Create and Accomplish More by Knowing What to Ignore

You can be more creative, accomplish more, and enjoy life a whole lot more if you get good at knowing who and what to ignore. Knowing who and what to ignore comes with time and reflection for some, and out of necessity for others.

Bird, Mind, Soul, Cannon Beach, Craig Shillam, oil

Accomplish More

Distractions are all around us, everywhere, everyday. There’s no escaping every distraction, but if you want to accomplish more, you need to get good at dealing with them quickly or ignoring them all together. Sometimes it’s totally out your control, and sometimes it can be someone close to you. Maybe your doing it to yourself by waisting time on things that don’t matter. Other times it’s just life flexing it’s muscles. Whatever creative  journey you are on at the moment, if you can get good at recognizing and ignoring distractions and critics that creep into your day to day life, you will be so much better off.

Now there are certain things in life you shouldn’t ignore. Your kids, your spouse, your true friends. That’s where you should invest time. You probably shouldn’t ignore that red engine warning light on your car instrument panel, paying your bills, leaking water in your basement, or that gut feeling that says you know there is a better life for you than the one you have now. I am suggesting that if you want to accomplish more, you ignore some people and activities that keep you from getting to where you want to go in your life, and in your career. You can get a whole lot more done in the same amount of time that your working now by getting rid of the energy suckers and distractions.

You probably have experienced this already, but maybe you haven’t. Whenever you step out and try and be more creative, to stand out, to accomplish more and something worthwhile, you will notice something. There will be people that are excited for you. But there will also be the people that will criticize and even condemn you. The more you then accomplish, the more you will then be praised and criticized. Accept  praise modestly, and ignore that criticism. Accept the fact that some people will never accept you and never celebrate your success. Don’t waste any of your valuable time on them. Focus instead on your life, your goals, and your dreams. 

Right Now, Today, is all You and I Have

Don’t let critics and negative people define who you are. You define who you are and you define you your own success.  Right now, today, is all you and I have. We are never going to get this day back. Don’t waste your valuable time on things that don’t matter. When you are working there are always interruptions. It is your attitude toward those interruptions and how you handle them that can make a big difference in your life and in your artistic endeavors. It’s your job to somehow ignore the distractions and the criticism and let it crumble at your feet. If you want to accomplish more, It’s your job to get good at ignoring the unimportant.

Keep Your focus on What’s Important to You

Avoid jealous and negative people like the plague. They are a distraction which you need no part of. They take from you when you are not looking. They suck your energy, your time, and your creativity. They are poison. Don’t waste your time trying to win them over. Keep your focus on what’s important to you. Don’t waste so much energy trying to please other people. When you do that you give them too much power. You are either going to please yourself, God, or other people. The first two on that list matter a whole lot more than the third.

There a many more distractions besides critics and jealous people. A short list of those would include too much television, aimless web surfing, fantasy sports leagues, and too much partying. I don’t mean to say that a person shouldn’t watch TV or surf the web or go out. That’s part of the life experience in our time. I’m just saying that spending too many hours on things like those just takes too much time away from what really matters. If you want to create and accomplish more, You have to watch it because generally speaking, they won’t help you reach your goals. Again, ignore the unimportant.

As a creative person, you usually have many titles: architect, designer, postal clerk, painter, web aficionado, event planner, media coordinator, bookkeeper, and chief cook and bottle washer. Here’s another title for you: Professional Ignorer of the Unimportant. Now you still need to treat people with respect, and you need to take care of your day to day responsibilities, I don’t mean to say otherwise. But  don’t waste time trying to win everybody over. Stay on your path, your journey, doing the best you can. That’s where you will accomplish more and where your true fulfillment is at.

Be who you are and don’t waste time trying to be something you are not. Be yourself. You can be influenced, inspired, and encouraged by others, of course. Strive to be who you are, not who somebody else wants you to be. Try your best not to give other people the power to keep you from what you want out of life. Don’t give time to people who want to paint you into a corner or put you into a mold that makes them feel comfortable, but you know is not right for you.

Accomplish More – Treat Every Day as a Gift

Life is too short to waste time on things that don’t matter. It’s up to you to figure out what matters and what doesn’t for you. Create your own rules. It’s your journey, your race, your life. Treat every day as a gift, because it truly is. Do your best every day based on where you are at at this moment. If that includes ignoring a person or activity that gives you nothing in return for the time you spend with them or it, so be it.

One thing that I have found hard to ignore is the few times where someone was either mad or angry about something professionally. Hey, I’ve made a misteak or two along the way, who hasn’t? But what I recall is how long it would bother me. It’s like, why does that stay with me so long? For every person that has gotten upset over the years, there have been a ton of compliments. But those negative ones still bother me for a longer amount of time than I would like. So I’m am working on that too. You  and I must learn not to dwell on the negative. It just sucks you dry, drains your energy, and puts you on the defensive. That is no way to achieve your goals. 

Don’t waste time on trying to get someone to approve of what you are doing. You don’t need everyone’s approval to succeed. Just give yourself your own permission. If you need someone else’s permission, you can have mine. Have you wrote down your personal core list yet? It will help you find out who you really are, and when you do, you won’t need anybody else’s approval.

See your attitude improve tremendously by being really good at ignoring critics, jealous people, negative people, and meaningless distractions. The more you are doing, the more you are succeeding, the more interruptions and critics you will have. But hey, more good people will find there way to you too, along with more opportunities.

If you are fortunate to have a dream in your heart, there will be supporters and doubters. When it comes to the doubters, guard your attitude and your time like you are guarding Fort Knox. Your time is one of your most precious possessions. Be selective to whom you give your time to. Rise above the doubters and detractors to succeed in your own personal journey.

Accomplish More – Ignore the Unimportant


  1. Linda J. Guzzo says:

    Daniel, My question for you is, if I was to take your classes on line is there a time limit each week to paint or could I take a class on a different day of the week each week? My reasioning is because, I do not want to miss a class if it is directed on the same day each week. How does your schedule work for your work shop? Also I am so enjoying your tips of the week. Thank You, Linda

    • Hi Linda, Craig Shillam here, not Daniel Edmondson, but I can answer your question. There is no time limit, you simply get the new assignment after finishing the current assignment. It doesn’t matter if it takes a week, or two, or whatever. It’s invidual, so you are on your own time schedule. If you would like to email Dan, you can do so at


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    Create and Accomplish More by Knowing What to Ignore

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