Making Each Day Count

I was browsing my bookshelves for a book to read, and I pulled out Make Today Count by John C. Maxwell.  This book was a purchase I made when Walden Books was still open, several years ago.  It is a book that really made me think.  At the time, the author's assertion that he could tell how successful someone was by following them for a day (any day), seemed unlikely to me.

Reading it now, I think differently about that claim.  I tend to agree with him.

Mainly because what is done daily showcases what you are prioritizing, what is important to you.  In that light your day takes on a new shape.  In a year filled with loss, it has been hammered home more often than not that there are no guarantees.  This moment is all I have and I'm striving to make each day count.  This book is a short read and has some interesting points that it makes.  It is a short read, and worth the time spent on reading it.

My favorite passage from the book is:

"What you become is the result of what you do today.  Every day of your life is merely preparation for the next."

If someone followed you around for 24 hours what conclusions would they draw?  Are those conclusions an accurate portrayal?

Joining Instagram and Learning How to Paint

Today, I joined Instagram.  If you want to check it out, my username is: marieschaeller.  Or you can click here.  My main goal of joining was to begin and document my #100DayProject.  For the project, I'll be painting one small 5x5 square every day for 100 days.

Before today, I haven't really used acrylics.  I like to learn and try new things.  I purchased a book called Learn to Paint in Acrylics with 50 Small Paintings: Pick up the skills, put on the paint, and hang up your art by Mark Daniel Nelson.  These are small and quick.

For the first half of the challenge, I'm following the book and painting in order.  I'll see what happens after the 50th painting.  Either I'll keep going with acrylics or switch it up with some watercolors.  

Check out the feed to see how I fare with this creativity challenge.  Feel free to join in on the 100 Day Project, and don't forget May 15th starts the five day Bare Naked Bravery Challenge.  Lots of creativity and inspiration in the month of May!


#100DayProject Day 1 Painting "Moonrise"

#100DayProject Day 1 Painting "Moonrise"

Standing at the Corner of Should and Must.

Did you ever feel like there were signs that you were on the right path?  I had a song stuck in my head, The Foggy Dew by Sinead O'Connor.  Random, I know.  Her version of the song is used by the Dropkick Murphys when they are playing live as an intro for them to come out on the stage to.  

I hopped onto YouTube to listen and watch the video.  The next video to play was a Chase Jarvis interview with Elle Luna.  You can find that video here, it is part of the 30 Days of Genius Series by CreativeLive.

Previously, I had started to watch this video but had to leave before listening to the whole thing.  When the signs led me back to it, I had to see it.  Once I watched the whole video, it inspired me.  She mentioned her Twitter handle and I went over to Twitter to check it out.  

The signs kept on coming.  Her agent posted that her book was on promo right now.  I went to Amazon and one clicked on that right away.

Her book is colorful and a quick read that I highly recommend!


At the Crossroads of Should and Must:  Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna.

In the book, Elle defines Should as "how other people want us to live our lives".  As opposed to Must, which is "who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest most authentic self."

One line that stood out to me and followed me long after I finished reading was:  "If you believe that you have something special inside of you, and you feel it's about time you gave it a shot, honor that calling in some small way-- TODAY."

I am standing at the corner of Should and Must from moment to moment through my days, and you are too.  It is the choice we make in that moment that leads us forward.  The way she put it to choose a same way to honor that today.  Not tomorrow.  Not a huge jump into the unknown, but a small, doable way.  Follow a sign and head in the direction of your MUST.

Can you do something small today to turn down the road of must instead of should?


Wintergatan and The Power of Showing Your Work.

It can be scary and fears can creep up that prevent anyone from releasing their art, writing, photography, music, or other passion out into the world.  Powering through that fear can be exhilarating and nauseating at the same time.  

Allow the fear to let you know you are heading in the right direction.  Try to do one thing every day that scares you, and try to keep growing.

Here is where Wintergatan comes in.  If you are unfamiliar with the band, please check out their video for their Marble Machine.  This video was released last March (2016).  It is almost unreal the music made with 2,000 marbles and some imagination!

As a warning, this song gets stuck in my head!  It is beyond catchy.

I've been following Wintergatan for a little while now and this week they posted an amazing video one year after the Marble Machine video was released.  The video includes Martin's reaction to numerous covers of the original song in many different musical and mechanical forms.  A great way to showcase how what you put out in the world can inspire and ignite passion in others.

Please do not let fear hold you back from sharing your work.  The closer you get to completion, the more doubt and questions will pop up.  Wintergatan shows how they construct their musical instruments and different parts of the process in several of the videos, as well.  

Wintergatan is Swedish for the Milky Way.  Keep making music and reaching for the stars.  Subscribe to their YouTube channel and support their music.


I want to begin sharing some #BookLove in my blog posts for various books that inspire me that I believe could inspire you.  A fantastic book I read and keep referring back to is Show Your Work by Austin Kleon.  I highlighted so many passages in this book.  

One of my favorite:  "Human beings want to know where things came from, how they were made, and who made them.  The stories you tell about the work you do have a huge effect on how people feel and what they understand about your work, and how people feel and what they understand about your work effects how they value it." --Austin Kleon

The way he equates the creative process to throwing a knuckleball pitch is perfect.  The way the batter and catcher don't know what to expect, and even the pitcher doesn't know once he releases the ball.  Spot on.

His books help me put action behind some of my personal goals and I love his newspaper blackout poetry.  I highly recommend signing up for his newsletter.