Favorite Aphorisms

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“Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live” is an important lesson from Mitch Albom’s memoir Tuesdays with Morrie. This aphorism from Morrie Schwartz means when taking risks, the outcome will be beneficial as long as one can learn from his or her mistakes. Throughout my own experiences, I have come to learn from my mistakes before and after I make them. Only human, I often make the mistake of confusing balancing time efficiency and quality. For instance, in my artwork, and life, I give close attention to small details instead of blocking in large areas first. Not only does my mistaken method waste time, but also effort. Painting small details first is often pointless, because perceiving the entire piece through a small window is difficult enough, let alone broadening this window and making unnecessary changes. To work from the inside-out is more difficult than working from the outside-in. Actually, it is more simple to work from the outside-in but requires more risks, and frequently, hasty decisions. Weakness revealed, I am afraid of taking risks because I fear the outcome won’t be how I first imagine it. Until I unconsciously work from the outside-in, my work will have a sharp bitterness of amateurism. What truly holds me back is the fear of failure. Mistakes must be made before success. Acknowledging that every finished product is imperfectly perfect, I have learned that all risks are rewarding.

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