Kali Hawlk

Helping Creatives Make More

Do You Feed the Good Wolf or the Bad?

Feed the good wolf

There’s a Cherokee story about two wolves, and it serves as an excellent parable. It goes something like this:

One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “my son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all. One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joy, peace love, hope serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson though about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “the one that you feed.”

I heard this story a long time ago and it’s always stuck with me. The last line of the story often floats to the surface of my mind, and I’ve seen it popping up in more and more places recently.

With this story appearing more and more in the last few months — I’ve seen the whole thing printed on restaurant menus, I’ve found podcasts named after that last line, I’ve seen recognizable pieces of the whole in art and on t-shirts and random places online — I took it as a sign that I needed to pay closer attention to the message than I have in the past.  Continue reading

The Army of Tiny But Ferocious Voices

The tiny but ferocious voices plague every single person who’s ever tried to make a break for the fence to climb up and achieve something great. Learn to quiet your fears and doubts and focus on your creative work instead.

Most people who are capable of doing more have no idea they can choose to do so. Creating a life that means something to you, that brings you fulfillment and joy, is possible. And you can choose this.

It’s not something bestowed upon a lucky few. You can consciously pursue a path that brings you satisfaction. Finding happiness through meaningful work is a wonderful way to show our appreciation for the time we have here.

So how do you start?

Start by acknowledging your power to choose. You can create an intentional, mindful life by taking deliberate action and tuning in to your own truth before making decisions each day, week, and month. Understand there’s a difference between how things are and how things could be if you stopped talking and started doing.

You have a choice to make and create. If that’s what you want, choose to do it.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it? And indeed, it is simple. But simple doesn’t mean easy. I’d be willing to bet there’s a host of factors and obstacles that hold you back right now, that cause you to pipe up and say, “but I don’t know how,” or “but I’m not good enough” or “but I can’t figure out what to do.”

These comments are the real slayers of your goals and dreams. Thoughts like this do more to stop you in your tracks than any lack of resources or skills or natural talent ever will. Continue reading

Have a Little Faith in Yourself Today

Read this letter anytime you need a reminder to have faith in yourself.

I’m highly skeptical by nature. My favorite question is “why?” I find universal laws in science absolutely fascinating and I love reading about astrophysics and quantum mechanics; I’m less struck by the idea of having faith in.. well, anything.

If you have faith, that means you have complete confidence or trust in something. You believe in a person or a thing without needing proof to validate your belief. For most of my life, I’ve felt that this is a dangerous position to put yourself in.

In the past few years, however, I learned that making a living from creative work requires some degree of faith. This was a difficult idea to embrace, and I’m still working on it. But the first step I took was to have faith in myself.

I believed I could make my life into what I wanted. I didn’t know exactly how at the time, but I put faith in myself and believed I would figure it out. And so I did.

A Creative Life Requires Faith in Yourself

You need to have faith in yourself, too. Believe that you can set out to do what you want to accomplish. Believe that you have the skills and abilities to make something great — and if you don’t possess those things, believe that you’re capable of developing them so you can get to work.

Creative work requires little leaps of faith every day. If you’re struggling to continue putting your belief into something — with no proof that it’s going to work, that it’s good, or that it’s even real — I want to share a letter I wrote. Continue reading

How to Start Before You’re Ready

Here's how to start before you're ready

Conventional wisdom tells us that to know where we want to go and how to get there, we must first understand where we are.

We must love ourselves before we can properly love others. We need to take care of ourselves before we can provide for anyone else.

And yet, when you want to make more in your life — be it through money, work, or art — you must start before you’re ready to go.

This is a huge challenge, to start before you know who you are, what you’re doing, where you really stand, or where you want to put yourself in the future. Continue reading

What Are Your Creative Blocks?

What Are Your Creative Blocks You Struggle to Overcome

Earlier today, I had a conversation about the biggest block that holds me back from doing more with my work as a creative. It’s one that’s likely familiar to you if you’ve ever tried to make.. well, anything.

It’s impostor syndrome, or, according to Wikipedia, the “psychological phenomenon in which people are unable to internalize their accomplishments.” Although I want to make a living as a creative professional, thoughts like this stop me:

I’m not good enough at writing to make a living of it. I’m not creative enough. I’m not intelligent enough to reach the level of success I want.

Sound familiar? Imposter syndrome can paralyze the most confident, talented, and innovative people out there — no matter what they’ve achieved.

And even if you can accept some level of success, there may be another little voice that pipes up to derail you in your efforts to grow in your creative career. That little voice says if you shouldn’t publicly accept a success or talent.

If I accepted a compliment, the other person will think I’m arrogant. If I attempt to monetize my expertise and teach what I know, people will think I’m a fraud. If I position myself as an expert, people will think I’m full of myself.

Imposter syndrome serves as a serious block for me, but acknowledging it was the first step I took to resolving it and removing it as an obstacle to success. It’s a process to unblock, stop feeling like my skills (and myself!) are invalid, and get back to the important work of creating real value for others who need it.

Now it’s your turn. My goal is to help creatives like you make more — with your money, your work, and your life. I’d love to know what your creative blocks are, so I can help you overcome them.

What are your creative blocks? Let me know with a comment, email me at kalihawlk [at] gmail.com, or send me a tweet @KaliHawlk.

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