Creating Your Masterpiece
MICHAEL W. JACKSON
January 26, 2022
Around this time of the year we make resolutions thinking that with a new year we will enact something new to better our lives. Often times we begin with enthusiasm and then gradually settle into the routine of our lives. Somewhere along the way the process is broken. There can be circumstances that divert our attention from the actions that could eventually fulfill the resolutions we make. Life happens and it is virtually impossible to maintain focus 100 percent of the time. If we could just acknowledge the temporary pause in our goal setting actions and begin again with persistence, eventually we will experience the transformation we were seeking in the resolutions we make. However, too often we quit completely and broken resolutions become a cycle that repeats itself year after year. Time passes; one year becomes five years and then ten years and you look at yourself and wonder where did the time go? The time did not go anywhere and did not move any faster. Time moved as it normally does but you did not move forward with the goal or direction you had planned for your life.
We can break the cycle of broken dreams year after year and I would like to suggest an alternative approach. There is nothing wrong with setting goals for a new year. It is a process I go through in my own life in late December or the beginning of the year. On an annual basis, I typically accomplish less than 40 percent of my goals. Hardly an accomplishment to sing praises over but certainly better than if I had set no goals. I acknowledge that I need better focus to achieve some of my goals within the year. Yet there are other goals that can be linked to factors that I cannot easily control. For example, there can be goals that depend on my finances. I believe can we can change anything in our lives for the better if we believe in ourselves and apply our personal power in the direction we want to take. However, you like me, may find yourself in the type of occupation where you do not have the power to increase your income within a year. It is difficult to make change in an area when the factors necessary are not directly under your control. What can we do?
When we start the beginning of a new year, we can think about it in a new way as we go forth to implement the positive change we seek. Continue to set goals and resolutions for the year if this works for you. I invite you to consider these achievements in broader terms. Human beings are multi-dimensional, multi-faceted creatures. If you aim for superlative achievement like an athlete or a musician, then make diligence, concentration and persistence your best friends. Yet if you belong to the camp who finds it difficult to keep resolutions for the year, then focus on just being a better person, BE A BETTER YOU. Pick any area of your life or all areas of your life and choose to do it better and be better.
Suppose it is your desire within a year to lose weight. If you have a target weight you want to be, what would happen if you do not reach your target weight? How would you feel? Would you feel like you had failed in reaching your goal? Consider giving yourself credit for losing weight even if you are not at the target number. If you think of the goal more broadly, then it opens a wider range of possibilities for you to consider. Shift your thinking from losing weight to improving your health. So many possibilities are available to improve your health. Today I am going for a walk. Today I am going to drink water instead of a soft drink. Today I choose to eat healthier. Make a conscious decision in your mind to do something better in your life on a daily basis no matter what it is. Put more love and care in anything and everything that you do. If you make this a daily habit in your life, the transformation you will see in a year's time will be amazing. After a year when you witness the transformation in yourself, you will come to a different realization about time. Instead of thinking of where did the time go as a result of years of broken resolutions, you will see how much you have accomplished in several areas of your life, not just losing weight in a year's time. With this same approach, imagine what you could do in 3 three years, 5 years or even a decade.
This is the process of creating your masterpiece and the masterpiece is your life. During the creative process every stroke on the canvas does not have to be perfect and the same is true of the events in your life. You did not practice your musical instrument for 3 hours; you missed the Bible study or just did not feel like going to the gym today. Do not beat yourself up. Tomorrow is a new day and each day is an opportunity to augment the picture of your life. It seems nowadays many of us are focused so much on making a living which is centered on how much money we are making, we lose sight of creating our lives. The amount of money we will earn during the course of our life can fluctuate over time; the creation of our lives however, over time continually evolves to be a more complete picture to which we add during our lifetime.
The creation of your life masterpiece is your vision of yourself. It is a picture of you and is as unique as your face among 7.9 billion people living today. Your masterpiece is your creation and you determine its appearance. So much of what we do is built around pleasing other people or meeting standards and benchmarks set by organizations. Whereas it may be necessary to comply with particular standards and codes of conduct, we can choose our own standards in creating our lives and can set them even higher. Live your life everyday choosing to be a better version of yourself in some way. Embrace the loves of your heart and practice them even if they do not earn money. If you love cooking, cook. If you love singing, sing. All these activities contribute to the picture of who you are. I love numbers and using a computer to solve problems. I enjoy the elation I feel when a computer program works. Engaging in the “loves” of your life even if they do not earn you money can energize your spirit so that you do your routine life better and with more enthusiasm. The enthusiasm that commences your new year can be the same enthusiasm you carry with you daily as each day is an opportunity to add a new stroke to the canvas of your life and your ever evolving masterpiece.
Dedicated to: Ray Ross and Shaina Vencel
Thank you for your contribution to my masterpiece.
Michael W. Jackson