Grace Is Knowing When To Nuke It

Jumping into art full time is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, I feel completely activated and alive. I knew from the outset that peril and fun are close bedfellows, and that the battle to make this choice work would be a war won with discipline, fortitude, and networking. The most significant skill I still need to refine is one I have been battling for the past ten years.

Prioritizing

It’s not that decision making is hard in the immediate either: when I’m in the zone whether it’s athletic, artistic, passionate, or desperate, I’m good. Survival mode kicks in, and it’s often brain-stem action that saves my ass.

It’s more the lingering decisions…the stale decisions, the broken leg baby zebra on the Savannah decisions…the cute ones…

There is a time to be ruthless, a time to kill with such precision and exactitude that an outsider may perceive one’s actions as careless or wanton…and it’s to our benefit to be perceived that way. They will respect us. Look at the lion, the shark, apex predators, built to keep the jungle and the ocean free from the weak. We are all mystified, scared, repulsed, mesmerized at their function, yet we know the peak predators serve the ecosystem. Just like they can’t afford to waste the energy and *not* get a kill, we can’t afford to waste the energy worrying about feeble ideas. Often these are the “shoulds” getting in the way of the “musts”.

Unfortunately, we aren’t always able to maintain our shark-like, lion-like idea killing to allow for the strong ideas to thrive…and when that happens we have to look to the apex-apex predator, humans.

Culling the herd of ideas isn’t particularly difficult when I know what traits I’m looking for… it’s when both the standard cull and the shark-lion decision making methods have failed…when the number of tasks on your idea list seems insurmountable, when the demands on your time are negatively effecting your wellbeing, when distractions filp-flop to attractions…

The desk-clearing sweep, the throw the cellphone in the lake, fuck-it I’ve got to get my shit together focus that only a nuclear bomb type of change in thinking will fix.

You’re done negotiating and pussyfooting around, the only solution is to turn the key, open the box, and push the big, shiny, red button.

Nuked.

*ah that’s what I need silence, clarity, and peace.

Shout out to Jon Phillips and Colin Gray for the helping nudge.

Published by Pete Ippel

Pete Ippel, the son of a dancer and a musician, was born in Oak Park, Illinois and has been surrounded by the arts since birth. He moved to Morris, Illinois in 1989 and started to participate in athletics rather than dance. After high school, Pete attended Cornell University where he received a BA in psychology and a BFA in photo / digital art making. He continued to follow his sporting dreams in the high jump, which culminated in a school record leap of 7 feet 1/2 inch in 2001. In May 2004 he attained an MFA degree in the New Genres department of the San Francisco Art Institute. Presently Pete is a practicing artist whose work is in numerous private collections and has been exhibited in New York, California, and internationally. Mr. Ippel resides in Working Artists Ventura, a sustainable artist community in southern California. In addition, he teaches art, is a web developer, an active blogger, and still high jumps from time to time. As a passionate problem solver and a pragmatic optimist, Pete’s art and his life are full of exciting challenges.

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