In her wonderful book “Never Broken: Songs Are Only Half the Story”, the artist Jewel gives us a blueprint on how we can build our strength and resilience and become a stronger, better balanced, and happier person. She says that we shouldn't be impatient with ourselves and expect to make changes in our lives quickly. That's not where growth happens. She says that hard wood grows slowly.
What does that mean? It means we shouldn't look for quick fixes but should think about who we want to become in the long run.
So how can you shift your way of thinking to achieve that?
· Make decisions that aren't only focused on the here and now. Rather, think about what's best for that version of yourself you want to become in 10 years or 20. This could impact whether you choose to start working out today (versus eating pizza while you sit in front of the TV) or taking the time to write down your thoughts on something important happening in your life (versus scrolling through the Instagram feed on your phone).
· Get to the root of the problem. If you're faced with an obstacle and are having a difficult time dealing with things, you might reach for something to distract yourself (food, drink, TV or a cigarette). Try to get to the bottom of what you're experiencing so that you can learn why it's bothering you.
Be willing to admit that you don't have all the answers. Then look for answers: talk to a trusted friend, do some research on the topic, read more about it. Be proactive about making a positive change.
· Give yourself permission to grow. Becoming an adult is not like developing a Polaroid or taking a selfie. There's no instant gratification, no glamorous shot, no shortcut.
Each one of us will have to experience life on our own. Sure, that may seem terrifying and scary at first, but think of it this way: if you take the time to get to know yourself, to identify the things you want to accomplish and experience, and to know which things can make you happy, then you will create your blueprint for the path you need to take.
It does take time, but as Jewel says, you can become the architect of your dreams. That's an empowering way to look at life, don't you think?
- Nela Canovic