Are You Foolishly Consistent?


A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."  -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Are you foolishly consistent? This quote comes from Emerson's essay "Self Reliance."  And it reveals the essence of what is wrong with modern culture.

The pull of culture is toward conformity at the expense of the individual.  The individual gets lost in the herd behavior and group-think. It is mindlessness, it is inauthentic, it is ultimately self-defeating, and it is normal.  But normal is not healthy..

"Not choice, but habit rules the unreflecting herd."- William Wordsworth

The self-reliant person is not necessarily someone who resists crowds or abhors outsourcing certain tasks to others--an island unto oneself, if you will--but rather a person who does not fall into sheepish behavior.

One of the earmarks of modern culture, herd behavior, and group-think is the "positive mental attitude."

Can you persevere?  I can't.  There is no diet of any kind, physical, emotional, or financial, that I haven't fallen off of by Wednesday if I started by Monday.

Self-discipline?  I jogged once--I think it was about four years ago.

Self-confidence?  I've walked out of success seminars bursting with it.  It lasted about three minutes.

I'm an ace procrastinator; I love nothing better than to watch old movies on the Late Show when I'm supposed to be doing something important.  My positive attitudes are invariably followed by gloomy slumps.

I landed in New York City in 1998, nearly penniless, with a B.F.A. in oil painting.  (I hope you're chuckling, because it means you know exactly what that degree is worth in the modern culture job market.)

But luckily, I found a decent job and was able to survive.  Over the next decade I networked with other artists and gallery owners in New York City.  I met and befriended some of the key "power players" in the mainstream art world in Manhattan.  I continued learning how to market my art. (I lost ten pounds, too. Twice.)  And all of this without the slightest noticeable self-improvement gimmicks of the modern culture.

I still can't stick to things.  I still have a rotten attitude a lot of the time.  But I made it--on my own terms--and I love my life even on days when I hate myself.  By my own definition, I am a winner.  And than means you can be, too.


To start creating the life you want, you don't need mantras, self-hypnosis, a character building program, a positive mental attitude, or a new toothpaste.

All you really need is know-how and support.

You do need practical techniques for problem-solving, planning, and getting your hands on materials, skills, information, and contacts.

You need a game plan that tells you what to do first, and then what to do next after that, and so on, all the way to the goal.

Smart Art Marketing Pro was developed to give artists a step-by-step plan to building self-reliance and financial security online.  And the members-only forum gives you the support you need from other like-minded people.  So in Smart Art Marketing Pro you get it all-- a game plan and support.  What could be better than that?

If you have a story of how you pulled away from the crowd to follow your own path, let us know about it in the comments below.

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. susandrawbaugh

    Really great post, Gary!! I love your candor! :o) ~ Susan

    1. Gary Bolyer

      Thanks for your comments Susan. Good to hear from you again.

  2. Victoria Hayman

    That was brilliant to read, I am a sigle mother of two young children (one who is disabled) and believe success comes from Ambition. I have got my self a first honors degree, sell work in a local gallery and now run my own studios called Sparrow Art Studios, what got me through this was support of a mother (baby sitter) and trying to network. I love the idea of learning tools that can help and other artist input. Thank you

    1. Gary Bolyer

      Hi Victoria,
      Thanks for your input here. I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. I look forward to hearing more from you.


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