Personal Anecdote

The Art of Progress…

Have you ever considered progress to be an art form?

I do.

One that some of us excel in while others are struggling to find vision.

To explain, let us examine some common, accepted definitions:

“Progress” is the idea or concept that advances or forward movement in any industry, organization, structure, or organism can produce or induce improvement.

“Art” can be described as almost any activity that expresses human imagination, ideas, or technical skills, especially as it relates to the appreciation of beauty or emotional power.

I argue that human progress is indeed a form of art.

“Art,” by this definition (that I conveniently reworded from Google), requires an action. A novel that remains unwritten, a portrait unpainted, or sex abstained are not forms of art. They are ideas, concepts, and possibilities. Art has something to show for itself.

Progress also requires action. Empty blueprints, machines unbuilt, and goals diverted are not considered to be forms of progression. Without the action completed or finished product, there can be no catalyst. Without a catalyst, there is no advancement. Advancement is the birth child of progress.

Here is where I find the crossroads of art and progress:

Progress meets art where human advancement and forward movement express the beauty and emotional power of the human condition and its desire to thrive.

We are born to succeed.
We have the power to choose not to.

I encourage you to choose the destiny you were born to unleash.

This does not disavow us from failure. Failure is a necessary step in success. Without failure, how could we find the areas of our lives that most need to grow or ever experience a desire to change and develop ourselves? The stumbling blocks on the road to progress are as vital as the plotholes in a novel. Without the problems, solutions wouldn’t be created that make life and art better.

I recently experienced a failure in an assignment for school. It was disheartening, but it is pushing me to push harder to realize my goal.
For those of you who don’t know, I have decided to finish my Bachelor’s degree. This time for Creative Writing.

Like any work of art, progress takes time. Sometimes, it happens in cycles of ups and downs. Just like a novel…it takes editing and revision.

I know what some of you who know my background may be asking…

Why, if I am already an educator, business owner, and professional writer, would I pursue this? I have already proven to myself through an entrepreneurial spirit and a stubborn attitude that I could be successful without completing an advanced, formal education.

There are several reasons that I am pursuing this (and, later, another) degree. The simplest answer is… I want to.

I have always wanted to do this. Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to be Dr. MéShelle, thank you very much with operating on people (and Mrs. Batman- but really who didn’t?). It sounded right to me even before I fully understood what it meant.

And even though I did attend college on a full scholarship, this goal was upended by circumstance, poor decision making, and fear. What if I realized my goal but was still unable to fulfill my purpose or build my dreams? I decided (without realizing) that if there was a chance I could finish school and still fail at achieving what I wanted to achieve in this life… I would rather just fail. So, there was a lost period in my life where there was no progress. My work of art left unfinished.

Thankfully, it was short-lived.

I have a wonderful support system (if you don’t have one – get one!) who believed in me when I wasn’t sure how to do that for myself. Through some additional trial and error (this time purposeful), I wound up pursuing opportunities that would teach me about entrepreneurship and creating a destiny for myself. I proved (to me, at least) that I could create any existence for myself that I desired without the aid of a degree, just through my own tenacity.

But that didn’t mean that my love of learning or childhood desire had left.
So, here I am… a work in progress. Much like a novel still being written.
Just like me, you are the other of your own story. You have the power to affect what goes in the pages.

So, I encourage you today to keep moving forward. Please, progress.

You are a work of art.


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