what you want to contribute has meaning. You can then work toward your goals.

Nourish Your Spirituality

Whether you believe in a higher power or not, getting in tune with the universe is never going to be a bad thing. Take some quiet time to pray, practice meditation, or just think about your life. Do something that focuses your mind. Write things out. Be alone with your feelings. Sometimes it takes putting other distractions away in order to clear our heads and determine where we are. So find those good vibes floating out there in space, and then make decisions and trust your gut. When you’re being true to your feelings and tapping into something greater than yourself, whether that be the goodness of humanity, religion, or nature, great things are sure to come. This will help you find direction for your art and your life. And who doesn’t want that, right?
You need to examine your priorities and what you would be willing to sacrifice.

Sources for this article
Photos on Unsplash.

What do you think? What are ways that have helped you determine your next step in your artistic career? Thoughts, jokes, and clever (but not maliciously unkind) rebuttals are more than welcome. Please comment below!

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