A Day of Challenges

Not only did I wake up late this morning but it seemed that all tech was against me, it was a day of challenges. Bring it on!

I happened to listen to the Philosophers Note on The Stoic Challenge by William B Irvine this morning before all the major challenges came up and it gave me some wonderful tool to deal with the day.

Here is a quote from Brian Johnson’s note on the book that resonated with me.

“William gives us a bunch of stories to shine a light on what’s possible.

How about Bethany Hamilton? You know, the 13-year-old surfer who lost her arm when a shark bit it off. How’d she respond to that setback? She was back in the water 26 days (!) later. And winning championships within a couple years. Now, she’s a pro surfer and world-class exemplar.

Then there’s Stephen Hawking. Lou Gehrig’s disease slowly took away his ability to move his body or even talk. What did he do? He changed the world of theoretical physics—communicating with his assistant by raising his eyebrows and, eventually, via software designed for him that allowed him to type computer messages using a clicker.

These exemplars are important because they shine a light on what’s possible. If THEY can surmount THEIR difficulties, then we can surmount ours. (See: The Science of Self-Confidence.)”

Brian Johnson from the Philosophers Note on The Stoic Challenge

I figure if they can surmount those crazy challenges then I can take on today with no problem.

I also love the tool that William Irvine gives us on dealing with challenges by seeing them as tests from a higher power. Throughout my entire day I was saying “perfect! the universe must be testing me!”. When I welcome these challenges I accept them, and treat it as an incentive to show up and be my best self.

What are your problems or issues today? How can you look at them in a new light and see them as challenges to overcome?

Pocahontas Drawing in Graphite

Pocahontas is coming along nicely. I’m working hard to get the drawing perfect here. I’m also leaning heavily on the image. I would love to get away from the image, but I also want to get these drawings done in less than ten days each.

Previous Pocahontas Drawing Posts


The normal 15 minute warm-up in graphite.


Extended Gesture Study

I moved back to an image from New Masters Academy for today’s extended gesture study exercise from the The Natural Way to Draw book. The drawing kept getting bigger and bigger. I wanted to keep the whole figure on the page but I had too many corrections for that to happen. The standing figure is still very challenging to me, bring it on!

Extended Gesture Study

What went well, what was awesome! Celebrate It!

I showed up admirably to all the challenges that life through at me today, hopefully I can make this a habit and look forward to any future day of challenges.

What needs work? What did you learn?

I’m still working on deep work time blocks for my job. Although I did better than yesterday. Woot!

How am I going to Optimize moving forward?

I’m continue with 90 minutes of deep work at my job first thing, then break, then I’m going to set a modest amount of time for my second deep work time block and so on.

Session Details

  • Session: 2847
  • Work: 1751
  • Width: 12"
  • Height: 18"
  • Medium: Graphite, Charcoal
  • Location: Home
  • Art Time: 3.25
  • Creative Time:



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Christopher Beaven

Christopher Beaven

I am an Artist and a programmer currently living in the amazing state of Washington. I have a passion for art, but I'm stubborn as hell with it. My day is complete only when I do some piece of art each day, no matter how small. "There was a dream that was Rome. You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper and it would vanish, it was so fragile."

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