In my constant desire to achieve more, I rarely know when to call it quits, take a break, or a start working on something else. I'm the most stubborn person I know. This is no easy thing to admit to yourself - trust me.
Being stubborn can often be a blessing. It can help you achieve things when doubters said it couldn't be done, or more specifically, when they said "you couldn't do it". So, on many occasions, I've worn my stubbornness as a badge of honor. I know how much it has enabled me to achieve. It was only recently (New Year's Eve), that I realized that my previously worn badge of honor, could also be a great source of problems if I didn't stay in control of it.
With a renewed desire to take control of my stubbornness, January 2016 has taken on a slightly different tone for me, than that I'm accustomed to. I've tried hard to pay attention to the signs of when I'm going too far. Times when I'd normally keep trying to repair a flaw in a painting until the point of frustration, exhaustion, anger, and even tears, are now gone. Now I'm able to see things going slightly down hill, pause, step back, and make the decision to stop work on the project in question and simply come back later, sometimes allowing hours or even days to pass. Does the waiting still bother me? Of course it does! But at least I have the ability to actually stop myself before I make things worse. That's substantial progress for me!
So what have these seemingly slight changes meant in real terms? So far this January, I've been happier, calmer, and more productive. My family have said it is a noticeable change. I've completed an oil painting that I'd been working on for far too long, and I'm already half way through a much larger, more ambitious oil painting (see the work-in-progress photo attached to this blog entry). I have a long way to go with the painting before completion, but what I've achieved in it so far, I'm happy with; plus I'm actually enjoying the process. I've completed a few more illustrations for my next children's book, and wrote chapter 9 of my upcoming novel J159.
As I mentioned earlier, my family have noticed too. I have more energy, and enjoy more family fun activities and general play time with my beautiful little boys. My attitude adjustment has literally made it easier for me to see the joyful perspective with which my children see the world. It has helped me to enjoy it with them wholeheartedly. Rather than just put on a "happy face", I feel that happiness inside and out.
So if you are like me, and have spent most of your life ignoring or even mocking people who talk about a sunny disposition and how helpful it can be... Take it from me, It really can make a difference.
I can't take all the credit however. I prayed over this matter, personally, and with a dear friend at Church. I truly believe this change in me was inspired by God. I'm just pleased I was finally able to follow His instructions!
If you don't believe in God, that's your choice. If you think I'm nuts for believing He inspired this change, that is well within your right too. I won't try to change your mind about that one little bit. Just take what you can from my life lesson. A concerted effort to change your approach and attitude can have an enormously positive impact on your life - no matter what uplifting place you find your inspiration.
I pray my positive change is permanent and that you may find your own inspiration for positive change too.
Blessings to all.