Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tip#48: Change Takes Time - Bicentennial Man

Self-improvement is always a courageous step for anyone. Though some people buy certain self-help products or methods and expect a quick fix to their problems. Any lasting change takes time. I've discovered that the answers for our successes are simple. It's only ourselves that make it difficult. We're the ones who get in our own way by being impatient and expecting instant results.

In life there are times when people get fed up with the unhappiness of their careers or how they are as a person. That's when one knows it's time to take some sort of action to initiate changes. And what becomes equally important is a commitment to doing whatever it takes and for how long it will take to make a lasting change in one's self.

In fact it's better to expect it may take years and not days or weeks to transform your place in the world. That way your expectations won't rule you or add any extra pressure. Patience becomes a new skill to learn.

Coal + Pressure = Diamond

Changing your life or career from one you don't enjoy to one that you love takes time. In a sense the pressure and stress you feel to change is a good thing. Internally it's your gut telling you something new has to happen while externally it's the universe letting you know that you must now take steps and time towards releasing the real you inside.

A diamond is a great metaphor to use because of the process they endure from its original form of coal. Diamonds are made under conditions of extreme temperature and pressure in the earth's mantle. Replace the word 'diamond' with 'you' and it gives you a great future to visualize. Imagine having the resilience of a diamond that can maintain its strength no matter what. Over time you too can reveal your true inner diamond, the multi-faceted beauty of your authentic self.

That's why I enjoy seeing movies where the main characters are put under extreme pressures to reveal what they are truly made of. They transform from something ordinary to the extraordinary and usually get what they'd been seeking. The same can happen in real life. Movies like 'The Pursuit of Happyness', 'The Pianist' and others from Tip #47: Resilience are based on true stories of personal transformations over time.

Bicentennial Man (1999)

The sci fi comedy drama movie, Bicentennial Manstars Robin Williams and features an inspiring example of how successful changes takes time. Williams plays an android named Andrew programmed with a unique self awareness that wishes to continually better himself. His quest takes him through the many generations of the family he was created to serve. His desire is so strong to improve himself that he learns to create beautiful clocks out of found wood and eventually builds his own home.

Watch now: Amazon Prime

Ultimately, Andrew wants to become accepted more as a human and an equal among others and spends his life improving his human interaction skills as well as his appearance. He goes to great lengths to create more realistic features like skin, eyes and artificial organs so he could experience the joys of eating and the other five senses. Andrew even desires to experience the emotions of love. His quest for self-improvement eventually benefits all mankind with his ingenious inventions of artificial organs.

Bicentennial Manwill inspire you to keep moving forward in improving your skills and yourself no matter how long it takes. It took Andrew 200 years to fulfill his incredible, almost impossible dream of becoming a human. And no matter what happened, he enjoyed the ups and downs of the journey and that is a great lesson for us all.

A Wish Is A Seed

I remember there was a time over a decade ago that I'd bump into someone I hadn't seen in a while and they'd given me a guilt trip attitude for not calling them. I always felt that put in a role that was unjustified and didn't like that feeling.

For example as we parted they would tell me to 'call them' in a tone that always rubbed me the wrong way. It was as if the world revolved around them and that it was my job to stay in contact. Their request for friendship felt conditional and it would later help me see that I only wanted unconditional relationships in my life.

To my surprise, a few months ago, I realized I no longer had any of those 'conditional' people in my life. Everyone I cared about that were now my closest friends, acquaintances and business contacts never say 'call me' in that controlling tone. Change takes time and it started with my wish 'to have unconditional relationships in my life'. That wish was like a seed that simply needed time to grow and maintain.

Power of Patience

Changes do happen. And the change has to start in your mind. It's the change that takes place in your thoughts and attitude that takes time to develop. That's why you must accept that lasting positive changes in your life and career can be an ongoing process. You are reprogramming yourself like the Bicentennial Manto improve yourself.

So remember that patience is an important life skill to develop and that transformations do not happen overnight. Make patience and time your allies. Life is about the journey more than the destination. Why not learn how to enjoy the slow lanes, the fast lanes and even the pit stops of life?

"If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent."
Isaac Newton

"The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it."
Arnold H Glasgow

"If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow."
Chinese Proverb

"Be patient enough to live one day at a time, letting yesterday go and leaving tomorrow until it arrives."

Emmanuel Lopez
© Emmanuel Lopez 2007


Anonymous said...

Hello !

Again, I appreciate your wisdom and my resonnance to your words. I have been watching Grey's anatomy for a while in French as the series is behind the English series. I have been amazed to think about the metaphor of healing through the lense of the body and its injury. And how much time is connected to healing.

Your tip reconnected me to that and to better appreciate the gift of time and transformation, iteration by iteration, as part of the journey.

A +,


Anonymous said...

This is a VERY good one. Once and a while we need to remember this. For me, it is easy to say but hard to do.

Thanks a lot

Anonymous said...

Beautiful - a joy to read, and I love the quotes. Copies and pasted the first one!


ashley said...

i do agree with you. however one thing i would like to interject is if you can change your thinking you may notice a miracle. sometimes letting go of a false belief can open up a world of self improvement in a matter of minutes.

Anonymous said...

patience is a virtue. self improvement is a journey. it does take time but you certainly can enjoy the places in your heart that you visit along the way.