Good things can happen any day. Or it can go the other way. Yet we do have an active role in deciding how our days go. Accepting a passive destiny is no way to ensure you’re leading the life you want. Taking what you’re given and making something great out of it or learning a valuable lesson from it is the essence of creative adaptability. It’s the idea of turning lemons into lemonade. You have to remain an active participant in your life and do more than accept what you’re given to reach your goals. If a sculptor is given a lump of clay and wants to make a great work of art from it, he first needs a creative vision but then he needs to sculpt out what isn’t needed to find the art beneath the clay. Letting go of those things which stand in our way, our fears, inhibitions, self-imposed limitations or negative habits allows us to move forward with our visions, carve out our future good and attain our goals. Nothing good comes easily or quickly in this world, but whittling away what blocks us from what we want is a way to ensure progress and success over time.
Carving out your good takes time and patience, planning and consistency. But we have to be willing to let go of the scraps of material that don’t serve us. Finding health and fitness in your body requires you to carve and sculpt out the potential masterpiece underneath what ever you wish to let go of, like excess fat or flabby skin, a bit everyday. A fit and healthy, sexy body doesn’t come from eating potato chips. It’s an unrealistic expectation that a diet pill or shot will make you look and feel your best either. Breaking into a business or career takes special carving to find the niche market or appropriate audience for what you have to sell or share. Similarly, developing a good relationship of any kind takes some creative sculpting to find what works and what doesn’t, to compromise, bridge gaps and reach an accord between you and someone else. I want to share some insights that have helped my clients to release what is wasteful or restrictive in one’s life and embrace what’s good in one’s experience or to make more of it.
1) Set intentions or goals. Have a long or short-range trajectory of what you want is the most important key to eventually reaching your dream. It is the forerunner of all plans, strategies and tactics. But be specific – really go for what you want with gusto. Envision what would make you satisfied. Rehearse it! See and even feel yourself getting what you want more everyday. Put actions in place that will get you closer to your goal, day by day. Take those actions consistently as if your life depended on their importance. Before you know it, you’ll have reached your destination and you’ll feel proud of the journey you took to find what you were looking for. You’ll also quickly discover what you needed to let go of – what you didn’t need – to get there. Shed it and be glad of its lesson. There’s more good on the way, set by your needs, desires and intentions. Goals are like light through darkness; intentions are steps toward the light.
2) Let intuition guide you. Your gut instincts are usually right. Inside each of us there is an inner voice, a guide – the most positive part of ourselves – that always knows what’s right. It also knows what’s wrong and what we must let go of, avoid or diminish so that we can reach our higher purpose and do more good in the world. The voice in your head is your intuition. If you believe something is coming or you feel funny about a certain person or situation, you may well be correct. Don’t dismiss that powerful inkling, it’s your sixth sense taking to you. The more you listen to your intuitive voice, the stronger it gets. Practice listening to what you know is right and what doesn’t work will also become obvious. If your gut says, “yes” – go for it! If the answer is “no,” respect that guidance and honor it by choosing better. Your intuition wants what’s best for you, so allow it to lead you to carving out more good.
3) Trust the process. Nothing worth having comes overnight or without work and commitment. We impose a lot of limits on ourselves, restrictions to what would make our lives better, because we don’t trust that our efforts will be rewarded. Well, the result never comes first. It takes perseverance to reach what we want. Accepting that everything comes with a process and has an ultimate purpose, helps us get where we want to go. Setting up systems for success allows you to track your progress and adapt it as needed. The process is the way goals are met and successes made. We set up challenges and we knock ’em down in order to move ahead. Some of the great business people, artists and leaders of the world admit that they had to fail many times in order to find success. In the process of failure they learned what they needed to do to succeed. Like Tony Robbins says, “sometimes you’re just a millimeter off from what it takes to reach your goal.” That’s the worst time to stop going for it. Letting go of a need for perfection or instant gratification can help also you in the process of finding success. Also, remember to trust yourself to make the journey, to learn and grow at your own pace. Be true to you and who knows what you can do?
