Mark J. Keenan
How to draw a dragon.
These are the steps for how to draw a dragon (like the one above).
2) Obtain drawing implements and paper.
3) Acquire book on how to draw dragons in simple steps.
Simple, right? Only, as you may have noticed, I missed the first step.
1) Decide to draw dragons.
I have always been interested in learning things, building new skills*. So, asking for a book on sketching dragons for my birthday was probably no real surprise for my family.
In recent times, I have learnt this approach has a name: Building Mastery.
Building mastery is a skill, a mindset, a way of applying yourself, which can have a significant, positive impact on your self-esteem, confidence and well-being. And it all starts with the first step I mentioned: deciding to do something.
That "thing" could be anything. It could be something you've never done before, and have always wanted to try or something you already have some ability in - most importantly it should be challenging, but not too difficult, and allow you to feel competent, capable, in control.
This doesn't mean choosing something you know well, but it can. And, if doing something you know how to do already creates a sense of "I can do this" it's probably a good place to start.
My dragons are a good example.
Firstly, I can draw. I'm no Picasso or Banksy, but I can put pen to paper and create something recognisable.
Secondly, I've always wanted to be able to draw dragons. If I hadn't built some mastery already, a better place to start might have been how to draw cartoon faces.
Now, that word - mastery - many will say, "I can never master drawing dragons [insert here what it is you would like to do].
And, that's the point! This is about "building mastery". It's about the process. It's what gives you the "buzz", the "vibe", the good feelings about yourself. When you see the result and say "hey, I did that".
Give it a try. Pick something you've not done for a while - that acoustic guitar in the corner is not just a dust collector you know - or something entirely knew, and spend a few minutes each day building mastery.
*Well, almost always anyway. I imagine my high school manual arts teacher would have a different opinion: "A fairly good position for Mark with a little more interest in these subjects he could do a lot better."