If you’ve read my article “2017: The Power of 1“, you know exactly why everyone is so excited. 2+0+1+7 = 10, and 1+0 =1, making 2017 a “1 Year” in the context of numerology. We are about to embark on an all new 9 year cycle, and that is refreshing after all we’ve experienced from 2008 to 2016.
Since one article was not enough, I have written a second article,
a list of “10 Ways to Win 2017!” according to me: Nicholas Dumas Dillihay.
- Establish A Motif
“Motif” might be my favorite word. I learned it from my first dance teacher, Ms. Lisa, in 11th grade. Ms. Lisa shared with us how she used motifs to guide and inspire her choreography, and she encouraged us to do the same. So, what is a motif exactly?
The way I see it, a motif is a big idea that brings focus to a creative work through the use of repetition and variation.
Out of all years, a “1 Year” like 2017 is perfect for maximizing a big idea. When faced with a blank canvas, however, we sometimes tend to complicate a process that is best kept simple. I think establishing a motif is the smartest way to clarify and cultivate a creative intention.
Imagine I’m a choreographer whose resolution in 2017 is to create a dance that captures the essence of pregnancy. Pregnancy is now my motif, so I might have my dancers start off on the floor in fetal position, revisiting this move periodically throughout the duration of the piece to convey life in the womb. Whenever I’m at a loss, which is inevitable for most artists, I can always return to some variation of that same fetal position, as well as any other action that evokes the pregnancy motif to which I committed myself in the very beginning.
What if I don’t consider myself an artist, but my 2017 goal is to be taken more seriously by colleagues, superiors, and/or potential employers? With professionalism as my motif, I might update my wardrobe to include a couple nicely tailored suits and a briefcase to replace my amateur-ish backpack. I’d most definitely streamline my resume and update my LinkedIn profile, in addition to cleaning up my other social media pages to reinforce my professional image. Instead of reading trivial fiction, I’d be ensconced in business-oriented self-help books from reputable masters. If I’m feeling super ambitious, I would go as far as enrolling in a specialized class to sharpen my skillset and show off my certificate when I graduate. See how much can be done with one singular motif?
A motif is specific, yes, but there is freedom in that specificity that keeps it from getting boring or redundant. Motifs are focused but expansive at the same time because they force us to take consistent and relevant (but slightly varied) action, and this is why a motif can eventually lead to the solidification of a successful lifestyle. While everyone else is setting the same old superficial, flash in the pan New Year’s resolutions, you might just achieve better success by establishing a motif that speaks to the highest intention of your soul. Continue reading