4) Show fear who’s boss. Fear can become a paralyzing restriction in attaining your goals and carving out what you want from life. We have fears for good reasons: to protect, defend or avoid harm. Fear is part of our evolutionary survival mechanism, but it often doesn’t serve us all that well in modern life. Fear is the root negative emotion. It can turn into avoidance, escapism, intimidation, shame, frustration, anxiety, depression, hatred or rage. Fear should never be a wall between you and what you want, as long as what you want does no harm. If you intend something negative, then you should be afraid of your intentions. Sloughing off fear is cutting away the dross that doesn’t serve your greater goal. A big fear a lot of folks have is that in sharing or expressing what they want or their truth that they will be judged poorly and that they will reveal what they actually are afraid of. Or they’re afraid they’ll share what makes them vulnerable or what they least like about themselves and be rejected for it. Such fears come with being human and wanting to belong. But we are each unique individuals and must add our special color and texture to the fabric of humanity for its betterment. Facing your fears takes away their power, too. Letting go of fear is essential when carving out what’s good for you and the world.
5) Don’t over-think it. Over-analyzing is the #1 killer of creativity and mastering what you need to get what you want out of life – your good. Creativity and criticism cannot operate in the same space at the same time. One over-rules the other every time they meet. Thinking about something too much or dwelling and worrying is about as bad as procrastinating in keeping you from what good you deserve. It also becomes a form of repetitive stress on the central nervous system. Ruminating too long actually blocks the good will of the universe, which is truly here to support your good efforts. Having faith that what’s good for you is really for the good of all is one way of beating the need to over-think. Take action, whatever small step you can to make your dream a reality and then step away from it. Go for a walk, eat some pie, pet your cat and then go back to problem solving. Either you control your thoughts or they control you. Again, it can’t be over-stated that perfectionism and procrastination are forms of wasteful, worrisome emotion and over-analysis. If you trust yourself enough to give yourself even 75% credit that what you want or need is actually GOOD for you, just do it! Get off it, get over it and get going already!
6) Be open to guidance. Be it an expert or specialist in your field, a trusted friend, a teacher, spiritual leader or yoga instructor, take in whatever advice comes your way with an open mind. You never know when inspiration will strike or what bit of advice will spur you on to greater things. Dreams are wonderful guides to the subconscious needs we have. Listen to what your mind and heart are telling you and you’ll realize many of the answers you need are within. Let go of judgment and accept everything you’re told as help. I often say. “I’ll have to consider that” or “I’ll take that under advisement” when I encounter a new idea or bit of wisdom, no matter the source. We are truly each others reflection and all a part of the same sphere of consciousness. So, let go of any thought that you and only you know what’s best and lovingly accept the messages that wind up on your desk. You never know when a little bird might give you the few inspiring words you needed to find your fuller self. Some people actually love to help you carve out your good!
7) It’s all temporary and you’re not done growing! If life was static and we all were exactly who and what we’re meant to be, I think life would be pretty boring and perhaps the world would stop turning. Sometimes we just have to step out of our own way and accept that we have more to learn and nothing is set in stone. Everything is temporary. There is no constant but change. Being flexible and rolling with the punches is a bedrock behavior for those who wish to find fulfillment. Ask for what you want and then find ways to get it. If you reach a dead end, you turn around, dig under or learn to fly over your obstacle. Be willing to learn and grow everyday. Try new approaches and be adaptable – be willing to change – and you’ll find what you’re looking for. It’s got to be worth something to you, so let go of what ever is holding you back – fear of change, old messages of lack or limitation, whatever makes you feel insecure – and lock onto what will enrich you if you dare to make the journey. Be willing to grow past what you know, past your ego and even what you think is true and you’ll find everything is relative, temporary and contingent on your willingness to try something new.
Here are a few more inspiring thoughts that may also help you carve out your good and let go of what no longer serves you:
“Everyday, just find two things: something that inspires you to do more good and something that you feel immense gratitude for, and you’ll begin to live your own miracle.”
“If you don’t want to open the front door to see what good may come, afraid of the bad air that may accompany it, at least crack open a window and take a breath of the prevailing winds. Some good may blow in!”
“Swim as though there are no life preservers.”
“If you never show and share your true self and never strive for what you want, how will anyone know you or learn to love you? How will you ever help, heal, enrich or enlighten the world or yourself?”