Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Recognition That Changed My Life

I started painting as a hobby almost twenty years ago. It is one of the great passions in my life.

You can see some of my paintings at Art by Hart. Or take a look at the slideshow in the right side bar.

One of the reasons I like painting so much is it’s something I can do all by myself. Painting has a beginning and an end… something that doesn't always happen at Rideau which is a never ending "work in progress"!

I probably would have given up after my first very feeble attempts if it had not been for three people: my wife Francine Bellomo who encouraged me to paint and set up a studio in our home, the late Dick Kalaidjian who sold me my first art supplies and taught me about the different mediums, and finally Edgardo Vega who has framed all my work for the last twenty years. No matter how bad, he always managed to make my paintings look much better than they really were!

I was very lucky to have Francine, Dick and Edgardo… their recognition and words of encouragement taught me that creativity doesn't reside solely in artists. It can reside in anybody and happen anywhere, anytime! You don't have to be an artist to be creative. You can be a floor cleaner, a dishwasher, an accountant, a teacher or whatever and still be creative. I think a creative person is someone who pushes themselves beyond their own comfort zone to try new things, take risks and to accept the possibility of failure. Someone who looks at new ways of doing things and challenges convention. Someone who tries to make the impossible - POSSIBLE!

I might never be able to quit my day job, but Francine, Dick and Edgardo made me “feel” like an artist and helped change my life for the better.

This story is just an example of how a little encouragement can do a lot for motivation. This lesson applies to the office as well: with a bit of recognition, managers can drive employee engagement and productivity.

Do you have any recognition stories at the office or outside of work where an act of recognition made a difference in your life?