When I took my first interior design job out of college, AutoCad was in its infancy. The company I worked for did not yet have it, so we drafted everything with pencil on vellum. I loved the process of putting pencil to paper. It felt really good to me.
Christian Baueracker was the master draftsman in the department. He was from Austria and sounded just like Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was an amazing draftsman and his drawings were beautiful works of art. I asked him one time for advice on how to improve my drafting. What was his secret? He came over to look at what I was drawing and said
You need to draft with purpose.
He wrote on a slip of vellum “W/ PURPOSE” in his great lettering style and taped it to my shelf as a reminder. I immediately saw what he meant and how his work was so different. His lines were purposeful and had a well defined beginning and ending. He was confident about his work and each line carried its own weight and with that its own meaning. Some bolder, some lighter. My work by comparison looked tentative, with each line about the same as any other. I was doing the work, but without much thought or purpose.
His advice came to mind years later when I heard someone say “if you aren’t living with purpose, you are living by default.” Just like drafting, for my life to be a beautiful work of art, I must live with purpose. I cannot live tentatively. I cannot sleepwalk through life, mindless of what I am doing or how I am being. I need to find the courage to be bold or the gentleness to be light depending on what is needed for each situation. I need to be awake, aware and engaged–to live each day with purpose.