Your life is ‘your’ story.
Be original. Be yourself. Be bold
Imagine. Create a living masterpiece.
Did you know of this popular story? Michelangelo was asked how he came up with David and he said I chipped away everything that was not David before arriving at the final masterpiece.
Like Michelangelo, you have one life too. You are the artist. You are responsible. Don’t just make life work, you make it a living masterpiece. Give it all you’ve got. A powerful driver for me has always been the simple philosophy of Michael Gervais: “Every day we get the opportunity to create a living masterpiece”.
You can’t do that unless you discover the real you, find your original voice to express yourself without fear or reservation. Doing so means carefully refining every detail of your life so that you’re proud of the final product.
Indeed, the greatest and most important adventure of life is to discover who you really are, knowing yourself and spending time doing what brings out the best in you to lead to a better world for yourself and others. But to do so, you must first own your story and then imagine it, design it and live it. How?
Step 1: Own your story, set your rules
To be ordinary, be normal; to be original, be different; to be valuable, be unique; to be priceless, be bold, to be a masterpiece, BE YOUrself.
Our brain is wired for stories, rules, boundaries and creates a recognisable, a complete pattern and most of the time these stories become the ‘truth’. Debunk that straight away and create your own rules in reference to values and things that matter to you.
Have the courage to live a life that’s true to you – not a life that others expect of you. Start by being honest with YOURSELF about the reality of your life and embrace it in entirety. If you don’t, how are you ever going to be happy? How are you every going to create a masterpiece of a story of your life?
Everything in your world is simply a storyboard based on your understanding of what it means or matters. It is all open to interpretation. You, and you alone, are the one who sets a value on the circumstances you face, the boundaries that you have created and the ‘truths’ that you believe in, the plunge that you are willing to take.
You can, at any time, change the storyline in your head by casting yourself in your life-story as anything you want. The victim. The hero. The one who gave up or the one who gave all.
You have the power to set your rules, define the story board, live the master strokes and write the brave ending of your story but for that you have to own your story first.
This is your moment to choose to be the hero of your masterpiece life- story.
Step 2: Design your masterpiece – one that inspires, ignites and exhilarates
“Because you are alive, everything is possible.”
Only by believing anything is possible, you can achieve the impossible. Begin with the end in mind. Artists begin their most awesome work with purpose and a clear idea of what they expect.
Believe in your infinite potential and take responsibility for your life aligned with the rules you create and edit along the way. See yourself as you long to be seen in this masterpiece of your story and rewrite the meaning of whatever you are facing. Embrace experimentation and dare to dream. Start exploring the possibilities and make every move in that direction.
Designing a living masterpiece isn’t easy – it takes real work – and it really is “an inside job”. You have to embark on that solo journey of self-discovery to really create a life of meaning.
So, go inside…get quiet so that you can connect with who you are. Be present. Breathe. Slowly. Find the silence so that you can hear your soul when you ask the questions:
These questions are necessary to align your life with the design you have for it. Whatever your masterpiece looks like, your design will help you see what you need to do, or stop doing, to create it.
And while you are designing your life-story, include impact on others in it – why not make a difference for someone else? Doing this may just be the empowerment you need. This is your moment to shine, for others who need love and hope. Write/ rewrite the plotline including this integral piece of humanity.
Go and include in your life-story a chapter of being a rainbow of possibilities of love, hope, kindness, compassion, empathy for others – do as you wished others had done for you at the time when you needed it. It does not have to be big or fancy. It just needs to be genuine and integrated in your life-story. You have the power to be love in motion, if you choose to be.
Step 3: Persevere, challenge your boundaries
How we choose what we do, and how we approach it…will determine whether the sum of our days adds up to a formless blur, or to something resembling a work of art. — Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Despite designing the life of their dreams, many fail. Why?
Reason 1: Impatience
Everything meaningful in life takes time and perseverance. One of the greatest impediments to living a fulfilling life is our impatience, the almost inevitable desire to hurry up the process, express something, and make a quick splash.
You’ll suck at most things in the beginning. And that’s okay. It takes time, persistence, and patience to create your most amazing work. Keep on trying. Value the process. Keep pushing boundaries.
Stay positive as you move from the design stage to the living stage because there sure would be challenges that you will face. Just remain positive, be flexible and adaptable through the process. It’s okay for your plans to change, especially when your plans must give way to the ultimate creator’s master plan.
Reason 2: Fear
Living your masterpiece takes a commitment to growth – it needs us to keep reinventing, regenerating and renewing. And it’s about creating the silence – that allows you to hear the whispers of your soul…so that you can be present and connect with your true purpose.
We hesitate. We hide. We run.
There’s not a lot of skin shedding when we’re still in that cocoon! We may be safe, but how’s the butterfly gonna emerge?
It’s not about removing the fear –It’s about acknowledging it and honouring it – and going for it anyway to live your best life. Your mind has a way of rising to the occasion. Challenge it, and it will reward you. Give yourself permission to think and act beyond the usual.
Trust that no matter what happens, you have what it takes to survive, and to make it through. If you make a mistake, that’s OK. You’ll be able to figure it out, you’ll be able to adjust, course correct – and above all – you’ll be able to grow.
Great life, work or art, takes time to mature. Your masterpiece life is ahead of you and will emerge with patient attention, time, and strategic action.
“Our own life has to be our message.”
Each day is a new day, an opportunity to transcend from a disempowered mindset of existence to an empowered reality of purpose-driven living and create an original, masterpiece story.
The truth is, there’s no templatised road map for the life you want to create. Everyone has a very different definition of what it means to build a living masterpiece – but that’s the adventure.
It’s about consciously deciding who you want to be and how you want to live your life. It’s about being more grounded, being present, being focused and living more fully every single day. Be sure to choose the right habits because that would affect who you are, what you want to be, what impact you want to create and your plans for creating the masterpiece of your life.
Like an artist, start with a clear idea of what you want to create, a brilliant image shining in your mind. One brush stroke or note at a time until the masterpiece is complete. Once all the pieces are put together, it comes alive for other people to see and experience.
So go now, imagine your life-story, design it and live it with all your might. Make the world better. Make a better you. And in the thought-provoking words of Eckhart Tolle:
“We are what we choose to create”
Well…the big question…what living masterpiece are you choosing to create?
*Views expressed are personal