Making Change, One Layer at a Time
Often we resist making significant changes in our lives. We are comfortable with the way things are and don�t want to expend the energy to make changes. We seem to get in a groove and have tunnel vision regarding what we could do with our lives. We know that changes are for the better, yet we view the change process as scary, difficult, and time consuming. We are fearful of the uncertain results.
Changes are needed as we go through life. These changes will make a positive difference in our personal and professional lives. We must recognize that if we want things to change, we have to change.
We need to identify what changes are needed and have a vision of who we are and who we want to become. What are the problems that you face? What is making you most unhappy? Make a list of the things that will make the most impact in your life if they were different. Focus on what will make you happy. Identify specific things to work on to change and then start an action plan.
Think of yourself as a woodcarver and your life as a block of wood that is to be crafted into a work of art. The woodcarver has a vision of the finished piece and makes rough sketches on the wood as a pattern. The woodcarver whittles away at the block, first chipping off chucks of wood, and then removing thin layers. The first cuts make the biggest difference in appearance. As the carving process continues, changes are more subtle. Layer after layer, thin slices of wood are carved away until the piece is in its final form. Sandpaper is carefully used to buff and polish out the rough spots to add detail, luster, and texture to the piece. The woodcarver transforms the wood from its original shape and sculpts it into a masterpiece.
As with our lives, changes are made one layer at a time. Think of the changes that are needed in your life in order to make you happier. Deal with the fringes of your life and start the process of making the changes that you have identified. Start trimming the layers gradually. As with the artist who follows a pattern drawn on the block of wood, so should you change your life. Once you start changing from the surface layer of your being, the subtle changes that you initiate may be easier for you to accept. The transformation that you will make in your life may appear subtle, but over time you will begin to notice your progress. Little changes add up over time.
Each of us is an artist responsible for the sculpting of our lives. We are constantly adjusting to our needs and circumstances. With reflection, we think about changes that are needed and discover what is possible.
We are each a masterpiece, a composition made up of ideas, knowledge, creativity, intellect, personality, and experiences. Some of our talents lay latent. As we continue to polish our essence, we model ourselves to our fullest potential.
Many times in our lives we made changes that drastically improved our situation. Factors in our lives motivated us as we recognized our needs and saw that changes were necessary. We may have regretted waiting so long to have made the changes and realize that when we delay action toward making changes, we keep ourselves from enjoying our improved situation.
You will face opportunities where changes will be needed. Like New Year�s resolutions, put the changes you have identified into action. Recognize that like an artist, all the changes can�t be made in one cut. We are a work in progress.
� Rosemarie Rossetti, Ph.D. would like to read your comments about her column and the impact it has made on your life. She also encourages your ideas for future columns.